Warmest greetings of the season and best wishes for happiness and a more peaceful world in the New Year! To make this world a slightly better place, we are continuing to support The Hunger Project in their efforts to end hunger in Ghana. A small contribution from us at Perstorp.
Last year, around this time of year, we announced our partnership with The Hunger Project – a global non-profit organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. Through our partnership with The Hunger Project, we are one of six companies working with the epicenter Mem-Chemfre in Ghana.
About Mem-Chemfre, Ghana
The epicenter in Mem-Chemfre is located 400 km from the capital Accra. However, 400 km does not equal a 4-5 hours' drive like in our minds. The road conditions are very rough and unreliable, and just to physically visit the different epicenters is a challenge itself for the very passionate local Hunger Project team in Ghana.
Mem-Chemfre was mobilized in 2009, and in 2010 the 13 different communities, each led by a chief, had united around a common vision with a strong commitment and a list of actions in order to create real change for themselves. This was also the year when the Epicenter building was constructed so they had a physical center from where they could lead all their activities. The community members of Mem-Chemfre have now built up a simple structure for microfinance, they have trained local animators to help educating in total 7.000 people about farming, sewing, hand-washing, breastfeeding, family planning etc.
It takes a very different mindset when educating people who can barely read and count, that is the reason why the local educators are called animators. The local animators work a lot with roleplay and discussion groups in order to get the message across. In general, Mem-Chemfre has come a long way in their development. 91% of children aged 4-18 now attend school and less than 10% of the households live their lives below the hunger definition, which is 1 meal per day or less. During 2017 there was a special focus on child marriage through an educational program including both girls and boys: Her Choice. One of the challenges going forward is to increase the number of women delivering supervised by a healthcare professional. Today it is only 54%, one reason being the long walking distances to the clinic at the epicenter.
Cecilia Svensson, VP Group Communications & Sustainability at Perstorp Group, visited The Hunger Project in Ghana in August this year:
"I am very impressed by the engagement and professionalism among the local Hunger Project Team. The essence of what they do is change; to change mindsets and to make people take responsibility of their own life and situation. They truly turn people into change agents and agents of their own development, and when you do that successfully, the progress you make will be sustainable. I am very proud to represent Perstorp when visiting the fieldwork here in Ghana."
"Another thing I will forever bring with me is the warmth and happiness I have been approached with everywhere. It is clear that happiness comes from within and has very little or nothing to do with the material things that we surround ourselves with", Cecilia Svensson concludes.
We will continue to support The Hunger Project for two more years.