A true entrepreneur: Sarah

In 2019, Raising The Village (RTV) began a partnership with Kakinga village that offered new opportunities for communities. Raising The Village began working with community leaders and entrepreneurs like Sarah through a holistic, community-driven, and evidence-based program that ensures households’ basic needs are met, improves livelihoods and abilities to save, and uses community engagement to sustain impact over time, so families like Sarah’s can break the cycle of ultra-poverty for good.

Sarah is a mother of five, a farmer, and an entrepreneur from Kakinga, a small village in the Bugongi Cluster in Kanungu district. Operating a small business selling household groceries, Sarah knew that she needed an additional source of income to meet her family’s growing needs and improve her children’s quality of life. She dreamed of expanding her existing farming business, of planting a vegetable garden that would both provide her family nutritious food and serve as an additional source of income, and of launching a new livestock enterprise that could help her improve her children’s quality of life.

Yet despite these aspirations, Sarah struggled with the multifaceted impacts of ultra-poverty and faced many barriers as she worked to achieve her goals. In last mile communities like Kakinga, households are often burdened by long distances to clean water, with limited access to essential services, and with challenges that hinder the ability of entrepreneurs like Sarah to access the time and resources needed to break the cycle of poverty for good.

Today, thanks to RTV’s holistic model, Sarah is on a new path.

As part of this program, Sarah and her neighbors received training around agriculture, financial literacy, and income generating activities that could help Sarah build household assets and broaden income potential. Sarah was one of the primary beneficiaries who received a goat, and focused on achieving her goals, she joined a livestock-focused Village Savings & Loans Association (VSLA). Following RTV program’s revolving pass-on methodology, Sarah successfully passed on her first goat’s newborn to give another household a new start. Soon enough, Sarah had two more goats of her own, growing her total number of livestock to three.

“I am so happy that my goats are increasing. It was just one and now I have many more! Goats are a great source of both economic and social development in our community and provide the security to support any urgent needs,” Sarah shares. When my daughter got very sick, I was able to sell one of my goats to get her the help she needs. I am hopeful that with more income growth from agriculture, my assets will continue to grow in the future,” Sarah expressed.

Sarah’s success does not stop there. Today, Sarah’s vegetable garden in her compound is thriving. Raising the Village trained Sarah and other members in the village on how to make organic manure from available household products to replace the more expensive, less effective, and environmentally unsustainable artificial fertilizers. She learned how to make and maintain compost pits for organic waste and food to produce organic manure to apply to her garden for improved yields.

According to Sarah, the access to resources and training gave her the biggest input for her future. Now, she remains focused on growing her enterprise and agricultural produce to increase her income, continue on her pathway to prosperity, and ensure her five children have a brighter future ahead.