Raising a Family with Raising The Village
Teopista is a 46 year-old wife and mother, raising 7 children with her husband. Before she became an RTV partner, Topiesta was already involved with a local women’s group consisting of about 20 members in her community. Together, these women would offer digging services and split the profits evenly. But the income from this business venture proved to be very small and could never meet the needs of her growing family.
She began participating in Raising The Village programs when we launched a full scale partnership in her village. Teopista quickly learned about the importance of group savings, planning and initiating income generating activities (IGAs), using savings for investments, and production and application of compost manure. Teopista opted to focus her efforts on a piggery project, as well as becoming involved with a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA).
Through the VSLA, Teopista received access to credit and cash which she used to pay her children’s school fees. This included her daughter Sylvia’s accounting course at St. Augustine University in Kampala ($486 USD per semester), her son John’s high school fees, and her daughter Lilian’s nursing course. She also used the funds she borrowed from the VSLA to purchase the half acre of land her house is currently situated on, as well as purchasing 4 pigs and 2 goats to help diversify her family’s income.
Like our other partners, Teopista can attest to the transformation she’s witnessed in her own village. Households that never owned livestock before received their first pigs, sheep, and rabbits, which have since multiplied and gone on to many secondary beneficiaries. Raising The Village has also helped improve hygiene and sanitation in the village as many households now possess a pit latrine and hand washing station.
Teopista says that what makes Raising The Village different from other organizations in our regular and ongoing project monitoring, as well as the countless follow up visits with our partners. We asked Teopista to share her goals for the future with us: