We empower communities to declare themselves self-reliant.

Self-reliance and independence is The Hunger Project’s goal for all our epicentre communities.

Fundamental to The Hunger Project’s values is the inherent belief that all people are extraordinary. People are creative, visionary and hardworking. We value human dignity and believe in people’s inherent entrepreneurial spirit. We stand in solidarity with those living in hunger and poverty as the principal leaders of their own change who are taking self-reliant actions to improve their lives and conditions in their communities. This is the sustainable pathway to ending hunger once and for all.

In eight countries of Africa, our Epicentre Strategy mobilises clusters of rural villages into “epicentres,” which band together 15,000-25,000 people to create a dynamic centre where communities are mobilized for action to meet their basic needs. This strategy is designed to partner with communities over a period of about eight years after which they graduate to a phase of “sustainable self-reliance,” which means that communities have shown the confidence, capacity and skills to act as agents of their own development.

43 of our epicentre communities in Africa have declared their self-reliance. That’s over 665,000 people!

Self-reliant communities have demonstrated progress in the following nine goals:

  1. Mobilised rural communities that continuously set and achieve their own development goals;
  2. Empowered women and girls in rural communities;
  3. Improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in rural communities;
  4. Improved literacy and education in rural communities;
  5. Reduced prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in rural communities, especially for women and children;
  6. Improved access to and use of health resources in rural communities;
  7. Reduced incidence of poverty in rural communities; and
  8. Improved land productivity and climate resilience of smallholder farmers.
  9. Improved environmental and climate resilience in rural communities

Community members of these epicentres have affirmed multiple local partnerships, created funding streams from revenue-generating activities and established gender-balanced leadership structures to support sustainable growth.

Photography: Johannes Ode

When a community has achieved the targets set to demonstrate its self-reliance, The Hunger Project has activated its exit strategy, and it is anticipated that there will be no further financial inputs, with the exception of not-as-frequent staff visits and a post-evaluation three to five years later in a select number of epicentres.
Before this milestone is achieved, communities go through a transition period during which The Hunger Project has scaled down its programme activities and the community solidifies its own leadership and management.

Read more information about the Epicentre Strategy in this document!

Razia, Bangladesh

“Every woman should be skilled and economically self-reliant… Otherwise, the problems of women could never be solved…”

Rita, Ghana

“I worked with the teachers, sensitising the school children on the effects and the harms teenage pregnancy can do to them.”

Rejeya, Bangladesh

“Now I do not pass the night without food and my other family members can eat full meals at night.”

Photography credit: banner image – Johannes Ode