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The Hunger Project is a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. We work in 11 countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin America to develop effective, bottom-up strategies to end hunger and poverty.
The Hunger Project-Burkina Faso and The Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in early March.
This partnership demonstrates the shared commitment of both CILSS and The Hunger Project to addressing food and nutrition security and environmental protection – including the fight against desertification, integrated natural resource management and climate change adaptation – particularly as we work to improve living conditions for vulnerable populations.
The signing of this MoU follows various visits and meetings between the Executive Secretary of CILSS Dr. Djimé Adoum and CILSS staff, The Hunger Project Vice President for Africa Dr. Idrissa Dicko and The Hunger Project-Burkina Faso Country Director Mr. Evariste Yaogho.
CILSS, founded in 1973 following a drought in the Sahel, gathers 13 Member States to invest in research for food security and the fight against the effects of drought and desertification. CILSS aims for a new ecological balance in the Sahel, through mobilizing the population in the area and the international community.
CILSS works primarily on food security and nutrition projects with Economic Community of West African States (CEDEAO), West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). These projects are governed by the Ministry of Agriculture in Burkina Faso.
The Hunger Project-Senegal’s Partnership for Information Technology
Through our Microfinance Program and Epicenter Strategy in Africa, 28 Rural Banks have graduated to operate as their own independent, community-owned and women-led rural financial institutions.
The ultimate objective of the Microfinance Program in each epicenter is for the facility to gain government recognition and operate as a licensed Rural Bank, owned entirely by community members and managed by a majority female board. The Rural Bank then provides the entire epicenter community with sustainable access to savings and credit facilities.
Thanks to the leadership of The Hunger Project-Senegal’s Microfinance Program Officer, Ms. Khary Cisse, the three Rural Banks in Senegal recently saw a strong evolution in information technology.
The partnership between the Center for Information Treatment (CTI) and The Hunger Project-Senegal’s Rural Banks led to the delivery of the following, all for the use of the Rural Bank managers and cashiers:
- 10 HP laptop computers
- 10 printer/scanners
- 10 internet modems
- 24 SAFT, Amio and STRATEGO software packages
- 24 Money Transfer Support documents
- 7 boxes of rolled receipt paper
The partnership has also facilitated capacity-building workshops at the rural banks which will cover topics such as software and internet use and equipment management for computers, printers and scanners.
This transition to information technology is currently taking place at Coki, Sanar, Dahra and Mpal Epicenters, and will be extended to the other rural banks in Senegal this year.
How is the equipment at these epicenters powered? By using "Amio" software provided by CTI, rural banks can experience the benefit of these innovations without the need for electricity. The laptops from CTI can function without electricity and only need to be charged once a week.
How are the costs of the project covered? Each Rural Bank provides a yearly stipend in accordance with its size and the contract it has signed with CTI-Senegal.
The Développement International Desjardins (DID), the financial partner of CTI, financed the entire investment related to this Information System. The Information System will generate all of the reports required by the Central Bank of West Africa States (BCEAO) both in real time and automatically, to ensure that the reports meet international reporting standards.
A new era is beginning for the Rural Banks of The Hunger Project-Senegal, which can now offer additional services (such as money transfer to villages) and benefit from recognition by international institutions working on microfinance.
The photo above depicts a workshop for Rural Bank managers and CTI trainers.
Ambassador of Germany to Malawi, Dr. Peter Woeste, saw firsthand the impact of The Hunger Project’s Epicenter Strategy on his trip to Champiti Epicenter in Malawi on December 4, 2013.
The Epicenter Strategy employed by The Hunger Project in Africa was developed in Africa by Africans. An epicenter is a dynamic center of community mobilization and action, as well as an actual facility built by community members.
Through the Epicenter Strategy, 5,000 to 15,000 people are brought together as a cluster of rural villages. This unity gives villages much more clout with local government than a single village would otherwise have. They are subsequently better able to generate resources to manage their own services.
The epicenter building serves as a focal point where the motivation, energies and leadership of the people converge with the resources of local government and non-governmental organizations. To date, The Hunger Project has mobilized over 2,200 villages to create more than 115 epicenter communities, reaching nearly two million people across Africa. Through practice, refinement, mistakes and learning, the Epicenter Strategy has become highly effective, affordable and replicable.
The Ambassador, led by Country Director Rowlands Kaotcha and The Hunger Project-Malawi staff, began his trip by visiting two households in two partner villages to see The Hunger Project’s impact on household income and household food security levels.
At the epicenter itself, the Ambassador met with:
- The leadership of the Epicenter Committee
- The SACCO Board of Directors
- Village chiefs
- HIV/AIDS animators
- Leadership from the People Living with HIV&AIDS group
- The Food Security committee
After discussing epicenter leadership with community activists, the Ambassador donated a number of footballs and a pump to Champiti Primary School.
The Ambassador spoke highly of THP’s model of poverty reduction throughout his visit, calling the strategy ‘heartening’ and said that he was impressed by The Hunger Project’s approach to community ownership. The Hunger Project-Malawi is now exploring next steps, ideas and follow-up with the German Embassy, an Embassy that focuses on democracy, governance and human rights.
The Hunger Project is honored to be a major partner in the Live Below the Line campaign. The international campaign challenges participants to live on the equivalent of $1.50 for food and drink for five days between April 28 - May 2, 2014 to raise funds for and awareness about ext