The Mango Tree Autumn Newsletter 2022

Dear Supporters,

We hope everyone has had a good summer and we warmly welcome you to our autumn e-newsletter.

The summer has been a busy time for us. We were thankful to be finally able to travel overseas to visit our partners and projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. It was very reassuring to see first hand how they are all getting on and talk to some of the people benefiting from both existing, and new projects.

The Mango Tree Kenya and The Mango Tree Education Trust are also very delighted to have held the official opening of The Mango Tree Girls’ Secondary School in August, as well as honoring the academic achievements of two years of graduates. 81 students, of the 139 graduates who completed their courses during the COVID-19 period, were finally able to publicly celebrate their achievements with their peers, families and wider community.

The Mango Tree UK is also very excited to be approaching our 20th Anniversary in November. Over this coming year we will be looking back at our achievements, assessing the impact of our amazing work, and looking to our donors to assist us with a final financial push so that we can get all of our remaining registered orphans through their educational journey’s.  Look out for our 2022 Annual Report for more information and do let me know if you are not on the mailing list and would like to be!

I hope you enjoy the following news stories and case studies and thank you, as always, for your kindness and generosity,

Emily Wilder
UK Director

Official Opening of The Mango Tree Girls’ Secondary School

Left to right: Consolata Kunyada; Principle Wilkister Orenge; Malawian High Commissioner to Kenya, Callista Mutharika; UK Chairman, William Fulton, TMT Malawi Director, Peter Kunyada

We are delighted to announce that on 26th August 2022, the Malawian High Commissioner to Kenya, H.E Mrs Callista Jennie Mutharika, officially opened our new Girls’ School in Mawego, Homabay County, western Kenya. This event was also combined with the graduation ceremony for 81 orphans who have graduated from a wide range of courses including carpentry, tailoring, hairdressing, business skills, hospitality, engineering, teaching, nursing and medicine.

This fantastic day marks a huge milestone for The Mango Tree, and for girls and women in western Kenya. With 58 girls enrolled so far, we will have the capacity to educate around 340 girls when all the buildings are completed. This project goes a long way towards achieving our goal of breaking down the barriers to education for disadvantaged girls from marginalised communities. We are so grateful to all those donors and supporters who have helped us come this far! The journey is not over yet, but bearing in mind the challenges everyone has faced over the past two years with COVID-19, on top of the current global fuel and rising cost of living crisis, we are very grateful to have achieved so much already. Thank you to everyone for turning our dream into a reality!

KPC supports construction projects in local schools

As part of their practical learning, KPC students gain experience and the opportunity to improve their skills through a range of community projects.

Desks for a Secondary Schools: Together, a team of 19 carpentry and joinery students with 21 welding and metal fabrication students worked together to make 600 desks for five secondary schools in Kyela. Their work was evaluated by the education department as being excellent. Well done KPC!

Toilets for a Primary school: From pouring the foundations to finishing the roof, a total of 38 masonry plus carpentry and joinery students collaborated in building a block of 14 toilets for a local primary school. The quality of their work was also evaluated as highly successful by the teachers and local education department staff.

Expansion of crisis care for women and girls in Kenya

Not only have we seen an increase in domestic violence cases during COVID-19 prevention measures, but we are also receiving more and more child abuse referrals from the rural areas where we work. The need for safe spaces for women and girls to escape physical and sexual violence sadly continues to grow. To address this need, we have expanded the rescue services by establishing a second centre (a safe house in Kosele), whilst also continuing to support the Makogeni Girls’ & Women’s Refuge Centre. This year we launched a rape crisis hotline, provided pro-bono legal advice for victims, and have been coordinating the development of a county-wide safeguarding policy in collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Welfare and Police.

Overcoming barriers to education and employment

Anitha, an 18-year-old young woman, was born deaf. Like many others, Anitha fell out of the education system at the end of primary school. Due to the difficulties she faced in communicating with her community, Anitha spent most of her time alone, helping with domestic work at home. This year, Anitha received support to pursue a tailoring course at the Moravian vocational training centre in Kyela. She blossomed on the course and after graduating has been offered a further two year tailoring course so that she can become an instructor for other deaf students in the future.

My life has changed a lot. I meet other deaf students from other places; I have made many friends from the ones I have met here. I am keen to be a better tailor and share my understanding with other young girls” – Anitha

A helping hand on the path to self-reliance

When Saiddy and Godfrey lost both their parents, Saiddy became responsible for the care of his younger brother. With the support of The Mango Tree, Saiddy was able to help pay for Godfrey’s school fees. After completing secondary school and attending a vocational college, Godfrey has successfully graduated and become a welding technician. 

“TMT orphans support program has raised me up until today. I’m sure and proud to say my education is the only tool to get me out of poverty.” – Godfrey Mwaikinda

A new project in Kenya supports families affected by HIV/AIDS

In the five years up to September 2021, The Mango Tree Kenya implemented a project called Timiza 90; a HIV prevention project supporting orphans and families living with HIV and AIDS, which was funded by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). 

Given the success of Timiza 90, LVCT-Health has now awarded The Mango Tree Kenya funding for ‘Vukisha 95’; a new project that aims to reduce the effects of HIV/AIDS in the Lake Victoria region. The project focuses on family health, economic resilience and access to quality education for HIV-affected children. The project has started supporting 584 families with 2,870 children.  

A new life after corrective surgery

Achy (centre), aged 10, was born with bowed legs. Living in one of Lake Victoria’s poor fishing communities, she had no chance of accessing the corrective surgery she needed. Achy met The Mango Tree Kenya during one of their school outreach programs and was referred for medical assessment and then corrective surgery in Mombasa earlier this year.

“I never  imagined that this would happen for me. I am so grateful that I can now run around with other children at school” – Achy

Lilypads keeps girls in school

The Kenyan Lilypads project continues to support girls and local enterprises across Homabay County. In the first quarter of this year, the project has provided 96 disadvantaged primary school girls with reusable menstrual pads, keeping them safe from abuse and making sure they don’t miss school. This project also supports local business by purchasing pads from community enterprises to provide them, free of charge, to girls. In addition, Lilypads has also delivered sexual and reproductive health talks to raise awareness among young women.