Newsletter August 2006

From a mango nursery project in Kenya that’s beginning to bear fruit, to the school-run convenience store in Paraguay that’s serving a whole range of needs, we’ve another jam-packed issue for you - highlighting schools that are boosting their resources, and improving the education they offer, through income-generating initiatives.

  • Bearing Fruit – Kenyan School’s Mango Nursery
  • Teach A Man To Fish in the Heart of Africa
  • Serving Needs – The School Store Supporting Education
  • Global Schools’ Micro-Grant Competition
  • New Resources Now Online
  • Vive La Revolution! - Teach A Man To Fish Goes French
  • Making Poverty History in 2006

Bearing Fruit – Kenyan School’s Mango Nursery

A Kenyan initiative that's improving nutrition, providing agroforestry education, and generating additional income to support high school activities.

The Lwak Girls’ High School, by Lake Victoria in Kenya, is an ordinary secondary school, but one with some particularly forward-thinking teachers and management. They’ve been taking an active role in a local initiative which is yielding broad-spread benefits.

Mangoes ready for sale It’s long been known that vitamin A deficiency significantly increases disability and morbidity risks for women and young children. Interestingly mangoes not only taste fantastic, but provide the best source of vitamin A of any tropical fruit.

If mangoes could be made more available throughout the year it would go a long way improving nutrition and reducing vitamin A deficiency. This is where Lwak comes in. The nursery established at Lwak aims to extend future harvest seasons by raising 2,000 grafted mango trees, including earlier and later ripening varieties, for sale locally.

Growing trees at the school moreover provides an ideal educational opportunity for teaching agroforestry as a livelihood activity that also helps to protect the environment. Through the Lwak Girls and Community Agroforestry Learning Resource Centre this is now being extended to the whole community.

Running the nursery as a school-based enterprise offers a model example of how it’s possible to make money from agroforestry, keeps classes relevant, and maintains the interest of students, as well as bringing in valuable income to support school activities.

Improving nutrition, benefiting the environment, and generating income for the school at the same time - the fruits of this initiative are sure to be widely enjoyed!


Teach A Man To Fish in the Heart of Africa

Rwandan President takes an interest in the Teach A Man To Fish Self-Sufficient Schools model.

Map of RwandaWhen you’re in charge of the most densely populated country in Africa, and one where almost half the population is under 15, it pays to be open to new ideas. That is certainly the approach President Kagame of Rwanda takes.

Once President Kagame heard about the Self-Sufficient School model that Teach A Man To Fish is promoting, it wasn’t long before we received an official invite from the Ministry of Education to come and explore the possibilities for setting up a pilot school in Rwanda.

It’s easy to see why the idea of a school that pays for itself is an attractive proposition for governments with tight education budgets. However for those looking at the big picture, the real benefits are the long-term ones that come from deepening a culture of entrepreneurship while teaching the skills needed to earn a living.

With the potential social rewards so high, we’re betting it won’t be long before other governments also get entrepreneurial about education!

Serving Needs - The School Store Supporting Education

How selling fresh organic produce through a school store can serve the community and support education.

The San Francisco Agricultural High School in Cerrito, Paraguay is laying the foundations, literally, for increased financial self-sufficiency. It is expanding the Parador Cerrito, its roadside convenience store and cafe, where it sells fresh, organic produce and dairy products that students have produced on the school’s farm campus.

Parador School Store From steaks to cakes, the Parador serves up tasty dishes made from ingredients produced at the school, thereby “adding value” to the school’s farm production and helping the school towards its goal of financial self-sufficiency. Currently, the Parador takes in 14% of the school’s revenue, and aims to cover 30% of the school’s total operating costs in future years.

The roadside store also adds educational value. In this school for “rural entrepreneurs” students play an active part in all aspects of the farm’s business, from planting, mulching and harvesting, to documenting daily farm production and taking it to market.

By participating in the full cycle of agricultural production and marketing, students gain the skills and resourcefulness needed to build their own rural enterprises. Transporting the fruit of their labor to the Parador, - from crates of bright green lettuce to canisters of fresh milk—they learn the importance of having products arrive at market on time and in good condition. Once at the Parador, they are encouraged to interact with customers and ask questions of the store’s staff. This further encourages an environment of hands-on learning.

It’s not just the students and school that benefit, by offering healthy organic produce, at regular prices, the local community benefits too.

Through seeking new ways to get the maximum value for healthful products, the roadside Parador plays an important role in helping the school attain financial self-sufficiency, as well as a providing a real-life business setting for teaching students the ins and outs of a running a successful rural enterprise.

Global School’s Micro-Grant Competition

Micro-Grant competition to help entrepreneurial schools start up income generating activities.

Small investments which yield large returns - it's every entrepreneurs dream. Here at Teach A Man To Fish we know that there are budding entrepreneurs in schools across developing countries who would love the chance to launch an income-generating entrepreneurship education program at their schools, but who lack even the modest resources needed to get started.

That’s why this October Teach A Man To Fish will be launching a global schools competition offering micro-grants to the most innovative income generating proposals from educational institutions in developing countries. If the project is financially sustainable, replicable, and of educational value, this could be the perfect chance to get it started.

Full details along with how to enter will be available on the Teach A Man To Fish website in the near future.

Don’t miss out - to sign up for competition news send an email to: competition@teachamantofish.org.uk.

New Resources Now Online

With so much information now available on the internet, it can be a real challenge to separate the best from the rest. To make life a little easier, we’ve added a resources section to the Teach A Man To Fish website with documents and links covering a whole range of topics including education, agriculture, entrepreneurship, project design, networking and much more.

Teach A Man To Fish materials are also available for downloading, including our brochure, and Beyond Fees our guide to income generation for schools.

To find out more, click here

Vive La Revolution! - Teach A Man To Fish Goes French

With over 175 million French speakers in the world, and the majority of these in Africa, we are proud to announce that the Teach A Man To Fish website is now available en français!

Many thanks to the dedicated UN online volunteers who have made this possible.

NB: If you would like to change your language preference at any point just send an email to support@teachamantofish.org.uk

Making Poverty History in 2006

Nelson Mandela at Make Poverty History rally in 2005

Despite the success in 2005 of national coalitions such as MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY in the UK at raising awareness of the need for action to eradicate global poverty, there is still more to be done, and campaigning continues in 2006.

On 14 September people from across the world will come together for a Global Month of Action which builds up to a White Band Day on the International Day for the Eradication for Poverty on 17 October.  

The theme of the month is Stand Up Against Poverty and there will be actions on trade justice, debt and aid as well as a global world record attempt on 15-16 October. All these actions will be calling on world leaders to keep the promises they made in 2005 to make poverty history and to do much more. 

For more information on what’s going on in your country and how you can get involved, visit www.whiteband.org.

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