Our beginnings in Kenya
Following on from our visits to Tanzania monitoring progress, and finding a similar situation in rural Kenya, a second Mango Tree programme was established near Lake Victoria in Kenya in 2006. While the climate and general geography are different, the similarities for the orphans are all too apparent. The area surrounding Kosele is one of the poorest in the region, and suffered high levels of HIV. Within one year of setting up our Kenya progamme we had already registered more than a 1000 orphans. These numbers increased in their thousands year on year. The situation today is that we are seeing a decline in our orphan numbers. Many of those children who we registered in the early years are now adults and have gained employment. They are living self-sufficient lives able to provide for younger siblings and their own children. This is our story of success.
Education is the key to these success stories. We will share many more life changing stories to show the lasting change that our work brings to these children's lives. We remain committed to the 4000+ Kenya children still registered with us, and we will support them through their education and help them too reach their potential to have a real chance of a hopeful life.
The Mango Tree Kenya has close to 10 years experience delivering education, health and livelihoods programmes - linked to orphan care and developed collaboratively with rural people. We have a strong principle which advocates African ownership and leadership. That is why our approach is embedded in supporting local communities own ideas and solutions.
In recent years we have shifted emphasis towards work that focuses on building the capacity of local communities to become more resilient, economically vibrant and better able to care and protect orphans and other marginalised people within their own communities.
Our Impact in Kenya today
Kenya model farm social enterprise project
The model farm now provides training to local small holders, trials new ideas and technologies, offers practical work experience opportunities to young people and secures an annual income from the sale of cash crops, poultry and tilapia fish. The farms four model fishponds provide aquaculture training to support our ‘Kobala Aquaculture Project’, which is helping is develop new livelihoods opportunities for unemployed fishermen. Our mango tree-grafting scheme is upgrading local drought resistant varieties and improved varieties of cassava are benefiting local farmers.
Last year we also started producing the food supplement, Spirulina, a blue-green algae widely produced and commercialized as a dietary supplement for modulating immune function. The farm now also provides Spirulina to under-nourished children and people living with HIV. With a tested local market, strong community links and a range of beneficiary-led projects to invest in, TMT Kenya is ready to launch its model farm as a larger scale social enterprise project. We have already started developing a business plan for the expansion of our model farm and will begin fundraising for the project this year.
Education & Employment
In 2015 we plan to expand our extra curricula work by providing a more structured holiday learning support, such as drama, dance and sports activities, which add value to existing government education provision. We will establish vibrant boys’ clubs in 5 primary schools and complete our new resource centre at Rakwaro Chief's camp.
91 vulnerable girls supported in our family based care homes - a form of foster care
Books, uniforms and sanitary products for girls provided to support their re-entry into schools and reduce absence
90 per cent of the girls we have supported remain in school and many have already acheived the grades and confidence to enter further education and training
Bed nets, health checks and emergency assistance to vulnerable children
620 children received comprehensive extra curricula holiday tuition and homework study programmes
Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
36 recent HIV awareness campaigns have reached 20,800 people
925 people have been tested and have received counselling
This year we hope to deliver a new health awareness and gender rights project to build the capacity of rural people to safeguard their health against common diseases such as Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid and HIV, and also tackle Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and gender-based violence (GBV). The work will specifically target those most disadvantaged and vulnerable to exclusion: girls and young women and those who are HIV+, teenagers or elderly people and people who suffer long term health needs or disabilities.
We will use innovative awareness theatre, follow-on health education workshops, and seminars which promote disease prevention, safe water management and provide SRHR and GBV awareness. The project will also address maternal health with breastfeeding support, antenatal and post-natal care and advice. To compliment health education activities we will continue to support the construction of toilets in primary schools and provide HIV testing and counselling services, basic primary health care, diagnostic and referral services and distribution of bed nets/ condoms and sanitary towels to those most at risk.