Adopt a Village

Extreme poverty, or absolute poverty, was originally defined by the United Nations in 1995 as "a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.” The definition further defines extreme poverty as daily earnings of less than $1.25 per day (including the value of crops produced by the family).  A family cannot sustain itself on this level of income.  Moderate poverty was defined as being less than $2.50 per day, barely sustainable by a family.  Over half the population of the world subsists in extreme and moderate poverty. In Uganda, over 80% of the population exists in extreme or moderate poverty.

Through a concept developed by Rotarians called Adopt-a-Village, the Anthill Foundation supports community solutions to the challenges associated with poverty, focusing primarily on projects related to health, education, clean water and sanitation, and nutrition, but ultimately addressing all of these areas directly or indirectly.  Through this holistic approach, the Anthill Foundation works at the village level to reduce the effects of poverty throughout the country.  Our team has experience in all stages of Adopt a Village projects from conception, to implementation, to monitoring results, in over 100 villages.

Providing those in extreme poverty with the tools to sustainably lift themselves out of poverty requires a collaborative approach of addressing the most important, village identified problems, which directly influence other problem areas.  Each village will have a different set of needs and it is very important that the village guide the process of developing a project because without their support the project will fail.  The village must be able to take ownership of the solutions and have a plan and means to maintain and expand the measures.  All the problems faced by those in extreme poverty are interlinked, so measures included in the project must also be interlinked.  One of the primary ways to assure ownership of the project is to engage the community in building the infrastructure necessary to bring about change.

Clean Water: We take clean water for granted while more than half the world does not have access to clean water and must often walk over a mile to obtain any water at all for the family.  Providing wells, protecting water springs and rain harvesting can provide new, or better sources of water, while providing filters can be used to clean existing water sources.

Health and Sanitation:  The debilitating effects of poor health not only result in high child mortality, but also prevent children from getting an education and prevent adults from being productive enough to provide for their families.  One of the bigger killers of children, diarrhea, can result in a dramatic reduction in education and even stunting of growth due to malnutrition.  The primary goal of this objective is to eliminate open defecation, the largest contributor to spread of disease and to increase sanitary practices to prevent the further spread of disease. 

Actual measures in this area will concentrate on helping schools provide clean water, flush toilets, hand-washing stations and education in health and sanitation.  This will also extend to the community by providing materials to build household latrines, develop hand-washing practices, and provide clean water for village use.

Community Development:  Most areas where extreme poverty exists there is a lack of access to capital to invest in new businesses or to expand existing businesses.  Micro-loans are one of the ways this can be facilitated, but in some villages just providing the needed equipment or animals will allow small businesses to prosper and grow.  The goal of this area is to work with the villagers to determine the needs with the highest return of capital and ability to grow.  Training is always necessary in this area to ensure that people understand basic business principals and the mechanisms are set up to ensure long term sustainability.

Hunger:  This is another area where close collaboration with the villagers is absolutely required in order to assure long-term sustainability of the measure.  This principal rules out direct provision of food for consumption.  This area will generally include working with key groups within the village to develop crops and or animals that can both provide quality food and the potential for providing additional income through the sale of goods at market. Productive heirloom seeds can improve crop quality and allow the use of seeds year after year, but this must be weighed by the higher output of hybrid seeds.  Provision of animals such as goats, chickens, and pigs provides a sustainable source of protein and potential income from eggs and offspring.  Fruit, nut and other trees also provide a good source of nutrition and potential income.

A typical village will require anywhere from $75,000 to  $150,000 depending on the measures needed.  Donors and donor organizations are encouraged to visit and participate during implementation.  Our staff will coordinate your efforts.  Adopting a Village can lead to long-term relationships in supporting the villagers and their children.

If you would like to support these activities your donation in any amount will be combined with others to help end poverty.   DONATE

If you are a Corporation or NGO and would like to fund a project, contact us at