Freedom from Hunger really makes a difference in the lives of so many women around the world. With a very small staff, they reach over 5 million people. When you support a woman to escape poverty and hunger, you are also helping her to feed her children, keep them in school and give them a good future. I give to Freedom from Hunger because I know that even a small donation makes a real tangible difference in the lives of so many women. Their model of delivering education and financial services to groups of women is simply a really effective and efficient tool for poverty alleviation.
Several years ago I checked out this program and started donating. I got impressed enough that I now donate monthly. What they do just makes sense to help women in the worst conditions learn how to help themselves an get on their feet to improve the situations of themselves and their families. Educations and a small loan equals empowerment and improved health and life situations.
When I first learned about Freedom From Hunger, and their method of combining education with credit for very poor women in developing countries, I realized the tremendous potential for alleviating hunger and malnutrition in countries where extreme poverty exists. I have visited with credit groups consisting of 20-30 women in Mali & Ghana in West Africa, Bolivia, and the Philippines. There I saw first hand what FFH is accomplishing. A lady operating a small store (4’ X 6’) on a busy street in the Philippines, made possible with loans from a FFH credit group, told me what she appreciated most was when one of her two small sons is ill she does not have to decide whether to spend money on Food or Medicine, she can have both. One FFH field trainer told of the woman in West Africa who, after a training session on Child Survival, came up to her crying and said if she had known before what she had just learned her two babies would not have died. Multiply these two examples by some TWO MILLION women and their families. These women through education and empowerment gained via Freedom From Hunger’s efforts will add a very positive power for good in the development of their countries.
As a public health nutritionist I am most interested in helping organizations that help promote nutrition and health of women and their families. Freedom from Hunger does this and so much more! Through their Credit with Education and Saving for Change programs, Freedom from Hunger enables women to develop the skills and knowledge to begin a business, refund the money loaned to them, care for their family through improved nutition and health care, and even save money and loan to other women. I have been most impressed by the professionalism of Freedom from Hunger staff While a relatively small organization, they work efficiently with regional staff to reach women throughout the world to help them develop self-sufficiency along with improved confidence and self-esteem. I will continue to prioritize my support with Freedom from Hunger being my top recipient.
I've been an active donor to Freedom from Hunger for at least 15 years and follow their work and new initiatives closely. I was drawn by the emphasis on empowerment of poor rural women in developing countries for economic self-sufficiency. I particularly like the combination of micro-loans with education in health and nutrition as well as managing a micro-business and developing savings. I am convinced that when women become earners, their priorities are food and education for their children. This enables more of their daughters, especially, to stay in school. Through all their partnerships, Freedom from Hunger multiplies many times every dollar contributed. With fewer than 50 staff worldwide, they serve over 2 million women today. I am so committed to their work that I talk about the organization to my friends, women's organizations I am part of, and my church's international outreach. Most recently, with a goal of helping more local women make a link of giving to women internationally through NGO's they can have confidence in, I established an endowed fund connected with the Women's Fund in our local Community Foundation. Freedom from Hunger was one of the 2 organizations selected to be major recipients of the yearly grants.
I chose this organization to send hard earned money to because their goals and programs parallel my ideas for real change in this world. I firmly believe that empowering women is the best way for true change in individuals and the ripple effect in families and then into communities. Microfinance loans combined with education is a win/win situation. The fact that their payback rate allows more money to be loaned is admirable. It is really a high return investment. I will probably never meet any of the women my donations have helped but knowing that my money is being used wisely by careful concerned people makes me glad to do what I can.
Freedom from Hunger provides funding and technical assistance to the least served, generally rural populations, in Asia, India, Africa and Latin America. They create local organizations and then support them over time with best practices information. We visited a pilot program in Bolivia that brought MD's to rural locations to perform colposcopy exams to ensure early detection of uterine abnormalities. This program demonstrated that there is high trust of this group. The need is to better articulate their impact and unique contributions in the field. In Bolivia there are over 100 micro-finance organizations and they are one of only two that reach into the rural areas.
Freedom from Hunger has been helping women for over 50 years. They know how to partner with local organizations in each region - a crucial part of a successful program. I am particularly proud of the "Credit with Education" program, which has reached so many women and by extension their families in rural regions of developing countries. I am proud to be a long term sponsor of this particular program.