THP-Uganda Establishes New Partnership with the Government of Uganda
In late January, H.E. President Museveni of Uganda visited The Hunger Project's (THP's) Mpigi Epicenter. During his visit, President Museveni indicated that he would seek to give THP-Uganda approximately US$200,000 this calendar year and provide a truck to the epicenter to transport food collected from partners for distribution.
The President requested a visit to the epicenter, following a meeting with THP President and CEO, Ms. Jill Lester; Vice President for Africa, Dr. Fitigu Tadesse; and THP-Uganda Country Director, Ms. Irene Wasike Muwanguzi in September 2009. President Museveni commended THP for supplementing the government's efforts in transforming societies in Uganda through income-generating activities as well as food security. At that meeting, he pledged to support THP, observing that it "has done a lot compared to some government programmes that were formed to address the issue of income and food security."
THP has been implementing its Epicenter Strategy in Uganda since 1999, and we now have 11 epicenters in the country. Epicenters are clusters of rural villages where women and men are mobilized to create and run their own programs to meet basic needs - including food production and processing, microfinance, literacy, water and sanitation, health, and HIV/AIDS and gender training. The ultimate goal of the strategy is to empower communities to achieve self-reliance, meaning they are able to fund their own activities and no longer require financial support from THP (Learn more about the Epicenter Strategy).
This development represents a real breakthrough - to have established a direct partnership with a national planning authority and to have received such a strong endorsement by a Head of State. It also creates an exciting precedent that may help convince other governments in Africa to emulate the example of Uganda and implement THP's Epicenter Strategy as part of their national development plans to address the issues of hunger and poverty.
Photo: Women at the epicenter show President Museveni their successful jam store, which they opened after they participated in THP trainings in income generation.
Note: Formal agreements are in process. See: Uganda: Museveni Foils Inflated Road Deal, allAfrica.com, January 24, 2010; State House, Republic of Uganda News, September 11, 2009; and State House, Republic of Uganda News, January 24, 2010.