Welcome to our spring newsletter that gives you a snapshot of the highlights of The Mango Tree’s work so far this year.
Following the stresses of 2021, this year has continued to present challenges to people and communities around the world, and especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
Slow recovery from a protracted pandemic continues to impact people’s lives, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict is now resulting in both food and energy-fuelled inflation. These rising costs of living now risk widespread food insecurity and poverty. In addition, the continued and worsening climate crisis is putting increasing pressure on livelihoods, especially in Malawi where further flooding and cyclones have been causing problems for the rural farming communities we are supporting.
Despite these challenges, our partners are taking great strides towards self-sustainability and building resilience in local communities. By providing access to education, empowering women and girls and boosting land-based livelihoods through locally-led programmes, we are helping to increase their capacity to withstand economic and climate shocks. These programmatic areas continue to be the focus of The Mango Tree.
We hope you enjoy hearing about all the things we are doing to help. Please do get in touch with us if you are interested in learning more or directly supporting any of our projects.
Thank you for your kindness and generosity,
Big thanks for the Big Give!
Firstly, we wanted to tell all our supporters that we were humbled by their generosity in helping us surpass our Big Give target back in December 2021.
Your huge efforts secured our match-funding and helped raise a total of £81,290, including Gift Aid. Thank you for your donations and for encouraging friends and family to support us. These funds are being used throughout this year to support economically disadvantaged children and families in Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania, providing them with access to education, practical skills and training.
The Mango Tree Girls’ School is now officially open!
We are delighted to announce that The Mango Tree Girls’ Secondary School in Mawego, Kenya, has officially opened, enrolled its first intake of 52 students and recruited 7 teachers and a school principal. The ceremonial opening will take place in August 2022, alongside The Mango Tree Kenya’s annual graduation ceremony where 91 students, who were unable to graduate due to Kenya’s COVID-19 restrictions, will receive their certificates and celebrate their academic achievements.
In the run up to the school opening, we gratefully received a fantastic £100,000 donation from a UK trust towards equipment for the girls’ school, as well as an amazing pledge from one of our major donors, who will be sponsoring places for disadvantaged girls to attend the school. In addition, The Mango Tree Kenya are also celebrating their own success having recently received a pledge from the I&M Bank Foundation for funds to construct the science laboratories and establish a borehole at the school.
We still have a way to go to get the whole school construction phase completed, but now we are open for business and our vision to provide education for disadvantaged girls in western Kenya is becoming a reality!
If you would like to make a donation to help us to complete the girls’ school project either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me on 07808 019391, or click on the donate button below.
Securing long-term vocational training in Kyela
At the beginning of April, Kyela Polytechnic College (KPC) featured on national TV (in Swahili) as the College had been successfully transferred to the Tanzanian government’s Vocational Educational Training Agency (VETA). This transition means that the College and its students will benefit from financial support from the Tanzanian government, securing the sustainability of the college and our vision to provide access to vocational training for disadvantaged young people across the district.
KPC celebrates first apprenticeship graduates
A total of 337 students graduated from a new 6 month apprenticeship training programme that is being sponsored by the Prime Minister’s office, through the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Youth and Disabled People. The apprenticeships covered a range of different skills including food production, carpentry and joinery, motor vehicle mechanics, salon and hairdressing, tailoring and ICT.
During the graduation, students presented a community showcase of the skills that they learned in the classroom to local delegates and community leaders.
KPC partners with LIVY Africa to empower women
Together, KPC and LIVY (a research and development social business in Tanzania) have implemented the ‘Ready for Business Programme’ that provides practical skills for students in a range of subjects such as food processing, organic farming, and entrepreneurship.
So far, 40 young women have participated in the six week programme. They learned to make chocolate, jams, cocktails and mocktails, received business planning training, and guidance on product marketing via posters, YouTube, and social media. LIVY has published two videos (one and two) of the programme, which is expected to take another cohort of students later this year.
Beauty school graduates shine in Kenya
Six young women from our Women’s Enterprise Project have undertaken tailor-made training designed to empower them with skills in beauty-related employment (salon, manicure, pedicure, hairdressing). After six months of training, they completed their assessments and have all graduated. We’re delighted that some of these talented young women have already started their own businesses, empowering them to support their families.
Our Lives Our Land in Malawi
The Mango Tree Kenya started working in Mwanza, Neno, Chikwawa and Nsanje Districts in southern Malawi in 2018. In these communities, 85% of people are dependent on agricultural livelihoods. Malawi’s rural economy is still recovering from the adverse effects of two consecutive years of drought, followed by widespread flooding and cyclones, which destroyed harvests in 2017, 2019 and again in 2022. Life for these people is proving to be extremely tough. Global food insecurity and economic uncertainty is likely to continue to hamper this recovery, severely undermining the ability of rural communities to rebuild their local economies and especially affecting those with limited capacity to grow food or diversify their livelihoods.
By combining livelihoods and educational support activities, ‘Our Lives Our Land’, is helping to build the resilience of the poorest families and thereby keeping their children in school.
‘Our Lives Our Land’ supports families with orphans, disadvantaged girls and children with albinism both at home and in school. We are assisting children to remain in school by removing some of the financial and social barriers that are excluding them, as well as working to build the economic security of their households though a wide range of land-based projects, such as bee-keeping, poultry, goat and pig rearing, and tangerine tree planting in schools, homesteads and farms.
One Stop Shop for the Tanzania Deaf Skills Forum
As part of our aim to promote partner independence, the TDSF were supported with a research and development grant last year to explore options for setting themselves up as a social enterprise. Working with an external consultant, TDSF team visited other enterprises run by deaf people. They have recently started to develop a proposal for a One Stop Shop in Mbeya, that will be a community cafe run by and for, deaf young people, facilitating them to meet and share and co-create ideas in a dedicated space. The Mango Tree UK is committed to continuing to support the TDSF team to establish their dream and set them on a path of independence.
Kyela Orphan Support Programme – Education success
Kanisa La Moravian’s local organisation in Kyela continue to deliver The Mango Tree’s secondary education programme through the Kyela Orphan Support Programme (KOSP), in south west Tanzania. There are currently 128 students at ‘ordinary’ level secondary school (Forms 1-4) and a further 55 at ‘advanced’ level (Forms 5-6). At the end of the last academic year, 40 students achieved a pass mark to continue to further education. Due to the success of delivering the secondary education programme, we are delighted to award the Moravians with a contract this year to also support our registered orphans who are studying in Tanzanian colleges and universities.
Farleigh House travel 1,347 miles for The Mango Tree
The Farleigh House boys, of Uppingham School, have joined forces in a fundraising event to travel the distance between our The Mango Tree Kenya and Tanzania partners. Each team member of Farleigh House travelled around 30 miles, by rowing, running and cycling.
Not only did they complete this challenge within 24 hours, but they surpassed their fundraising target, raising a total of £3,596. A big and heartfelt thank you to the Farleigh boys for undertaking such a amazing feat!
Petronilla joins the UK executive team
Lastly, but not least, The Mango Tree UK warmly welcomes Petronilla Mwakatuma to join the UK team. Petronilla is Tanzanian with a wealth of experience in sustainable agriculture and food security in sub-Saharan Africa. She recently joined the executive team as an advisor to the board.