Highlights of the 2017 Annual Report
Pause. Think about 2017. Growing innovation. Natural disasters. Political tensions. Changing cultures. And in the midst of that, Food for the Hungry (FH) faithfully pursued the vision of ending all forms of poverty worldwide. Read the full annual report online here and read on below for some exciting highlights of FH’s year.
All of FH’s work is holistic. We consider the multi-faceted nature of human beings. That means all of our work is connected.
Most of what FH does falls into domains like health, education, or worldview. Yet all of FH’s work is also intersectional. FH strives to increase family access to food and decrease hunger. So a focus on nutrition requires training in health practices and support for mothers. They breastfeed, increase dietary diversity, and give their children clean drinking water. FH aids families in educating their children. This also means promoting a girl’s right to go to school. Giving mothers a platform to save and take out loans lets families start and expand businesses. And gives them decision-making power. That changes their whole community. In each of these, the ripple effects are too many to count.
Here are some fun facts about FH’s work in 2017. Can you think of the ways that these may have created ripple effects in families and communities?
378,836 people received deworming medication in Bangladesh.
752,729 children were screened for malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
11,577 students received school materials in Nicaragua.
243,587,750 liters of water was disinfected for drinking by households in Kenya.
626 church leaders were trained in FH’s method of child-focused community transformation in Guatemala.
Disasters and Emergencies
Photo credit to Medical Teams International (MTI)
In 2017, FH responded to fourteen disasters or emergency situations. One of these was in the United States, where Hurricane Harvey dumped 27 trillion gallons of rain over Texas and Louisiana. This disaster struck close to home. It impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
But in Luke 10:25-37, Jesus calls Christians to be good neighbors by showing mercy to all who need it. So last year, FH remembered our neighbors across the globe. In one of the most pressing humanitarian crises of today, FH formed bonds and gave life-saving assistance to Rohingya refugees settled in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. At this moment, half a million Rohingya people still face desperate conditions. Monsoon rains threaten the refugee camp with eventual landslides and deadly floods. FH was there in 2017. And is still present now.
In 2017, FH walked alongside those on the brink of starvation in East Africa. We were with those suffering the bitter cold of winter and those in conflict-ridden lands. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, drought, and famine pose a real threat to the lives of real people. They are our neighbors.
FH’s heart for the hard places caused FH’s disaster response unit to aid more than a million people in 2017. And FH’s work in risk reduction, trainings, and capacity-building empowered many more to protect themselves and plan for potential future calamity.
FH is distinctive because of our values that reflect a faith in Jesus, belief in relationships, focus on effectiveness, service with humility, and the pursuit of beauty and goodness and truth. And we’re single-minded in our vision to alleviate poverty in all of its forms.
But like every effective organization, we also seek to find the common ground we share with other organizations and agencies. Oftentimes, our desire to make the greatest impact gives us opportunities to partner with others.
In 2017, FH partnered with institutions like USAID, UNICEF, UNHCR, the UN World Food Programme, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). We also worked with other aid and development organizations like Tearfund UK. We strengthened relationships with other Christ-centered organizations in the ACCORD Network (members include Blood:Water, Samaritan’s Purse, World Relief, World Vision U.S., and others).
FH is thankful to work efficiently with other agencies and organizations to multiply the impact and serve together.
Last year, FH had almost 2,500 staff worldwide. And 98% of FH’s staff are nationals. That means that they’re from the country they’re working in.
The amazing staff at various levels of leadership in their home countries. That’s who makes FH a truly global organization. We are immensely thankful for the FH staff around the world. Their vision is helping end poverty in their own countries and local contexts.
FH’s goal is to graduate communities from extreme poverty. We intentionally enter a community with a plan to leave. We never want to operate in every community forever. FH builds relationships with communities that want to change their own lives. Then we work together to pursue the community’s goals and see total life transformation through the power of God.
In 2017, FH helped 18 communities graduate from extreme poverty. The stories of those communities began long before FH arrived. We know they will continue to transform after we leave.
FH’s mission is to join the stories of people and communities for the time it takes for them to feel hopeful about the future, able to care for each other, be empowered to achieve their goals, and dwelling in healthy relationships with each other. And then we leave.
You know that there are people suffering. You know there are people who are not flourishing. Yet FH’s work in 2017 is a reminder that it is possible to make a difference. It’s possible for you to make a difference.