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Movements made up of individuals

Dear Editor:The election made me realize what a spectator I had become, I felt the need to do something, be with people to restore my dream that one day we will live in a better world. It was in this mindset that I headed of to New York to attend the fall convention of the Hunger Project, (not just a “bunch of Liberals!”), people from every imaginable walk of Life. I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew I had a hunger of my own and it wasn’t because of a lack of food! I had heard great reports about The Hunger Project helping people in Africa, Asia and Latin America and other regions where extreme lack of opportunity to grow and harvest food exists. The Hunger Project gives interest-free loans to rural farmers, mostly women in the developing world to grow crops, build schools and health centers. I went online and confirmed that the Hunger Project had an excellent record for effective giving. Governments are cutting back aid budgets in a time when starvation is taking the lives of 20,000 people every day, mostly children under the age of 5. Eight million human beings are living in a condition of persistent chronic hunger. In developing countries, 60 percent lack basic sanitation and 33 percent do not have access to clean drinking water. More than one billion people are living on less than $1 per day. All this in a world that has more than enough resources to ensure everyone on earth has enough to eat, and in some cases destroys food to serve the market.I have heard it asked, “What kind of God would allow such a state of affairs to exist?” I think a more accurate statement might be, “What kind of PEOPLE would allow …?” There is no time to point fingers. We are all implicit through allowing this situation to continue. If ignorance is bliss, knowing the facts is quite frankly unacceptable! At the conference, I learned movements are made up of individuals – people who are not prepared to wait for governments to get it together. I learned about effective strategies for starting sustainable self-help projects wherever hunger exists, giving people a way to help themselves. On a relatively small annual budget of currently $9 million, the Hunger Project achieves an incredible amount, and in so doing generates tons of international goodwill. I was so impressed and inspired by what I learned that I became a committed investor in what I feel may be a bright new future for humanity. Setting out on this journey to try and eliminate hunger may solve a lot more problems than feeding hungry people. No matter how dismal the news gets, I no longer feel disempowered, as part of a growing family of committed people who will not rest till our mission of ending world hunger is complete. If you want to find out more go to http://www.thp.org, or e-mail me at greathands@bigplanet.com. Richard HarrisAspen


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