OneVillage Partners works alongside hardworking Sierra Leoneans in select villages for improved quality of life through increased income generation, moving towards financial self-sufficiency. Learning from our measurable results, OneVillage will develop a replicable model for holistic rural development that eliminates extreme poverty.
OneVillage Partners supports villages by building capacity in the villagers, synthesizing current technologies, and supporting iterative advancements in the mutually reinforcing areas of education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, and income generation.
To make our vision a reality we will:
- Invest in the essential building blocks of community – adequate food and shelter, clean water and sanitation, basic primary health care, and primary schools– that will allow our village friends to care for their families.
- Invest in the essential building blocks of an economy – micro business loans, agricultural improvements, secondary education, and global connections – that will allow villagers to increase their income.
- Strategically implement and rigorously evaluate our investments to achieve measurable results and create a replicable model that can transform villages across Sierra Leone and the world.
- Stay true to our values of sustainability, accountability, efficiency, cooperation, and achieving measurable results.
INCREASE INCOME TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE
Quality of life is, to varying degrees, determined by household income. With expendable income in the house, members are able to access a variety of services as they see fit, including additional food, inputs for farming, school tuition, educational materials, health care, etc. In this sense, the only way to combat poverty is to increase income. Without expendable income, when credit is needed quickly for school fees, a health emergency, or to purchase food after a poor harvest, villagers are at the mercy of local loan sharks. Once this cycle of loans plus high interest begins, it becomes increasingly difficult for the villagers to build household savings.
CELEBRATE RURAL LIFE
OneVillage believes rural life can be fulfilling, rewarding, and a powerful alternative to city life. While it is natural for some flow of capacity from rural areas to urban ones, OneVillage sees life in the village as positive. Villagers are able to continue their heritage of farming while gaining useful skills for a globalized world through schooling and business. Currently, many young Sierra Leoneans travel to urban areas in an effort to find waged employment. With moderate development, village life offers fresh water, clean air, plenty of land for farming, quality education, business and entrepreneurial opportunities, strong friendships and families, affordable goods and services, and so on. OneVillage believes with village level development, particularly increased agricultural productivity combined with a diversifying economy, the challenges of rural African life can be overcome and result in high quality of life.
OneVillage wants to identify a model of rural development that, simply put, works. We hope to pinpoint high leverage areas that result in marked improvement in household income and thus quality of life. In order to be successful in this endeavor, OneVillage works in partnership alongside the villagers to translate problems into solutions through our programming. OneVillage provides access to knowledge and technology not easily available in Sierra Leone while the villagers drive their own development by identifying their own needs and possible solutions. Considering the reality of life on less than a dollar a day at an estimate 70% food self-sufficiency, OneVillage is tasked with finding an appropriate balance between relieving the immediate need and suffering while delivering programs that focus on longer term growth and empowerment. We pride ourselves on collaboration rather than management or oversight and seek to develop the organizational management capacity of our Sierra Leonean staff to work in full partnership.
DIFFERENT APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT
OneVillage takes a new angle on development. Despite billions of dollars invested in international development and the interweaving of national economies through globalization, large inequity between the developing and developed world exists. Many development organizations operate short term, specific, and actionable projects; well development, hands-washing campaign, girls’ scholarships. While all of these activities are laudable and very much needed, their piecemeal nature, improvements in one area without reinforcing improvements in complementary areas, hinders their sustainability and ultimately, their ability to equate long-term, improved quality of life for their beneficiaries. For this reason, OneVillage strives to be holistic and comprehensive by investing simultaneously across areas which greatly affect village life. We design results and local-input based programs which are specific and actionable on a project level that, when taken in combination, result in steady and systemic improvement. By incorporating business elements into our programming, such as appropriately determined user fees and interest dividends invested back into the programs, OneVillage builds financially sustainable programs that are able to be managed wholly and completely by the villagers.