2023 – The Year That Was

In 2023, our partner last-mile families continued to build sustainable pathways out of ultra-poverty. Driven by knowledge, technical support, and their determination to bring about lasting change, our partner communities are well on their way to breaking the cycle of ultra-poverty and building a better future for their future generations. In this special segment, we bring you a firsthand account of the impactful change our partners made this year.

Building Equity

“Decision-making has always been dictated by the men in this community. But now, I feel empowered since being elected as agriculture chairperson in my village. I have learned so much — like how to work with different people with different behaviors. With the knowledge I have now, I am proud to be a farmer. I have started a small business in town that sells soap, sodas, and other household groceries. I am a woman, and I can support my family.” – Justine, partner community member.

Accessing Affordable Credit

“I had a problem arranging finance. Banks are there, but the process takes a lot of money to get the money. There are many charges [interests] and security for the loan, which I didn’t have. We wanted to start saving to fight poverty. We were trained by Raising The Village that saving helps create investment opportunities. I started my business because of RTV. They taught us how to start a business, how to manage finances, and helped us scale our investments.” – Richard, partner community member.

Addressing Barriers to Development

“Our tap was not dependable. So whenever it developed a fault, we would fetch water from an open stream, but the water would often be contaminated, and sometimes people would get sick. Now (after the construction of a closed water well within the community), because the spring is near and the tap is efficient, I can get water in just 10 minutes. This gives me more time to invest in my tailoring business.” – Patience, partner community member. 

Empowering Youth

“We have little knowledge of how to create capital. Most of us have not gotten a chance to go to school. So many grow old and don’t know how to run a business. Our group has 27 members, and we save money every month. Each member saves UGX 6000 a month, of which UGX 5000 is for buying animals for every member, and UGX 1000 is assigned for emergencies. I want to grow my animal business and earn money for my education. I stopped at O-level but want to study up to university.” – Cleuphus, partner community member.

Improving Food Security

“I had never made compost pits before; it was so new to me. But the results we got after applying the new practices were great. I now grow various vegetables, and my favorites are dodo (amaranth, a leafy vegetable) and black nightshade; I enjoy them so much. Moreover, our health has improved since we started consuming vegetables and greens.” – Molly, partner community member. 

Applying Sustainable Practices 

“Our biggest challenge was buying artificial fertilizers from the shops, which are very expensive. So when Raising the Village came and started teaching us about compost pits and making our own compost manure, we were able to save money.” – Margaret, partner community member. 

Increasing Agriculture Productivity and Income

“I loved farming so much but almost stopped doing it because the amount of time and money I was putting in was more than the harvest I got. (Now, after implementing Good Agronomic Practices) I have never had such a big harvest! I now invest regularly in our Village Savings and Loan Association. I recently borrowed from the group and purchased more farmland, and I am confident that my upcoming harvest will help me pay it back. I feel financially free and can now pay school fees for my children and grandkids. We are happy, and our lives have changed.” – Annet, partner community member. 

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Raising The Village (RTV) partners with last-mile, rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and develops holistic initiatives that pave the pathway out of ultra-poverty towards economic self-sufficiency within 24 months. Our programs focus on improving agricultural incomes through training and providing agricultural inputs, diversifying income streams, removing barriers to participation such as lack of access to health, water, financial inclusion, and food security, and promoting healthy behaviors including adopting healthy WASH and gender equity practices. Since 2016, we have impacted the lives of more than 665,000 people in last-mile villages in Uganda and increased household incomes and earnings by 138% in 24 months.