My trip to Bangladesh with The Hunger Project has been the most profound and life changing experience of my life to date. The women I met simply blew me away with what they’re achieving.
It’s really touched me… and it has made me think about the lives we lead. You know, one of our biggest problems in the West is that we’re too comfortable. We’re in our comfort zone and feel disconnected from humanity. We build walls around ourselves.
At the Women’s Leadership Conference in Dharka, we had 1,500 ladies in the room but very few children present. The children were being cared for by villagers… other people in their community were taking care of the children so that the women could attend the conference.
Yet, so very few of us even know who are neighbours are. We pass each other as we go about our lives, but we don’t feel that same level of connection to each other as they do in the villages of Bangladesh.
We keep to ourselves within the walls of who we know… talking to the same people and going to the same places.
Would you agree?
The Hunger Project isn’t a charity or aid organisation. It mobilises villagers into action and as part of that mission, provides a core training program that is growing an army of Animators… people who run workshops that transform their villages by invoking action
There are 3 core parts to the training…
- And Action
It’s called the “Vision, Commitment and Action” workshop… and do you know what? The training follows the same basic steps as I have shared with you in my 7 step formula… they’re asking permission and all the stuff you’re doing in your presentations. That was a profound moment for me… these Animators are on the same journey as you are.
Let’s look at each of these 3 steps in more detail…
The first step to being a change maker is your grand vision… you need a vision that is much greater than the breakthrough you want in your life. So, if you want to make a national impact, your vision must be international. Want to make a local change… your vision must be national.
You commit to taking the action that takes you one step nearer to your big goal… does that make sense?
Bidha was trained as an animator by The Hunger Project and he realised that education was at the core of change. He has voluntarily run a remedial school for at risk children for 20 years… these children are being schooled and their education is impacting change.
Alongside him, 3 teenage girls, Satni, Chitra and Julie volunteer their time to Bidha before and after their own classes. They are driven to commit their time by the grand vision… it is what they are committed to… the reason why they show up every day.
This is a pretty massive thing… these girls are teenagers who selflessly devote their time to helping the younger generation to be the change in their future.
What’s your vision? What is the breakthrough you want to have?
Unreasonable action is called forth by an unreasonable vision… if you aren’t clear on your goals or your grand vision, how do you know you are committing to the right actions?
Are you thinking big enough?
I invite you to write down a vision that could excite you if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would your goal be if you knew with certainty that you would succeed? Share it with me in the comments below… I’d love to hear what excites you?
The Power Of Commitment:
I was really humbled and saddened by the level of commitment that we saw in the villagers. One of the places we went to was a rally where villagers came together against early marriages. Some of these girls are forced into marriage and are having their first child at 13.
Can you imagine? Think back to when you were 13… were you ready for marriage and parenthood?
They have realised that early marriages are the biggest thing that stops young girls continuing their education. It’s pretty remarkable but in coming together, over the past couple of years they have stopped 146 early marriages from taking place. That’s 146 women whose lives have been positively changed.
The Hunger Project is about the mobilisation of the hungry… it’s not about giving funds because action breeds momentum. In the villages they are committing to taking action… not waiting for perfection… not holding back in the hope that this might be in place or that would be better later.
They are taking action in the face of remarkable adversity.
15 women came together in a Women’s self help group in Shatgumbuj Union. Each woman in the group commits what they can afford each week… 5, 10 cents, not much. They lend money from the collective pot to a woman who uses the funds to create an income. For example she might purchase a machine to start a sewing business.
The loan is repaid from income that woman makes in her business… and the money is lent out again to another woman…
But they wanted a back-up plan; an insurance if you like against a disaster happening that would mean the fund disappeared.
So each woman brought a fistful of rice, left over after they’d fed their families, and added it to a bucket. The bucket of rice was sold at market giving them that little bit of financial security.
Despite having few or no resources, they created opportunities. It’s the power of the collective.
One of the ladies, Ramina, didn’t tell her husband she was involved with the group. When she did eventually tell him, she was able to say that she was creating an income for her family because of the group. This is the power of action… her husband didn’t know but she committed to taking action anyway.
Investing $500 with The Hunger Project will enable 20 women to be trained as Animators… directly changing the lives of 2,000 villagers.
But if you can’t afford $500, consider how you can reallocate a fistful of rice? What is a fistful of rice worth to you?
Life is a lottery… some people have nothing and some have all. The western world has a lot, we are very lucky… can you commit to reallocating your resources to make a difference?
Please take action today… http://thp.org.au/
Jo, thank you for a fabulous blog. It really touched me. The Vision, Action, Commitment workship sounds great, simple, yet hugely powerful.
My vision is to create a global network of Mojo centres around the world, where teams and people can learn the life skills to have a life worth living, a life without limits.
Loving the Mojo Master Mark!
I think that most people have big visions, but it’s not something bad that’s getting in the way of the vision, it’s something good. I am talking about my wife, my daughter, the house and mortgage. To explore my big vision, I would have to abandon them and put their futures at risk. Having invested so much time and love in them, I know that I could never do that. So I plod away doing my best, trying to create positive incremental change where they can accompany me on that journey. Sometimes it’s slow going. If I were 19 again, and I knew what I know now, things would be very different. Regards Vince Stevenson
Interesting thoughts Vince? What is your big vision?
Thanks Jo. I’m committed to addressing the West’s young people (and adults) waiting for jobs to show up, rather than taking an enterprising view of creating value in the world. Unemployment amoung young people and grads in the UK is rampant. We have generations of young people and adults who are in dependent mode, waiting for the government or some faceless boss to sort things out. An entreprising mentality has disappeared in the West, which is stil present in the developing world. My vision is to help people realise having a business is not only possible, but a smart move for a sustainable future, and to be able to create the value people want so they can take care of their families and contribute beyond their home. My vision is to launch Nicheonomy, my new niche strategy business for entrepreneurs, not just in the UK where I live, but also in Australia where I’m from, in November. I will to mobilise early stage business owners and young people in both countries to create their own wealth and design their own future and stop waiting around for the state or employers to do it for them.
That is incredible Stephanie! Well done you… so many lives could be changed. I love it!