Ghana Epicenters Achieve Targets for Self-Reliance

In eight countries of Africa, our Epicenter Strategy mobilizes clusters of rural villages into “epicenters,” which band together 5,000-15,000 people to create a dynamic center where communities are mobilized for action to meet their basic needs. This strategy is designed to partner with communities over a period of about eight years after which they graduate to a phase of “sustainable self-reliance,” which means that communities have demonstrated the confidence, capacity and skills to act as agents of their own development.

We are thrilled to announce that three epicenters in Ghana —  AtuobikromAkotekrom and Nsuta-Aweregya Epicenters —  have achieved the targets they set for declaring their self-reliance.

Self-reliant communities have demonstrated progress in the following eight goals:

  1. Mobilized rural communities that continuously set and achieve their own development goals;
  2. Empowered women and girls in rural communities;
  3. Improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in rural communities;
  4. Improved literacy and education in rural communities;
  5. Reduced prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in rural communities, especially for women and children;
  6. Improved access to and use of health resources in rural communities;
  7. Reduced incidence of poverty in rural communities; and
  8. Improved land productivity and climate resilience of smallholder farmers.

Community members of these epicenters have affirmed multiple local partnerships, created funding streams from revenue-generating activities and established gender-balanced leadership structures to support sustainable growth. The Hunger Project has activated its exit strategy, and it is anticipated that there will be no further financial inputs, with the exception of not-as-frequent staff visits and a post-evaluation three to five years later in a select number of epicenters.

This is a monumental achievement for these communities and all of the staff and investors who partnered with them along the way! The communities will be celebrating this milestone in July, so stay tuned for more news and photos!

Read more about self-reliance and how we measure it.

Find out more about the journeys of AtuobikromAkotekrom and Nsuta-Aweregya Epicenters.

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What is an Epicentre?

The Hunger Project’s Epicenter Strategy unites 5,000 to 15,000 people in a cluster of villages to create an “epicenter,” or a dynamic center where communities are mobilized for action to meet their basic needs. This holistic strategy builds a path to sustainable self-reliance through four phases over about eight years. Individuals build the confidence to become leaders of their own development and communities come together to unlock a local capacity for change.

Download our brochure on the Epicenter Strategy: Gender-focused, Community-led Development in Rural Africa (PDF 4 MB).

The Hunger Project has mobilized more than 121 epicenter communities in eight countries in Africa. See the complete list of epicenters in Africa.

The Epicenter Strategy is integrated and holistic. It achieves synergy among programs in health (including HIV/AIDS prevention), education, adult literacy, nutrition, improved farming and food security, microfinance, water and sanitation, and building community spirit with a momentum of accomplishment involving the entire population.

It is economically sustainable. The primary resources for the strategy come from the local people themselves and by making existing local government resources more effective. Income generation is built into the strategy from the start. Within five to eight years, our epicenters require little or no financial support from The Hunger Project. They are entirely self-reliant.

The Epicenter Strategy is environmentally sustainable. People at our epicenters learn composting and small-scale, environmentally sound irrigation technologies such as drip irrigation.

In September 2005, The Hunger Project began an ambitious initiative: to demonstrate that the Epicenter Strategy can be taken to full national scale. We have undertaken our first scale up program in Ghana.

Download our brochure on the Epicenter Strategy: Gender-focused, Community-led Development in Rural Africa (PDF 4 MB).

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