September 18, 2019
There are so many stories that affirm for me that when women are supported and empowered, everyone benefits. The results that we have enjoyed with The Hunger Project in vulnerable communities around the world reveals the great potential waiting to be unleashed in all women. Even in countries like Canada where we benefit from economic advancement, we can still be hampered by patriarchal attitudes and a scarcity mindset that limits how we see ourselves and the potential impact of our contributions. By working with women to shift their mindset, The Hunger Project has proven that even in communities that experience acute hunger and poverty, abundance is possible. How much more fruitful could our impact be in a developed country like ours if we shift our mindset from scarcity to abundance? How much greater could our capacity be to lift up our sisters who struggle to thrive?
In vulnerable communities, women bear almost the entire responsibility for meeting the needs of the family. Meanwhile they are denied the resources, information and freedom of action needed to fulfill this responsibility. The Hunger Project’s women-focused methodology works because women reinvest 90 percent of their resources into their families. When they are supported and empowered, their families are healthier, their children go to school, agricultural productivity improves and incomes increase. The cycle of malnutrition is halted and women become agents of change in helping their communities become more resilient and self-reliant.
Canadian women, who are drawn to The Hunger Project, all have something in common with these women. Not only do we share a vision of the world as it could be without hunger and poverty, we also have a vision of who WE could be as agents of change. That’s what drives the Unleashed Women Program. We are bringing extraordinary women into the conversation about the situation of women all over the world, including ourselves. We are a community of action-takers, co-creators and community leaders encouraging each other to grow with compassionate listening, true empathy and love. We are taking responsibility for the way we show up in the world, and living life powerfully and authentically.
The Unleashed Women Program has been created to secure long-term, sustainable funding for our work with resource-poor rural women who are determined to end hunger in their communities. We are empowering women and establishing equality in local democracy in India, building a movement of women leaders in Bangladesh, supporting indigenous women farmers in Mexico, and creating and establishing women-owned and run local banks in Africa. However, Unleashed Women is about more than education & fundraising alone. We want to empower and mobilize Canadian women in their own self-development efforts, and invite them to have an experience of empowerment so they can see how powerful it is for other women. Meanwhile, creating a THP Canada community that can grow flourish and challenge the scarcity mindset that can be an obstacle to a greater abundance where poverty and hunger are eliminated for good. Stay tuned for more about how you can get involved with the Unleashed Women Program.
April Burrows, Country Director