A Brief History of The Mango Tree Orphan Support Programme

When we were first married, Gail and I served as VSO volunteers in Tanzania. We returned home to start a family and pursue a career in the family business.

By the late 1990's I was chairman to The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Whenever I travelled overseas on behalf of my company, I tried to visit research projects of the School. In 1998 I visited a project attached to an organisation in Entebbe which had been set up by people who were HIV+. While I listened to a presentation by the members of TASO, all aged between 25 and 40, I came to realise that I was the only person in the room who would still be alive about 18 months later - this was before anti-retroviral drugs had become available to most people in Africa. I thought that all these people would have several children. What would happen to these orphans?

Our founder and Chairman, William Fulton outlines the stages in the evolution of The Mango Tree from its beginnings to the present day. An inspiring story of determination, leadership and perseverance from our partners, volunteers, trustees and communities in both Kenya and Tanzania. To learn more about the story of The Mango Tree click here. 

2003
It all starts in particularly badly hit areas in southwest Tanzania

The Mango Tree registers 1,090 orphans providing school uniforms, books, shoes and porridge

2004
The Mango Tree Nutrition Centre

Our nutrition centre opens and we register 2,200 orphans

2005
The Mango Tree Expands

3,950 orphans are registered and The Mango Tree expands to new communities across Kyela District

2006
Education for Orphans Improves

Over 5,000 orphans are registered and 750 progress from primary school to secondary school

2007
Kenya's New Programme

A new programme is created in Kenya and 900 orphans are registered in the Kosele area, Rachyonyo District, bringing the total registered orphans to 7,400.

2008
Model Village Projects

The launch of model village projects in Kenya - Adita goat breeding and mango tree farming. The Mango Tree Orphan registration peaks at 13,371

2009
Google fund our work

13,550 orphans registered - some complete secondary school and enter work or farming. 2,768 are in secondary school and 284 are now supported at college and university. The Mango Tree wins US$1 million from Google. Water projects start in Tanzania.

2010
We launch our innovative model of foster care

12,259 orphans registered - The Mango Tree prioritises girls' education by launching our innovative family based foster care programme in Kenya

2011
The Keyla Polytechnic College Project Begins

Construction of the Kyela Polytechnic College in Tanzania begins. The Mango Tree Family Association forms with 126 tertiary students in Kenya to provide volunteer holiday tuition to The Mango Tree registered orphans

2012
Kyela Polytechnic College Opens

The Kyela Polytechnic College officially opens. 12 sponsored orphans climb Mt Kilimanjaro and raise £46,892. HIV awareness raising programmes develop in both countries. Major research study is carried out providing us with important baseline data from both project areas that will inform new work

2013
The Mango Tree Shifts Focus

Registered orphan numbers gradually begin to decrease as many leave college and university and The Mango Tree shifts focus to sustainable livelihoods and social enterprise development with the launch of our Skills 4 Life project for guardians and people living with HIV

2014
Model Farm Projects Expand

The Mango Tree Kenya expands their model farm projects. Kyela Polytechnic College increases students numbers, and expands courses on offer. We win a three year grant from The Waterloo Foundation to deliver a new environmental social enterprise project

TODAY
Growing and evolving

Structurally, our organisations in the UK and Africa are growing and evolving. We want to remain small, dynamic and flexible. We look to increase collaboration with new partners, shift emphasis away from donor dependency and invest in sustainable, African, social enterprises

What your donation means
What your donation means 20,000 children and young people have access to education and training as a result of your support.