The programmes of the Hunger Projects are designed to be managed to 100% by the participants. This is also the case for the epicenters. In ideal conditions (financial, climatic, etc.) an epicenter can become self-reliant after 8 years. The committee members and the animators manage themselves, to 100%, the epicenter, its infrastructures, its programmes, as well as the rural bank.
To define the self-reliance level of an epicenter, the Hunger Project has developed an index based on the combination of various criteria. The criteria correspond to completed activities, to achieved results or to the impact of the programmes on the communities in all fields linked to chronic hunger and extreme poverty such as nutrition, alphabetisation, health, gender equality, revenue generating activities and leadership. To become self-reliant, an epicenter must reach 80%.
Matsekope should become self-reliant this year. I have asked the people in the epicenter room to tell me what they feel about becoming self-reliant. Kwaku has answered that he was not afraid because, when a child is born, after a certain amount of time, it will have to be separated from its mother. Lawrencia also wants that they become self-reliant. For Augustin, the cooperation and the strength that they have developed together will be the key to their success.
However, not everything is ready yet. Kwaku says, for example, that they still have problems to connect the health center to electricity. They also need to develop income generating activities to finance the activities of the epicenter such as having a tractor that they can rent. Lawrencia is more concerned about the bank. In Ghana, there has been a scandal with a micro finance bank that has gone bankrupt und ruined its clients. She would like to be sure, that their money will not be taken out from them.
Samuel, the director of the Hunger Project Ghana, explained that the bank of the epicenter belongs to and is managed by the members of the epicenter communities, which minimises the risks. He also explained that the Hunger Project Ghana is developing a solution to connect the banks of all the epicenters to insure their governance. He as well emphasized that becoming self-reliant does not mean that they will have all what they need by then but that they will be able continue their development by themselves.
According to my feeling, their will to go forward don’t leave me any doubts. These last years that have developed and strengthened the necessary bases to implement their vision and end chronic hunger in their community. They are close to their goal, this year they will be able to take the next step.
I will tell you more about self-reliance next time with the epicenter of Atuobikrom that became self-reliant in December 2015. See you soon!