A new perspective from an old voice

Ah Choo! It’s a bit dusty on top of the RTV Blog.

Where do we start? Every year I’ve tried to evaluate where we’ve come from and where we’re going – and I’ve been here since the beginning – but it’s always a struggle to put into words. RTV has come so far and yet I still get that unsteady feeling of a roller coaster at the top of the peak. Maybe we need to post more!

Since 2012, Raising The Village has worked with 11 villages. 2 or 3 new villages each year has seen dramatic impact and dramatic changes. Every success has led to multiple opportunities, every setback costs us months.

Take Murole, for example. Their assigned Ugandan Community Development Officer told us it was so far and so isolated, that he himself had never even visited. Today, leaders in the entire district raise Murole up to other village leaders as the standard of a community sharing resources. Dramatic impact.

Oh, how we’ve grown? Left / Right: Visiting Kanga Village – April 2008 / Along the path in the Kisoro region – Jan 2016

To keep pace with new projects and continuous evaluation, we’ve gone from a single project officer to a team of eight amazing Ugandan employees. That Development Officer who introduced us to Murole, Clement, is now our Regional Manager in the Kisoro district. Hopefully, we’ll have a few more by the time the year is out.

It is fair to say that without you, our early supporters, we would not, could not be where we are today. “Friends and family” kept us going for so long and it is only that persevering support that has enabled us to finally secure, over the last year or so, a small network of grant organizations who see RTV’s potential.

Our methodology has iterated twice to include a greater diversity of initiatives, as a result of our commitment to community-prioritization, and neighbour to neighbour knowledge sharing. We’re still a learning organization.

And lastly, it’s my pleasure to transition from long-time board member then volunteer, to Executive Director. Shawn’s vision and passion for seeing rural Uganda villages take confident first steps to overcome systemic poverty is infectious.  And even if it’s still a bit of a roller coaster, at least this is going to be an exciting ride!


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