Why are Women the Key to Ending Hunger?
During my time with The Hunger Project I have seen first hand the impact of empowering a woman living in hunger.
When given the opportunity to change course, the women that I met grabbed it with both hands and have show remarkable courage, tenacity, creativity and leadership in developing solutions which change not only their own lives, but those of their family and community. They haven't shied away from the tough stuff. They have identified a purpose for themselves to change the village that they live in so that their daughters and grandchildren have a better future than theirs. Powerful stuff.
But the success doesn't just come from that - it's the so called multiplier effect that training and empowering one woman can have on her community. Firstly, her success doesn't just benefit her. It benefits her family - she doens't earn money to buy herself things -she earns money to feed her family and to educate her children and to put a solid roof over her head.
Her success spurs her sisters into taking action as well - making the community effect begin to ripple. Soon her neighbours are also taking note and trying new things and new ways of thinking which lift them from resignation that hunger will always be there - to more positive approaches and beliefs.
The mindset shifts from I can't - to I can - to if she can do it so can I - to finally we can and with this society moves forward.
The Hunger Project has so many success stories where empowering a woman has created lasting change:
- From the widowed African farmer who grew her small plot of land into a thriving business with the simple help of a $60 micro-finance loan to get her started.
- To the Indian woman that THP trains to be an effective Elected Leader for her village where during her tenure she brings electricity, safe housing, fresh clean water and economic opportunity to people who have never imagined it possible for them to have before.
- To the young Bangladeshi woman trained and encouraged to find her voice and unleash her power to fight against Child Marriage that limits her opportunity to succeed and move forward.
Women are the key to breaking the cycle of a culture of opression and bring a culture of opportunity and advantage.
When I became involved in The Hunger Project I attended a leadership programme that took me to India. This was an interesting time in my life as I had just re-entered the workforce full time and was feeling a bit unsure of myself and who I was. Before Kate I defined myself by my career. After Kate, I was a mum for 7 years...but now I was some weird mixture of the two and I couldn't quite get a grasp on it. Not a new tale, but a new one for me! I needed a little push forward to understand that you can blend the two roles and that you don't have to settle - but you do have to have a vision and you do have to work hard to make that a reality.
Traveling to India and meeting many, many women who never had the options that I had enlightened me so much. It made me think about the opportunities I had been given, rather than the sacrifices I had made. It made me eternally grateful for my parents - especially my mother - who sacrificied in so many ways to make sure that I had those options and for having a really supportive partner who continues to make options a possibility.
Being part of Unleashed is my opportunity to give back to these women and to support them as they supported me in finding my way back to the best of all worlds.
I am also dedicating my participation in this programme to my mother - the remarkable Bette Anne - the one woman who never gave up! And who is for me the definition of an "Unleashed Woman" - a fighter, a mother, an angel. I know she would be a part of this cause in a heartbeat!
I have joined Unleashed Women – a global movement empowering women to end hunger. Please make a tax deductible donation and help me reach my goal.
What impact will your donation have?
$50 could fund functional adult literacy training for two women so that they can learn to read and write.
$60 could provide one woman with a microfinance loan and financial literacy training so she can start a small business, earn an income and support her family.
$120 could train a local volunteer leader who will educate mothers about the importance of pre-natal care to ensure their babies are delivered safely.
$230 could train one Elected Woman in India to be an effective local council member and ban child marriage in her community.
Every dollar counts! Anything you can contribute is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Thank you to my Sponsors
Paul & Suzanne Coneys
Edwards Sound Systems
Al & Sue
Lauren Haggerty Eveland