The Strength of a Single Mother

Edith in her almost harvest ready rice garden in Nyarubwimuko Cluster, Rukungiri District.

In 2004, Edith lost her husband, only a week after giving birth to her fifth child. Economically dependent on her husband since the age of 17, she struggled to keep her family afloat after the sudden loss. Today, she is a farmer supporting her family and making progress.

As a full-time smallholder subsistence farmer, Edith’s income was never regular or sustainable. There were days when her family had to go without food. The biggest obstacle that stood in her way of securing a regular source of income was the lack of improved agricultural input and machinery. Edith also hadn’t seen an updated, modern way of farming that would ensure a more resilient and sustainable livelihood for herself and her family. Raising The Village stepped in to equip her with knowledge, better tools, and high-yielding seeds.

“Sometimes you don’t have enough good seed to produce high quality yields. Raising The Village (RTV) supported us with seeds such as rice, peas, and many types of vegetables.”

An upgrade in crops means an upgrade in life

Edith now has 2 hectares of very-well grown rice, after harvesting the 20kgs of improved seed variety she received from RTV. On top of the agricultural input she received, she has also been trained in financial literacy and good agronomic practices, which includes planting in lines, spacing, applying fertilizer and other modern ways of farming. Soon, she expects to harvest up to 500kgs of rice which is estimated to fetch her over UGX 1 million ($270) – a substantial gain for her family. She also plans to save a good portion of her money to build a stronger house.

“Each time it rains I fear that my old house will collapse. My dream is to save some money that I get from farming to construct a stronger house.”

We believe that sustainable programs and economic empowerment for women lead to not only improved income outcomes for the entire family, but also reduce women’s vulnerability to violence. Edith, with her commitment and resilience, is a source of inspiration to other young women and girls in her community, and to us at Raising The Village.