The Mango Tree Spring Newsletter 2023

Dear Supporters,

Welcome to our Spring 2023 newsletter!

As we have come to the end of another financial year, TMT is delighted to have raised nearly £500,000 from trusts and foundations, sponsored events, standing order donations, and our most successful Big Give Christmas appeal ever. Thank you all so much! We are also extremely grateful to have received a flurry of generous donations from supporters over the past few weeks in response to our recent call for support to help us raise £1million, so we can fund all our remaining orphans through their education.

We will also be fundraising over the coming months to support TMT Malawi’s ‘Our Lives Our Land’ project in the aftermath of the tragedy of Cyclone Freddy, which has had a devastating impact across southern Malawi, as well as damaging the farms and livelihoods of many of our beneficiaries. You can read more about this, and how to donate, in the article below.

This spring we have started celebrating The Mango Tree’s 20th Anniversary by running some small events across the UK and hosting Consolata, the Director of TMT Kenya, who will be meeting many of our donors up and down the country.  We have also started planning an exciting virtual challenge that we will launch early next year.

I am very excited to be visiting our projects and partners in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi this summer. As well as visiting our projects and working with our partners to support the gradual handover process, I will be collecting impact stories so we can communicate all the amazing achievements of our orphans and African partners in the autumn annual report. We are also delighted to have received support from some long-standing donors, who will be helping us to produce a film of The Mango Tree Kenya, so that they can promote and publicise their amazing projects in Kenya and Malawi.

Here a few stories and highlights from our partners to let you know what’s been happening on the ground.

With best wishes and many thanks,

Emily Wilder
UK Director

From education to employment

Rehema was registered with The Mango Tree Tanzania as a vulnerable child in 2012. Subsequently, she was funded to study at the Kyela Polytechnic College and completed her certification as a technician in tailoring. Recently, Rehema opened her own tailoring workshop in a local Kyela market where she is able to make around £25 a day to secure a reliable income and support herself.

“I am absolutely happy with my work and I am planning to start training my comrade orphans so they can also become self-reliant in the future” – Rehema

Quality holistic education at The Mango Tree Girls’ School

Since opening in April 2022, the girls’ school has jumped straight into delivering quality education and boarding accommodation for 80 girls.

The school welcomed newly enrolled Form One students to the school, who have already keenly taken to the holistic learning environment, and are enthusiastically attending extra English classes, which will help them in all other areas of their study. As part of this, the school hosted three volunteers from the UK for the duration of our first term: Maya Muller, Rosie Winter, and Martha Rye Lees. The Mango Tree is so grateful to these volunteers for helping teach English, Science, and History to the girls.

Whilst still lots to do, the construction of the majority of the main school infrastructure is now nearing completion. Another amazing donation of £75,000 this year, from a UK Trust, was used to build a fantastic girls’ boarding house block, and we hope to receive IT equipment from IT Schools Africa later this year.

Although currently (temporarily) located in a classroom, the school library is also complete, having acquired a great collection of textbooks and learning materials. In this space, students are able to freely borrow books and engage in private study, with the readily available guidance of a librarian.

Earlier this year, The Mango Tree Girls’ School hosted a tournament against a neighbouring school and they won both games of netball and volleyball. Sport is an important pillar of an enriching education, and essential to both healthy movement and sportsmanship.

Malawi devastated by floods!

We have all been shocked to hear the tragic news of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which entered Malawi near the city of Nsanje, causing flooding and mud slides across the southern regions of the country on Sunday, 12th March.

While information coming out from Malawi is limited, due to ruined infrastructure and a lack of electricity, you can read our blog on the website for more information on how Malawi has been affected by this cyclone, which has been attributed to the increasing impact of global warming.

Obviously, those families who we have been supporting as part of the Our Lives Our Land project will require more support over the coming couple of years to help them rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

Read more about Cyclone Freddy on our website blog and make a donation to Our Lives Our Land in Malawi, here

Faraja Community Cafe takes off

The Tanzania Deaf Skills Forum is delighted to have finalised the business plan for a community cafe. Over the past two years, TMT UK has been supporting a research and development process with consultancy support to help them develop ideas for a social enterprise which will create a vibrant space for deaf young people, and enable TDSF to continue its amazing vocational training work. With a strong business plan and a venue for this cafe, TMT UK has started raising funding to support the development of this fantastic project over the next two years.

“We are delighted that TMT UK will be continuing to support us over the next two years to help us realise our vision of improving access to education and training for deaf young people across Tanzania” – Lugano Janken, CEO, TDSF

Visit to Kids Club Kampala

TMT Kenya and TMT Malawi Directors, Consolata and Peter, made a visit to Kids Club Kampala last month to share their work with the KCK Kampala team. They wanted to learn from each others’ experiences of over fifteen years of working closely with local communities to support economically deprived and traumatised children and young people. Sam Wambayo, the Founder of this Ugandan programme, is a child consultant and development practitioner who is dedicated to improving the welfare of children and women in underprivileged communities around Kampala.

“It was really interesting to meet Sam and his team in Kampala. KCK is focussed on supporting children living in urban slums whereas TMT works with kids in rural communities. It was really interesting comparing approaches and learning from each other” – Consolata, TMT Kenya Director.

Strong friendships built to last

Oronata (23yrs, blue shirt) and Benedict (21yrs, red shirt) didn’t know each other before the course, but have since built a strong friendship and working relationship, helping each other to develop their professions. Oronata graduated from his welding course last year and secured a job at Jotham Workshop in Kyela. Benedict joined the same welding course and will graduate in May 2023. Onorata has been working and training Benedict in the workshop, and Benedict hopes to start work there after he graduates.

“It’s great to be here. I am learning and at the same time can earn money by helping Onorata. My worries about how I can make money are now gone. After I complete my training, I hope to continue working with Onorata” – Benedict

A way forward for TMT Kenya

As part of supporting the next stage of independence and sustainability, TMT UK has been assisting all our African partners in different ways to grow and thrive. With funding from The Samworth Foundation, The Mango Tree’s Sustainable Communities Project has been supporting capacity building, technical support and social enterprise development. In March, Dan Ochieng, an experienced development consultant, conducted a full organisational needs assessment with the TMT Kenya team in Kosele, and is helping them to develop a plan of action for capacity building investment over the next two years.

“Working with Dan was really insightful. He helped us to think out of the box and really examine our priorities for TMT Kenya, so we can build greater resilience and reduce our dependence on overseas aid” – David Omune, TMT Kenya Director of Education

Lights, camera, action!

Many thanks to longstanding supporters, Josh Barling, Nick Murphy and videographer Joshua Chadwick, for agreeing to come together to help us make a film of our work in Kenya. We are so excited to be able to tell TMT Kenya’s story as they begin the journey to becoming more independent over the next few years. Joshua is going to be in Kenya in July filming and we hope to launch the film this autumn on our website and through social media networks.

“I am so excited to be able to visit Kenya and use my skills to help promote TMT Kenya’s work with orphans and disadvantaged kids in Africa” – Joshua Chadwick.

Young volunteers tackle period poverty in Tanzania

Six A-Level students from Cheltenham and Cirencester Colleges are delighted to be volunteering at the Kyela Polytechnic College (KPC) in Tanzania this summer.

With links and support from the Pachamama project, who have developed an eco-sanitary towel design, the students held a workshop in Painswick over the Easter holidays to practise making the reusable sanitary towels ready for running workshops at KPC’s tailoring department. Upendo, KPC’s Deputy Principal, is keen to establish a social enterprise project at the College that will produce affordable sanitary towels for girls at secondary school and college.

TMT is committed to funding eco-towels for those orphaned girls registered for educational support in Tanzania and Kenya, to help address period poverty. This will remove some of the barriers which prevent them from attending school or college regularly. Many thanks to Pachamama for supporting us with its design template, and we can’t wait to hear back from the girls after their visit this summer!

“I am so excited to be visiting The Mango Tree Polytechnic College in Tanzania this summer. It will be a once in a lifetime experience. I am looking forward to meeting new people at the College and learn about life in Tanzania” – Ella Brooks, Cheltenham College.