Our Theory of Change

We believe that access to education and training promotes sustainable livelihoods in communities, helping protect our environment and end global poverty

Our Theory of Change communicates how our programmes are achieving our goal: for disadvantaged children, young people and their communities, in sub-Saharan African, to succeed in school, work and life, lifting themselves out of poverty and becoming resilient and independent.

In the areas where we work, mango trees are commonly grown. In many villages, these trees, which grow a wide and dense foliage and an equally broad and stabilising root system, are the hub of their communities; a point at which people gather to communicate, to celebrate and to collaborate. These community cornerstones not only provide shade, but also opportunities to nurture and share with each other. 

This is where The Mango Tree has taken inspiration. We fund local grass roots organisations who support children, young people and their communities to develop strong foundations through education and livelihoods. Over time, our projects grow the fruit of skilled and vibrant children, who become independent adults, sowing the seeds that further nurture their communities and build resilience.

Our Core Values

For 20 years now, The Mango Tree has been working to enable children and young people from remote parts of Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda to access education, training and employment opportunities. We give children, young people and their care-givers a voice, adopting an empowerment approach that builds on local skills, resources and knowledge. We have helped to build African-led organisations by encouraging autonomy and independence for the future, in an approach that is underpinned by our core values:

Respect and collaboration – The Mango Tree UK is founded on genuine relationships with people who share the same goals as us with a clear focus on poverty eradication. We respect local knowledge and expertise and strongly believe that rural people have the capacity to make significant changes to their own lives. Our work builds on people’s own solutions, adding value to their knowledge and experience. 

Accountability and integrity – We are accountable to the local people we aim to assist, the African partners we fund and the UK foundations, businesses, schools, churches and the UK public who fund us. These relationships have developed over 20 years and have been retained through transparent, honest communication, a commitment to strong financial accountability and by honouring our commitments to local people with sustainable practical action. 

Courage and innovation – We support our partners and the communities with whom we work to challenge the causes of poverty, address negative attitudes on gender and child rights, and protecting those at risk of harm through strong safe guarding structures. We support our partners to take risks, explore new ideas and trial news ways of tackling development problems. 

Sustainability and empowerment – Our projects are tailored, appropriate, community focussed and community driven. They meet the real needs of the people with whom we work. We encourage local people to transfer their knowledge to new areas and new communities, in order to widen our scope of benefits, stimulate community social responsibility and encourage gender equality and grass roots empowerment – especially for children, young people and vulnerable adults.  

Our commitment to sustainability drives us to ensure that everything we do has a lasting impact. We seek to empower people to become self-sufficient and independent. 

Our commitment to grassroots empowerment approaches has led us to embark on a strategy of decolinisation and localisation where Africa-led institutions and leaders take the lead, and where the power dynamics in partnerships and relationships are understood, considered, challenged and adapted.