This week, we'll take a look at The Hunger Project, a non-profit organization with headquarters in New York that aims to eliminate world hunger by implementing sustainable programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The Hunger Project (you can visit their official Web site at www.thp.org) was established in 1977 and continues strong today. Instead of focusing on direct relief, THP comes at the problem of world hunger from a different angle: its programs strive to give Third World inhabitants the self-reliance and empowerment they need to make their own lives better and pass on that knowledge to their children. This means demonstrating self-sustaining farming techniques, teaching people whose educational opportunities are scant, and creating partnerships with governments to keep the programs sustainable.
THP sees the hungry people it serves not as beneficiaries of a social service, but as creative, hardworking individuals who simply do not have the resources and opportunities to develop their societies and countries. Volunteers enter a community and have village-wide meetings to craft a vision for the future, which they then help the inhabitants carry out by providing expertise and skills. Large emphasis is placed on literacy and nutrition.
Here are some of the ways THP has mobilized their volunteers and sparked community-wide change:
- Creating community centers that provide everything from HIV/AIDS care to adult literacy to water sanitation.
- Launching effective campaigns against HIV/AIDS in Africa.
- Honoring African leadership.
- Strengthening female leaders in India.
- Implementing microfinance projects in Third World countries.
Recently, THP has been under public scrutiny for removing articles and information critical of the project from the internet. It has also received criticism about its lack of direction action and its heightened focus on advocacy, which some consider to be an inactive form of assistance. The organization has not been sending out a spokesperson to news organizations trying to cover it, something the public has regarded as suspect. However, there are no huge controversies over THP.
THP is one of the most well-known anti-hunger charities in the nation, and if you want to support the efforts of this charity to give Third World inhabitants self-sustaining steps upwards, this is a great charity for you. You can hold an event and donate the money to them -- all tax-exempt, since they are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contact them at the link below, and they can even help you put your event together with resources like PowerPoint presentations, pledge forms, and publications.
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