The Hunger Project
The Hunger Project s a not-for-profit organisation aiming to make a fundamental impact in the world’s most poverty-stricken areas. The group had a policy of instigating programs only upon the invitation of communities to do so, and of initiating conversations with members of those communities to directly address their needs. The people behind the Hunger Project had been a part of the Landmark Forum, now a widely-known motivational seminar series operating worldwide, and in the mid-1980s, Deborah Halpern decided to attend.
A sculptor and a potter by trade, Deborah Halpern had been commissioned in 1987 by the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Bicentennial Authority to create a sculpture for the south moat of the NGV’s St Kilda Road site. She was intimidated by the scale of the project, and found the Landmark Forum helped her to realise her potential. With an original grant of $25,000, the sculpture, Angel, became a far bigger project than was originally intended, and Halpern had to meet costs by fundraising.
Empowered by her success with Angel, Halpern pledged $100,000 to the Hunger Project within one year. She and her then husband Malcolm took on as many commissions as possible until the money had been raised. She sees the $100,000 gift as having been a one-off challenge and now maintains a trust account.
Today, with her sculptural pieces fetching handsome sums, Halpern donates $5,000 to $25,000 annually to any number of charitable organisations and causes.