Eradicating Hunger in the World

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Dr. John Coonrod, executive vice president of The Hunger Project, encouraged the 70-plus people gathered at the Center for the Environment facility November 15 to “sustain their enthusiasm” in working to eradicate hunger and other problems in the world today.

“It is really easy in this world and in this media environment that we live in to get depressed,” he said, “but I tell you, the world can't afford for you to do that. We really need to keep ourselves up for this.”

Coonrod said it's easier for him to stay optimistic because he gets to travel all over the world and see what is being done to better humanity. “History is being made,” he said. “Hundreds of millions of people are moving out of poverty. Women who have been denied their rights for generations are finding their voices and standing up ...”

In some 35,000 villages around the globe, Coonrod said The Hunger Project staff and trained volunteers carry out the organization's mission – the sustainable end of world hunger – using three strategies: “mobilization for self-reliance; empowering women; and partnering with local government.”

The women in these impoverished villages, he said, “day by day solve more problems than I probably have to face in my lifetime ... ” Yet, Coonrod said they have a sense of powerlessness, hopelessness and a pattern of waiting to be rescued that's deeply ingrained in them.

“So the first step has to be the awakening of people to the possibility of taking charge of their own lives,” he said.