New Beginnings for a Better Future
“Seeds, watering cans, wheelbarrows, and other material that Raising The Village is going to provide, will help those who gave up farming for lack of tools and support.” says a hopeful Issac, the Local Chairperson of Nyama village. Nyama is a part of Kiryandongo district – one of the two new districts Raising The Village has partnered with recently.
Nyama, Isaac’s sparsely populated village, like most last-mile communities, largely depends on subsistence farming. But extreme weather patterns due to climate change have made farming difficult in Nyama and much of sub-Saharan Africa in the past years. Uganda has had multiple floods and droughts in the last two decades. The drought in 2017 alone affected over 1 million people, leading to dwindling farm yields and threatening food security*. “Scorching temperatures, weeds, pests, and diseases have been a big challenge. Low incomes due to low production in our gardens have forced families to skip spending on health care and education just to be able to feed themselves,” says Issac.
The inability to access education and healthcare further leads to a lower quality of life and earning potential, thus starting a vicious cycle of ultra-poverty that can be difficult to break. Raising The Village works with last-mile rural communities to address this unending cycle of poverty and pave pathways toward economic self-sufficiency through a three-pronged approach. First, beginning with removing current barriers to livelihood, followed by implementing diverse income-generating projects with a focus on agriculture, and culminating in building local capacity and engagement to continue progress after our 24-month partnership ends.
In late 2022, The community of Nyama partnered with Raising The Village to pave their path toward a better future. Community members received training on ‘climate-smart’ agriculture techniques that reduce water usage, improve yields and utilize seed varieties resilient to changing weather patterns. The initial months of the program address the immediate challenges of food, water, sanitation, and health. This will provide ultra-poor families with the stability, time, and energy they need to participate productively in trainings, prepare for economic activities, and invest in their futures.
“Water is a big problem here. We plan to construct water sources with support from Raising The Village. They intend to extend health services to us through health outreaches. In the coming months, the community members will form a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) to invest their cumulative savings into income-generating activities.
With a goal-driven plan created in partnership with the community, Rose and Issac are hopeful that this new beginning will lead to a more secure, sustainable future.
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