The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Hunger-fighting strategies and trends

• Remove land mines to transform former combat zones into food-producing fields. For example, the Mines Advisory Group, a United Kingdom-based nongovernmental organization whose work is supported by the Lutheran World Federation, cleared nearly 3.84 million square yards of land throughout Cambodia's Battambang province in the past five years.

• Provide microfinancing, small loans or credits for small business startups, using Bangladesh's Grameen Bank as a model. For example, a $100 loan can allow women to start businesses raising chickens or small animals, said Belletech Deressa, ELCA director for international development and disaster response. "From that income, they can send their children to school. It's a comprehensive program-when they get that loan or credit, they are taught how to manage their money ... the loans make a difference."

• Follow the accompaniment model. In this model, development only can happen when people in the communities being assisted have full and energetic participation, leaders say. "If you really want to make a difference, you don't tell people what to do," Deressa said. "You walk with them, listen to them and then together you identify the need."

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