online: 28 april 2007
modified: 28 april 2007

27 april 2007 the hunger of people and wild creatures the broadcast today (at which i read the entries for earthday, 22 april 20007, and for 17th april) i noted the strategy (or method) of 'The Hunger Project' as described by Sarah Rose... it impressed me far more than do the manifestos and actions of other NGOs (for instance Oxfam and Greenpeace though i contribute to both of them)... my notes of what Sarah said were approximately these:

1. The Hunger Project aims not to reduce world hunger but to end it... the earth has enough food to feed everyone, even now, but many people are too poor to buy it.

2. 'that's impossible', say others... but going to the moon seemed impossible in 1961 and people got there in 1969, said Sarah.

3. The policy of The Hunger Project is firstly to see what others are doing to reduce hunger... and then to do 'what's missing' (a long-term plan to remove the causes?)...

4. Women are essential to any complete solution of the hunger problem.

5. One of the first things is to organise training for women... once trained they become active and can do things not done before.

6. The next thing missing is honest and effective leadership (she mentioned the Africa Prize for leadership in doing things that reduce hunger - Nelson Mandela was one of those to whom this was given)

7. One of the essential things to be learnt is food preservation (i suppose there are others).

8. Women do much of the farming work in poor countries but are neither recognised nor paid accordingly.

9. The Hunger Project overcomes such difficulties and enables people to end their own hunger, and poverty... no longer depending on charity...

...looking at The Hunger Project website i see a more complete picture than is in these notes... but i think the principle is the same: to end hunger, not just to reduce it, by doing what others are not doing: to organise an effective way for hungry people, and particularly women farmers, to end hunger themselves... organised from bottom up, not top down...

...though knowing something about top-down versus bottom-up methods (see Design Methods, 1970, 1984, 1992) i'd say that both are required and both are present in The Hunger Project, initiated, as it was, out of The Club of Rome projects of the 1970s, and involving existing political leaders as well as poor people themselves... but i think the combining of bottom-up methods with top-down requires larger political and cultural changes than have yet emerged... the more fictional parts of this website are my attempt at exploring such changes on the imaginary planet, j-921, in the electric book...

on the heath, i was watching two cormorants diving into pond 2 and timing their dives (about 50 second it seems)... then i saw a flight of green parakeets... and thinking about the discussions during that broadcast... which left me both pleased at the connectiveness of what i'd noted and uneasy about the dis-connectiveness of some of the discussion ...

...soon after that i fell asleep on a bench... and then woke to the sight of a small caterpillar suspended by an invisible thread from the tree about 4 meters above and swinging in the slight wind... very slowly, during 5 to 10 minutes, it lowered itself towards the ground about 1 metre below... when it reached the grass it hung briefly from a blade (or leaf) of grass... and then it lay back along another grassleaf (which it closely resembled)... before crawling away until i could see it no more in that miniature jungle...

...but why the long and slow descent?... is it to catch tiny airborne insects?... or does it have some other purpose?... i feel sure it has some purpose, though had i lived in some earlier time, i might have thought otherwise... our assumption that everything in nature has a purpose may not be beyond question...

...but why do we humans have such difficulty getting food in a world where other creatures can feed themselves without the inefficient and often inhuman organisations that we seem to need, both top-down and bottom-up, and none of them work properly... are we in some way very stupid?

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