At the heart of The Hunger Project is respect for human dignity — that women and men must be the authors of their own development. Yet people’s self-reliance, voice and agency are suppressed by a social-political environment of dependency, gender discrimination and resignation.
Since 1993, The Hunger Project has pioneered interventions that transforms these mindsets and unleashes people’s leadership and self-reliance.
Vision, Commitment and Action (VCA) Workshop
The VCA workshop is the first step of The Hunger Project’s community mobilization activities. In this one-day workshop led by volunteer animators, community members discover that they have a vision for their village and — as they analyze that vision — they discover that there are self-reliant actions they could take today towards achieving that vision, without waiting to be rescued by outside resources. This is a disruptive discovery. The community takes a stand to achieve their vision, and the animator facilitates them in identifying an initial action project to do together that can exceed in the near term with zero outside resources. This success solidifies the spirit of self-reliance that emerges in the workshop, develops people’s confidence in their own abilities, and reveals new reservoirs of leadership within the community.
The next step in community mobilization is to develop the transformative leadership of a critical number of women and men (roughly 150 in each union), to be the volunteer “spark plugs” who galvanize self-reliant development for themselves personally and for their community.
Through a four-day animator training, individuals engage deeply with the principles of gender-focused, community-led development. They begin to understand the constitutionally mandated roles of local government, and how they can participate directly in priority setting, planning, implementation, monitoring and advocacy within their communities.
One step beyond breaking the mindset of dependency is for all community members to come to a real appreciation of what it means to be a citizen in a democratic country. The one-day Citizenship Workshop inspires people with this understanding, particularly in the context of Bangladeshi history, and equips them to be confident active citizens instead of “subjects.”
The citizens with the least mobility are women and adolescent girls confined to the “four walls” of their households. Reaching these families with life-saving and basic human rights information can be achieved by women leaders from their own village who organize workshops within each small cluster of homes — “Courtyard Meetings.”
Building Social Capital
As described in other sections of this website, The Hunger Project conducts specialized training to translate it’s basic principles into voluntary citizen leadership to mobilize every sector of the community towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include:
- Union Parishad Representatives
- Youth Leaders
- Women Leaders
- Peace FacilitatorsPeace Facilitators
- PAR Facilitators (“Barefoot Researchers”)