50 Plus Epicenters in Africa declare self-reliance

The Hunger Project celebrates a milestone:

The Hunger Project
The Hunger Project

The leading anti-poverty, anti-hunger organization works to catalyze women and girls to become self-sufficient change-makers in their communities. 

The leading anti-poverty and anti-hunger organization, The Hunger Project, is celebrating the self-reliance of more than 50 epicenters in Africa, a step toward greater empowerment and security for women and girls across the continent and a marked end to hunger for thousands of people. 

Self-reliant epicenters are clusters of villages in which community members have confidently declared that they have the capacity and skills to act as agents of their own development. To reach this milestone, epicenter communities have strong leadership and governance structures in place; community-driven revenue structures; access to basic infrastructure; and decreased hunger. 

The Hunger Project’s Epicenter Strategy unites 5,000 to 15,000 people in a cluster of villages to create an “epicenter,” or a dynamic center where communities are mobilized to meet their basic needs. This holistic strategy takes them on a path to sustainable self-reliance through distinct phases over a period of eight or more years. During this time, individuals build the confidence to become leaders of their own development and communities come together to unlock a local capacity for change. 

The Hunger Project works to connect community members with the tools and resources they need to no longer need support from the organization, and instead, create self-sustaining community mechanisms for change. 

“Self-reliant epicenters are catalysts for change,” said Rowlands Kaotcha, Global Vice President. “Nowhere is this more demonstrable than the more than 50 epicenters we celebrate today and the life-altering and life-affirming impact they will have on rural women and girls across Africa.” 

Communities become self-reliant through the mobilization of rural women and girls and others in the community as well as improving access to sanitation, education, health resources and land ownership – all critical aspects of reducing hunger and poverty. 

To be defined as a self-reliant epicenter, certain criteria must be met. A few of these criteria include a microfinance structure, a meeting hall and land deed, and legal recognition by a local, regional or national government.

Ndeye Nidaye, a community member at Koki Epicenter in Fadam, Senegal, started with credit from the epicenter’s savings and loan program and launched her own successful sewing business. Her uncles then bought her a second sewing machine, which she uses for a greater good. 

“With these two machines, I committed myself to train the young people of the village and I am the only female tailor here. I make my own designs. I have nothing to envy about the rich tailors of Dakar. Whenever I wear a boubou [traditional robe], people ask me where I got it. They are amazed when I tell them that I made it by myself, especially because I live in a village that does not always have electricity,” she said. 

About The Hunger Project 

Founded in 1977, The Hunger Project is a global non-profit organization whose mission is to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, community-led, women-centered strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the globe. The Hunger Project is active in 23 countries, with global headquarters based in New York. 

The Hunger Project is global movement of individuals and organizations that includes members in the United States and Partner Countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) investing in more than 16,000 communities throughout Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia); South Asia (Bangladesh and India); and Latin America (Mexico and Peru) who are leading their own change. To learn more, visit www.thp.org.

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