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The Hunger Project’s Epicenter Strategy unites 10,000 to 15,000 people in a cluster of villages to create an “epicenter”, a dynamic center where communities are mobilized for action to meet their needs. The Epicenter strategy takes local communities on a path to sustainable self-reliance. In this project, individuals build the confidence to become leaders of their own development, and communities come together to unlock a local capacity for change.
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Build resilience of vulnerable to climate disasters
Enhance capacity for participatory, sustainable human settlement
Africa has made great strides towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Meanwhile, there are still many challenges in terms of food security, public health services, education and gender equality. Africa still has many goals and target to be achieved. By stimulating community-led development, The Hunger Project fosters a unique culture of self-determination and economic viability in which the community itself is the driver of continued change. Building people’s capacities, leadership and confidence in local communities could solve the local problems sustainably in the long term.
The Epicenter Strategy provides a step-by-step approach to build an economically viable cluster of villages and provides the skills and social infrastructure for communities to establish and manage a comprehensive package of capacity-building and basic public services to approximately 10,000-15,000 people. The process is based on a phased program of social mobilization, gender empowerment, capacity building, infrastructure, good governance and education.
In phase one, communities are mobilized to participate in Vision, Commitment and Action Workshop to develop their own vision of a different future. Phase two focuses on the construction of the L-shaped epicenter building which will become a vibrant center of community action and a strong symbol for positive change. In phase three, the community continues working to address its need in terms of health & nutrition, education, food security, microfinance, women’s empowerment program, advocacy, awareness, alliances, and environment. In phase four, The Hunger Project ends its financial and staff support but continues to monitor progress for two additional years.
The Epicenter Strategy is low-cost, systematic and integrated programming. The central innovation of this program is the systematic development of leadership skills in “animator”—dynamic (usually young) citizens who demonstrate natural leadership ability during initial social mobilization. In addition, all sectoral committees have equal representation of women and men, except for banking, which is entirely controlled by women. To date, the Hunger Project has mobilized 1,975 communities to create 123 epicenters, reaching 1.6 million people across Africa.