Newsletter December 2008

From giving and receiving awards, to conference commitments and school businesses on an industrial scale - welcome to another edition of the Teach A Man To Fish quarterly newsletter.

Season's greetings & a Happy New Year to one and all!!!!

  • Educating Africa: Entrepreneurship in Education Awards Announced
  • Rising to the Challenge: Your Votes See Teach A Man To Fish School Take 2nd Place
  • Education That Pays For Itself 2008: Commitments to Change
  • Industry & Community: The Bolivian School Making Agriculture Pay

Educating Africa: Entrepreneurship in Education Awards Announced

When it comes to making education widely available in the toughest of environments entrepreneurship has never been more needed than today – something clearly demonstrated by the winners of the Educating Africa Pan-African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education 2008.

The top three award winners this year include an outstanding voluntourism initiative from Uganda, an Ethiopian enterprise offering pre-school education with a twist, and a Kenyan project helping schools earn money from honey. Alongside their awards, all three organizations were sponsored to attend our conference in South Africa last month where their contributions to shared learning taking place were highly valued.

To find out more about the work of top three prize winners, click here

You can also view a full list of awardees including country prizes and commendations, here.

Rising to the Challenge: Your Votes See Teach A Man To Fish School Take 2nd Place

“Agriculture School – Paraguay” wins 2nd prize in the BBC World Challenge 2008 awards.

World Challenge 2nd Place Agriculture SchoolWorld Challenge is a global competition, now in its fourth year, that encourages, recognizes, and rewards enterprising initiatives making a real difference being made at the grass-roots level.
There’s really no better example of this than the Escuela Agricola San Francisco in Paraguay, run by our Latin America partner the Fundación Paraguaya.

Paraguay is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, yet the educational system does not teach children how to earn a living. This unique school incorporates life skills qualifications, alongside traditional academic modules - producing graduates able to go directly into well-paid work, or into further education.

Martin Burt and Nik Kafka, from Fundación Paraguaya and Teach A Man To Fish attended the ceremony in Holland to receive the prize of USD $10.000 which will make a valuable contribution to enhancing the students’ overall learning experience.

With a tiny home audience for BBC World programs in Paraguay, it’s your votes internationally that catapulted us into second place – so thanks from all of us here at Teach A Man To Fish!

Education That Pays For Itself 2008: Commitments to Change

The second international Teach A Man To Fish conference “Education That Pays For Itself 2008 ” took place in South Africa during November, bringing more than 130 participants together from 23 countries in what turned out to be a truly inspirational event.

Conference VideoWith so much time, energy and expense channeled into a couple of days, once the dust’s settled and everyone’s back home, how can we be sure we’re creating a real impact and the momentum to take our work further?

This year we’re trying something new through the creation of a global commitment program. Sixty five conference participants have committed themselves and their organizations to bringing the benefits of sustainable education to 5.8 million young people around the world.

We’ll make these commitments available online in the near future, but in the mean time if you’re looking for a little inspiration yourself, why not watch our conference video, or have a read of our South Africa diary 2008.

Industry & Community: The Bolivian School Making Agriculture Pay

Generating enough income from school business activities to provide a free education to your students is a tough challenge - but one which Colonia Piraí in Bolivia has more than conquered. What’s more this school has achieved full financially self-sufficient through agricultural activities alone!

Colonia PiraiThe students come from poor rural backgrounds where typical family income is in the range of $200-$600 per year - for a household of up to 20 people! This makes the student's practical, 'learning by doing' education all the more crucial as they are quickly able to apply new farming techniques at home and help support their family while they study.

The school's two main income generating activities are the production of eggs and pork products, both of which operate on an industrial scale. These businesses provide employment for the local community, strengthen the school management’s entrepreneurial credentials, and deepen the schools understanding of local markets - both as an employer and vendor.

At school, the students spend the morning getting hands-on experience in all aspects of agribusiness, enhanced by classroom theory in the afternoon.

Central to each student's education is an entrepreneurial community project which they set up and develop throughout their three years at Colonia Piraí. These projects spread new ideas and innovative agricultural techniques among local farmers and adding value to the local economy.

Each year graduating students take the skills they learnt at Colonia Piraí and set up their own agricultural enterprise or are employed in agribusiness as technicians and middle managers. Some even go on to further study at university - an incredible achievement when you consider that without Colonia Piraí they wouldn’t have been able to even make it to high school!

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