Sustainable Communities

The capacity for change exists within local communities, so we support people to harness their skills, knowledge and experience

We empower people and communities to take control of their own projects, harnessing local knowledge and experience. Building on existing education structures and skills, the aim is to increase self-reliance through development grants to small organisations that demonstrate the capacity to develop into thriving businesses. We want to build long-term resilience – both for those children and young people we sponsor in education, and their wider communities.

It’s tough to survive as an enterprise in Africa. They need to be robust in order to improve the resilience of the societies in which they operate. Entrepreneurship provides a valuable outlet for young people’s ambitions and developing these skills helps young people adapt to changing circumstances and thrive in the face of economic and other challenges.

Social enterprises and entrepreneurs can also help to tackle social and environmental problems. Their work brings different people together to trade in products, services and information, which strengthens the resilience of their communities. We are helping invest in skills and energy in these communities, first through seed funding for small, locally-led organisations then by providing development funding that supports them as they grow. This helps build the kinds of enterprise initiatives needed to make them sustainable, viable operations.

Enterprise Development

Empowering Youth Education Through Agriculture (EYETA)

Founded in 2014 by Rabson Mwang’onda, Empowering Youth Education Through Agriculture (EYETA) is a community-based NGO based in south west Tanzania. We supported Rabson through secondary school and his aim is to give other orphans and vulnerable children better chances in life through education. They now have 52 students in both primary and secondary school who receive uniforms, books, shoes and sanitary towels, and have recently started supporting Ilembulla Inclusive Primary School which has a residential facility for disabled children. 

We are also providing business support for the separately managed EYETA Microfinance. This generates income by providing loans to clients in the Dar es Salaam and Pwani regions, a proportion of which is allocated annually to run their educational projects. In 2020 this support amounted to TZS10m (£3,200), helping them develop a robust business and organisational model so they can expand the micro-finance business, social investment in orphan education projects, and community savings and loans projects across Tanzania.

Tanzania Deaf Skills Forum (TDSF)

Advocating for reform of policies and practices so that education is more accessible, inclusive and beneficial to deaf children, TDSF was founded in 2018 by Lugano Janken. Losing his hearing to meningitis as a child, his education was supported through our orphan programme and he graduated from Kyela Polytechnic College before completing further training in Nairobi. TDSF aims to facilitate communication, provide sign language teacher training, improve learning environments, increase awareness by deaf people of sexual and reproductive health, and deliver deaf skills entrepreneurship programs. Since its launch they have delivered sign language training to 83 young deaf people and 25 teachers, while 16 deaf young people have received vocational training and are now earning a living and contributing actively to the development of their communities. 

We are working with TDSF to research different enterprise models so they can start to generate income of their own, reducing their dependency on UK donors and developing a model that expands their programme to empower deaf people in business.

Case Study


19-year-old deaf student Elizabeth has a severe hearing impairment and was unable to complete secondary school. With no way to earn an income, or become independent she was forced to remain at home with her mother, helping with domestic tasks. Last year, with sponsorship from The Mango Tree and sign language support from the Tanzania Deaf Skills Forum, Elizabeth completed a tailoring course at Moravian Vocational Training College in Kyela, rented a sewing machine and now works at a local shop making clothes.

“My younger brother was ashamed of his tatty uniform and didn’t want to go to school, but now he is enjoying going again, in a uniform I made for him and new shoes that I was able to buy him.”

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