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Last year at the beginning of the new year, we announced a new goal within the context of our original mission: help 4 million families, within the communities where we work, achieve living incomes by 2020. This income will allow them to educate all their children, feed themselves adequately every day, and have proper housing, water, hygiene and other essential resources for resilient, self-reliant lives.

How are we going to accomplish this goal? It won’t be easy. The problem of poverty could be compared to the Hydra; if you try to cut off one head, two more will replace it. That’s why our approach is multi-faceted. Our projects aim to address:

By confronting poverty on these five fronts, the impact of our work grows exponentially and progress is in one area is much less likely to be sabotaged by setbacks in another.  

We’re already on our way. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 117,000 families were registered participants in our projects, and participants passed on the gift to more than 123,000 families.

The statistics can be overwhelming, but poverty is more than any equation implies or a number counter with 4 million at the top. It’s personal–devastatingly so for those that experience it. That’s why it ultimately takes personal commitments from individuals around the world to end it. We know it’s achievable, because in our more than 70-year history, we’ve seen it time and again: when people come together and choose to end hunger and poverty, personal becomes powerful.

The possibilities are endless, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2016.

 

Author

Molly Fincher

Molly writes stuff for Heifer International's website, magazine and blog.