Our Story

It Takes All of Us

Raising The Village exists because we believe that together we can find straightforward solutions to complex problems of inequality. Together, we can achieve what is impossible alone. Our story is borne as a result of two deep convictions: ultra poverty is the worst form of inequality in our world; we have the opportunity to end ultra poverty in our generation.

Since our inception, we have focused our work on partnering with last-mile, rural communities in Uganda to develop initiatives that pave the pathway out of ultra-poverty towards economic self-sufficiency. We believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to make choices and have a real chance at life. Through our partnerships we resource, guide, train, and equip ultra-poor families to make empowering decisions, access new opportunities, and shape their future.

Our work and success is the result of cross cultural collaboration between our staff and village partners, the local and federal government of Uganda, and experts from around the globe all working together. Fuelled by the support of our donors, we are on a path to reach 1 million people living in ultra poverty by 2023.

Our Uganda Team

Our staff in Uganda are the absolute bedrock of our work. These proud, hardworking, bright, and talented leaders come from a wide variety of careers, having worked in banking, government, and other sectors. They have joined Raising The Village because they believe in our programs and methods, and have seen the impact of our work first hand.

Their story is our story. These remarkable people are in the villages—day in, and day out—navigating the relationships, problems, terrain, and incredibly hard living conditions faced by our partners living in last-mile, ultra poor communities. It is our privilege to continue to develop these leaders and help them guide our mission to completion.

Our Founder

Shawn Cheung is the Founder and CEO of Raising The Village. Since 2005, Shawn has been focused on improving livelihoods and finding solutions to the problem of ultra poverty in rural Uganda.

Prior to launching Raising The Village, Shawn worked with community-based microfinance organizations in rural Uganda. During this time, he had the opportunity to interact with many families living in ultra poverty, learning their perspectives on community development and the challenges they faced. Working as a management consultant at Accenture by day, Shawn continued his studies and research at night, funding program pilots with his personal savings until the Raising The Village approach was solidified. Through the support of a small but committed team, Shawn officially launched Raising The Village in 2012.

Shawn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from McMaster University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Shawn resides in Toronto, with his partner, and their two children.

Our Values