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Are We on the Verge of Ending World Hunger?

By Azriel ReShel on Thursday May 11th, 2017

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Is Empowerment The Key to a New Future?

Did you know that world hunger is actually ending? It can sometimes feel like an insurmountable problem, but in fact, the world is making progress, and it’s agreed that hunger could end by as early as 2030. In 1977, over 30,000 people – most of them children – died each and every day. Today, that figure has dropped to 8,500 people – still unacceptably high, but a huge improvement, considering the world’s population has increased by 2 billion people over that time. So world hunger isn’t yet another hopeless global scenario.

This is because people are stepping up to positively impact the lives of those suffering so deeply, by empowering them to change their lives. Making a profound difference where it truly matters is far easier than you think. It’s easy to think of hunger as being someone else’s problem, or something that can only be fixed by governments and aid agencies, but the solution to World Hunger is actually in our hands. And today it’s vital, as we are now beginning to see the results of this dedication to helping the world be a better place.

Giving The Hungry The Power to Change Their Own Futures

Still, so many people are left hungry. Families live without food in developing nations, while in the industrialised world, people are hungry for purpose and meaning. In a world of excess, 795 million people around the globe suffer from hunger. And sixty percent of these are women.

We must address the underlying issuesWe must address the issues that put people in poverty in the first place.

Poverty is the principal cause of hunger. The causes of poverty include poor people’s lack of resources, unequal income distribution in the world, and within specific countries, conflict, and hunger itself. But with your help, people can find their way out of these harsh realities and create a new life for themselves and their families.

It’s women who are the key driving force against hunger and poverty. And when we give women more control with decision-making in the household, children fare better and poverty is reduced.

Success Stories

Sara knows the heartache of poverty and hunger all too well. It used to be a daily struggle to provide her two children with even one meal a day. Too often they had to go without. The small income she earned from her fritters business was simply not enough to buy food. The family lived in a small mud hut. When it rained, the thatched roof leaked.

The microfinance loan and skills training she received from The Hunger Project changed her life. She took out a small loan and used it to grow her business. With the profits from her business, she has been able to build a brick house with a tin roof and make a shop inside, as well as buy a mobile phone and start a small pig farm.

Sara's new-found hope and purposeSara has new-found hope and purpose with her sarong business.

Sara has also started a sarong business. She travels by bus to the nearest town to collect products for her shop, and sarongs to sell in her village.

Sara can now feed her children three meals a day and send them to school. She is grateful for the support she has received and is dedicated to sharing what she has learned with others in her community.

Her story would not have a happy ending if it weren’t for organisations like The Hunger Project, and the generous donations of people wanting to make a difference where it really counts.

Elisabeth Obubuafo, an agricultural farmer in eastern Ghana, is a shining example of an empowered woman, running multiple businesses, sending her children to school, and providing food for her community. But it was not always this way…

Born into a poor rural family, Elisabeth had no formal education past primary school. She married young, had little prospects for a good job, and struggled to feed her three children.

Empowering individuals for changeWith a little education and support, women can feel empowered to change their future.

Elisabeth sought to change her circumstances. She started working with The Hunger Project 10 years ago and has attended skills training, women’s empowerment workshops, and adult literacy courses. Through these trainings, Elisabeth acquired the skills and confidence to start her own business, send her children to school, and assert her rights in her home with her husband.

Through microcredit loans from The Hunger Project, she was able to grow her farming business to 60 acres of land from just 10. Elisabeth now hires people to work her land and also has other businesses in fish, clothes and poultry. She is now able to send her children to school and provide a better life for them. Her husband supports her in these endeavours, which are remarkable in an area where women have generally been marginalised and subordinate to men. Today Elisabeth is a powerful example of an empowered woman, who saved her children from a future of poverty and suffering.


Elisabeth was able to turn her situation around through education, support and hard work, and now she is not only permanently free of hunger but she and her family are thriving.

The Hunger Project

Cathy Burke, former Global Vice President of The Hunger Project , has spent over 20 years at the coal face of the real issues surrounding hunger and has seen the same solutions firsthand, all over the world. She says that the enabling environment is crucial and that when people are given access to support structures, their world opens up.

Each and every person has the capacity to turn their situation around. We don’t need handouts or someone to do it for us. Such a solution is rarely long-term and does nothing to develop someone’s innate abilities and resourcefulness. Nevertheless, we often can’t do it on our own. We need support.

Support and education are more impactful long termSupport and education are far more impactful long term. Image: Johannes Ode

Cathy says that we need to make sure that the people most affected by hunger become the ones most empowered and qualified to end it. It is critical that money flows into work that builds leaders who can create lasting change for themselves and their communities.

World Hunger Day – May 28th

This World Hunger Day, UPLIFT and The Hunger Project are collaborating on ending World Hunger. In the new UPLIFT film, meet the inspiring and unlikely leaders who are ending world hunger: from school girls in Bangladeshi villages to elders becoming literate in Malawi, we are all more capable than we think. Watch the film on May 28 and sign up to join the movement! And for every subscription, UPLIFT will donate $1 to The Hunger Project’s inspiring work.

You can be part of the movement to help end world hunger. Famine affects less than 10% of people. That is where we see sickly-thin kids with swollen bellies, and that is where the food drops count. But the majority of hunger is hidden and chronic. It’s kids dying of diarrhoea, mums dying in childbirth, malnourished babies due to girls marrying and falling pregnant too young. The response is different, and it works best when the people most affected can be empowered with education, rights, putting women at the centre of decision-making, creating legal changes, giving people business skills, and more, to help them end their own hunger.

Help end World Hunger!Help end World Hunger! Watch ‘We Have The Power’ on May 28, and for every subscription, UPLIFT will donate $1 to the cause!

Hunger occurs in communities ravaged by wars, colonialism and climate change; things that are beyond people’s control. But giving people in desperate situations power over their own lives and decisions, through skills and opportunities, gives them the chance to create a new life for their families, out of the ashes of hopelessness.

Hundreds of millions of people experience chronic, day in day out hunger and malnutrition, despite the world producing more than enough to feed everyone. And there is more that you can do than you might think. We can all help end hunger. It is possible to see an end to this most basic of human suffering in our own lifetimes, and we will. It is always better to do something – no matter how small – than stand by and do nothing. Every single tiny action helps. And every time we help, we feed a hunger deep within our own souls, to do something meaningful with our lives.

Be a part of this powerful movement for change. Watch the online premiere of the new UPLIFT film on May 28.

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Azriel ReShel

Writer, Editor, Yoga Teacher & Healing Facilitator

 

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