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Newsletter August 2010

From earning while learning, to entrepreneurial students and designer red dresses (!)- welcome to another edition of the Teach A Man To Fish quarterly newsletter!

Education That Pays For Itself 2010: Registration Opens!
Better By Design: The Tanzania School Making Education Pay
Bright Spark: Inspired Ugandan Student’s Entrepreneurial Dealings
News in Brief: Tweets, Wikis and Designer Red Dresses
 

Education That Pays For Itself 2010: Registration Opens!

Registration has now opened for the fourth international conference on Sustainable Education, which will take place from 10-12 December 2010 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
 
Everybody talks about the importance of education for fighting poverty, but very few have concrete ideas on how to pay for it, and how to make it meet the needs of the poorest.
 
If you’ve ever got tired of constantly battling to raise enough funds to keep your education program running another year, then this is one conference you shouldn’t miss!
 
Education That Pays For Itself 2010 will be bring together over 100 participants including some of the world’s leading experts on Financially Sustainable Education.
 
Under the theme ofStrategies for Sustainable Schools”we’ll be looking at a range of topics all of which recognize the central role of strategic thinking at the institutional level if schools are to become financially, socially and environmentally sustainable.
 
The conference is hosted by Ark Africa at their Boko Education Centre just outside the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam. For over 17 years Ark Africa has used school based enterprises to generate resources and reinforce the education offered at their campuses.
 
For more information on the conference, visitwww.educationthatpaysforitself.org.
 
Note:Early Bird Registration rates end August 15th, register now!

Better By Design: The Tanzania School Making Education Pay

In the few years since Teach A Man To Fish was born, more and more schools around the world have taken up the challenge of creating entrepreneurial education programs that generate funds as well as learning.
 
Every once in a while though we come across a school that’s truly special, and Ark Africa’s Boko Education Centre outside Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania is just such an example.
 
For a start they cover around 55% of total costs from an impressive range of activities including mushroom cultivation, poultry, vegetable gardening, carpentry and catering services as well as diverse handcrafts; from Batik clothing, pillow covers and table cloth sets, to T-shirt printing, tailoring, and embroidery.
 
More unusual, students get paid for work they do on campus just like the school’s regular staff - by check at the end of the month. Similar to work study programs in developed countries this helps students to stay in education by reducing the financial incentive to drop out.
 
The Boko Student Credit Union is also an important piece in Ark’s sustainable education strategy. Every secondary school student has a bank account.  Students save and can apply for a loan either to help their families grow and improve their small businesses or to develop their own business initiatives. Students are also taught the key principles of saving, investment, money management and financial record keeping.
 
Other interesting innovations include a mentoring initiative where students are matched with a local professional – a big brother/big sister figure who helps prepare them for life after school with all its temptations, opportunities and challenges.  
 
Arkalso assists students wanting to continue in education with financial support in exchange for which they’re required to return to school to volunteer in a variety of roles.
 
It’s a model that pays today and pays for tomorrow supporting students who ‘pay it forward’ to help the next generation – truly a fine example of Education That Pays For Itself!
 
Come and discover Ark’s Boko Center first hand at Education That Pays For Itself 2010 – for more info, click here

Bright Spark: Inspired Ugandan Student’s Entrepreneurial Dealings

On the surface Lawrence may seem a regular Second Year student at St. Denis Secondary School in Makondo, Uganda – but he’s also the perfect example of the kind of young ‘entrepreneur-in-waiting’ that it only takes a small spark to ignite.
 
At the end of last year St. Denis started a guest speaker series where owners of successful local businesses came to share their experience and advice with the students.
 
After attending one of these talks 16-year-old Lawrence felt so inspired that he decided that he too wanted to become self-sufficient and support his family.
 
Unfortunately as a student from a poor family Lawrence had no capital at all, no land, and little time during term after his 1.5 hour walk each day to and from school.
 
However, where there is a will, there is a way!
 
Lawrence’s first idea was to sell banana pancakes. This little tasty snack is cheap to make and due to its popularity, there is always a market for it in the villages.
 
To generate the money he needed to set up his pancake business, however, Lawrence began to design and produce beautiful posters and cards using old cardboard boxes. Ultimately his card business turned out to be so successful that he chose to focus on it instead.
 
He now sells his art work to anyone and everyone from the Sisters at the parish church to foreign volunteers passing through.
 
As St Denis’ school businesses get fully started - a dairy, supply shop, plantain orchard and recently a corn mill – more students like Lawrence will have a chance to get hands-on business and practical experience of larger scale enterprises.
 
And after seeing the change a spark of inspiration can create, you can only imagine the impact that lighting a fire of possibilities like this will have on them – we’ll keep you informed!
 

News In Brief

Go On, Tweet Yourself!
 
If you’re on the more privileged side of the digital divide there’s really no escaping Twitter these days - the perfect way to share ideas & links in 141 characters or less.
 
So in keeping with our love of old proverbs we thought, “if you can’t beat them, join them!” and jumped on the bandwagon.
 
For folk interested in the world of education, entrepreneurship and sustainable schools, come join the tribe and follow the Twitter face of Teach A Man To Fish - @Nik_Kafka
 
 
School In A Box 2.0 – The Wiki Strikes Back
 
If you missed the original School In A Box Guide Series to setting up your own Financially Sustainable School, it’s all still available the good old reliable way – as a download from our website (here).
 
But for everyone out there who ever read a ‘How To Guide’ and thought it missed out something important, or could be made clearer, there’s now a much better way to make your voice heard – by making the changes yourself.
 
The School In A Box Guide Series has now been converted into a ‘Wiki’ hosted on the WikiEducator website. Now you can not only read it, but also edit it and post comments & queries about specific sections.
 
 
 
Any Colour You Like, So Long As It’s Red
 
Paul Smith, Herve Leger, House of Dereon and many more were amongst the top international fashion designers who produced dresses for the Oxford Red Couture Ball back in June.
 
Now some of these one-off pieces are up for grabs in an online charity auction with all proceeds going to Teach A Man To Fish and H.E.L.P. Malawi.
 
Flex your credit card and bid for these unique designer dresses, here!
 
Note:Auction ends August 5th, so you’d better be quick!!!!

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