Saturday, September 26, 2009

Millennium Promise Partner's Meeting

Photo from visit to Ruhiira Millennium Village in Uganda, 2009.

Just as September and the UN General Assembly are getting the fall off to a running start, the Millennium Promise Partners Meeting was a great harbinger of progress in Africa for the months to come. For us at FEED, our partnership with the Millennium Villages Project officially kicked off a few months ago when we brought the first of the FEED Health backpacks to Community Health Workers (CHW's) traveling on foot to visit households throughout Ruhiira, Uganda. At this year's Millennium Promise Partners meeting, the Ruhiira team was in town to discuss various successes, including the CHW program, as was President Museveni of Uganda, proving that there is a great will to scale the Millennium Villages successes.

For me, the best part of working with Millennium Promise on the Millennium Villages Project is the real sense that silos and the territoriality of old school aid are being broken down. At FEED Projects, we use the fashion industry to raise money and awareness for smart development programs, like school-feeding implemented by the UN World Food Program (WFP) and the MV CHW program. The Millennium Villages have school-feeding programs in most of their sites and the partnership with WFP is so strong that WFP Executive Director was at the MV meeting. Actually, it felt like a veritable development-community reunion, besides WFP colleagues, friends from the ONE campaign, UNICEF, and the Clinton Foundation were all there to support the Villages and work together. I also saw friends in the fashion world, like Mary Fanaro, who uses a similar model to FEED in her Omnipeace brand to raise money and awareness for the Millennium Villages and met knew friends from the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation. It is so inspiring and hopeful to be a part of a great community of people working together to affect big change for Africa.

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