ONE Regional Field Director Tzviatko Chiderov
I attended a very interesting event in Chicago last week. It was held in celebration of Roger Thurow’s new book, The Last Hunger Season, and in benefit for the One Acre Fund, an organization which provides tools and resources to help smallholder farmers in rural Africa grow themselves out of poverty.
SEE ALSO: Excerpts from Roger Thurow’s book, The Last Hunger Season
The event was an intimate gathering of less than 50 people, generously hosted by PianoForte’s studio at a historic downtown Chicago building. The main entertainment was provided by three professional opera singers, one of which, William Bennett, is involved with One Acre Fund. William shared his passion for the organization’s mission through his enthusiastic opera performance.
Roger, a longtime supporter of ONE, talked about the farmers whose engaging stories are highlighted in his new book, and the life-changing effect their involvement with One Acre Fund has had on their farming yields. According to Roger, the oxymoron “hungry farmer” should not exist, yet way too many of the 1 billion people who go to bed hungry every night are in fact farmers. By giving smallholder farmers access to better seeds, fertilizer, irrigation techniques and modern, sustainable farming practices, they are able to see their production double, often times triple. This allows farmers to not only feed their families but also send their children to school and help their communities prosper.
One of the attendees, Robert Wolcott, a faculty member from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, who had a connection with the initial launch of One Acre Fund, wore a ONE T-shirt! I cheerfully approached him as soon as I saw it and was happy to hear that he has been a supporter of ours for a long time. The event was also attended by ONE volunteers, our local partners from the Foods Resource Bank and a volunteer leader from RESULTS.