Newsletter February 2012

Welcome to the February edition of the Teach A Man To Fish quarterly e-bulletin!

From cunning plans in Africa to herbal tea tie-ups in Paraguay - Welcome to another edition of the Teach A Man To Fish quarterly newsletter!

Planning for Success: Triple Win for Africa 

Meet the Graduates: Nelson and Rogers 

Business Links: Paraguayan Tea and The Girls From The Forest! 

News in Brief: 5, 40, 2500, Uganda and Wine! 


Planning for Success: Triple Win for Africa! 

African schools scoop all three prizes in the Business Plan stage of the international School Enterprise Challenge 2011. 

When you're running an international competition challenging schools to start profitable enterprises you wouldn't necessarily expect an all Africa line up on the podium - but that's how the results panned out in the Business Plan stage of the School Enterprise Challenge 2011.

Indeco Community School in Zambia saw a gap in the market to create a social enterprise producing high quality school uniforms for local schools. As a strategy to generate the funds needed to establish this business they planned to set up a low-cost business selling bags made of recycled textiles to tourists. Read their Blog here.   

President Barack Obama Computer College in Kenya, planning a bee-keeping and tree nursery enterprise, took a novel approach to their market research. Investing in 20 litres of honey, they tested different size containers, packaging styles, judging popularity based on sales and customer feedback. Read their Blog here.   

KCM Konkola Trust Primary School in Zambia, identified a business opportunity targeting the increasing numbers of Asian and European mineworkers moving to their town. Exotic vegetables enjoyed by these workers were being imported at high cost. Producing these vegetables locally would give the school a competitive price advantage in this valuable local market. Read their Blog here.

How did it turn out? As expected, an entrepreneurial journey of discovery, success and set-backs. A true education! Read their blogs  by clicking on 'blog' under each school, and judge for yourselves!

Final results for the Enterprise Start-Up stage of the School Enterprise Challenge 2011 will be announced in March 2012.

NOTE: Schools interested in entering the School Enterprise Challenge 2012 can pre-register their interest here.

Meet The Graduates: Nelson and Rogers:

Sometimes we spend so long talking about great educational initiatives that we forget to tell the stories of the students - which is after all what it's all about!

To set things straight here's two snapshots of graduates from Teach A Man To Fish partner schools in Africa and Central America that show the difference our approach can make in an individual's life.

Rogers left St Denis School, Uganda in 2008 but not before becoming one of the first students to assist in establishing the school's matooke (plantain) tree plantation - its first enterprise. Along the way he learnt many valuable skills such as how to cut away dead fibres to prevent the growth of banana weevils.

Inheriting some land from his father around 2 years ago, Rogers decided to establish his own plantation since he had the skills to do so from his time at St Denis. He is now studying Accountancy and using his banana plantation to part-fund his studies.

"You cannot go far in your business when you are not skilled... " he says, "If it wasn't for St Denis I wouldn't have had the interest in establishing the plantation I have now."

Nelson's background is typical of student as the La Bastilla Technical High School in Nicaragua. His parents, subsistence farmers, did not even complete the first year of primary school and like them he started working in the field aged 11.

When the High School opened it was a major decision for him to stop working and take on debt to pursue his education - but one that paid off. The business and practical skills he learned over three intense years have enabled him to get a job with real prospects, as well as a nationally recognized qualification - allowing him to enroll at a local university to study agriculture at the weekends. 

Nelson has now been working for La Bastilla Coffee Estates since December 2011, and is the deputy supervisor of the coffee processing plant, managing 5 other workers. He deals with the de-pulping, sorting and washing of the coffee and the drying process, as well as the treatment of waste waters.

He says that he is especially grateful to all of the teachers at La Bastilla who work such long hours and devote their time to teaching students, as many of them have supported and inspired him.



A corporate partnership in Paraguay that's good for business and great for education!

You may not have come across it, but Yerba Mate - a type of Herbal Tea - is big business in a large part of South America, and with sizeable diaspora from these countries now living around the world. 

With growing consumer consciousness about where their products come from, and the impact producing them has on the environment, it's increasingly true that businesses can do well by doing good.  

This is certianly true for the Paraguay Business Group, owners of the organic 'Jerovia' brand which has had great success both in Paraguay and internationally. As part of their 'triple bottom line' strategy to protect the environment and support communities while making a profit, they've now teamed up with the Mbaracayu Girls Schoolin a mutually beneficial partnership.  

Based in one of the last and largest stretches of Atlantic Forest in Paraguay the school provides an education stressing entrepreneurship and environmental protection as key to the community's future.

Through this partnership the girls develop their business understanding, marketing and sales skills through representing Jerovia in their region. The school gains a premium from sales of Jerovia in a 'Fair Trade' style arrangement. meanwhile the company not only gets to live by its values, but also use these values as a competitive advantage in attracting customers.  

For schools that want graduates to leave equally prepared for the world of business as for continuing education, developing closer ties with socially responsible enterprises can open new doors for them and their students.  

For a great video on the Mbaracayu Girls Schooltrailing an upcoming feature length documentary on its work, click here.  



News In Brief…

Devex 40 Under 40 Award

At Teach A Man To Fish we measure our success by the impact we have on the young people we work for.... but we're also more than happy when we get a little recognition for it! So it's with thanks to Devex's panel of esteemed judges that Teach A Man To Fish Managing Director, Nik Kafka was included on their list of London's Top 40 International Development Leaders Under 40.

While we might not getting many younger, the next generation of young international development leaders is the one we're really excited about - graduating year after year from our partner schools. They're only just beginning, so watch this space!



Your Votes Counted!!!

Thanks to so many of you for voting for our Financially Self-Sufficient School Model - as pioneered by the Fundacion Paraguaya - one of the top 5 winners in the prestigious Ashoka Changemakers 'Powering Economic Opportunity' competition. Every piece of recognition like this is a step forward for bringing quality, relevant and accessible education to those who most need it. Thanks again for your support! 


Teach A Man To Fish Network hits 2,500 Members

The Teach A Man To Fish Members' Network is an international community of schools, education organizations and individuals working in education committed to sustainable approaches to tackling poverty.

Covering 125+ countries, and now with over 2,500 membersreaching more than 23 million beneficiaries, the network continues to connect practitioners and organizations to share ideas and innovations, supporting the growth of a grass-roots movement to transform traditional education into Education That Pays For Itself. If you believe education needs some fresh thinking if it's to sustainably meet the needs of young people, come join us now! 


Meet Emily, our 'Man' in  Uganda!

With so much interest in our approach in East Africa, we thought it was about time to reach out beyond our current partner schools, to support the wider community of organizations involved in sustainable education. 

Over the next few months Emily Boothroyd, our new Uganda Coordinator will be offering training workshops and tailored programs on how to run profitable school businesses which meet educational as well as financial goals. If you know a project in Uganda which might appreciate this kind of assistance, why not shoot her a mail now!    


Grape Entertainment!

Come to our London Wine Tasting, March 9th! Hosted by specialist Spanish wine merchants Bacchanalia in their boutique Riverside Wine Studio in London, over the evening guests will be guided through a wide range of Spanish wines by Bacchanalia's resident experts with a chance to sample Spanish delicacies and professionally carved jamon.

Proceeds will support expansion of school businesses at Ondati Girls' School in Kenya which has blossomed from 25 to 150 girls in the last 18 months! Wine, food & girls education - get your tickets online now!  


Chirpy Tweets:

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.

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