Newsletter March 2010

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

From competitions and conferences, to mushrooming entrepreneurship- welcome to another edition of the Teach A Man To Fish quarterly newsletter!
Rising Above the Competition: Pan-African Awards Winners
The Entrepreneurial Orphanage: The World Is Their Oyster Mushroom
Prestigious Prizes: Awards Hat Trick for Paraguay Partner
Graduating to Better Things: Bolivia Partner School’s First Graduation Day
News in Brief: Prince Charles, Jungle Japes, & a Blogging Relay

Rising Above the Competition: Pan-African Awards Winners

What do an innovative leadership program in Uganda, a creative community primary school in Madagascar, and an entrepreneurial initiative to empower widows in Ghana have in common?
They’re all winners of the Educating Africa Pan-African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education 2009.
Another year and another record level of entries. Yet again the sheer range of innovation and achievements described by entrants is a true testimony to magnificent work of so many dedicate individuals and organizations working in education across Africa.
And though so many entries truly deserve recognition, sadly, as with all competitions, there can only be a few winners.
Teach A Man To Fish and Educating Africa are proud to announce the top three awards go to:
1st Prize:
Educate!, Uganda
2nd Prize:
House of Nations, Madagascar
3rd Prize:
Mama Zimbi Foundation, Ghana
While these organizations stood out as truly exceptional, the Educating Africa Pan-African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education offers a prize for the best entry from every country in Africa.
This year a record number of 23 country prizes of $1,000 will be awarded, with a further 5 organizations receiving commendations for their excellent work.
We hope through these awards to show that Africa is a continent of hope with much to be proud of. If by highlighting the best we can inspire the wider education community to aspire even higher, then the future will be a much brighter place for us all!
For a full list of winners visit the competition website.
To read more about the work of the top three prize winners, click here.

The Entrepreneurial Orphanage: The World Is Their Oyster Mushroom

How an orphanage in Guatemala is starting some unusual businesses to support their work.
Orphanages are often assumed to be a special case which justify an old-fashioned approach to charity – surviving on hand-outs because they can’t support themselves any other way.
It’s an assumption which Ties to the World founder Ibis Schlesinger is challenging at the Hogar Xavier in Guatemala. "With the same amount of funds required to support an orphanage for one year,” she notes,“we can create a business and assist the orphanage to become self-sufficient for many years to come."
Displaying a true flair for entrepreneurship Ties to the World is busy putting together an eclectic mix of small businesses which will support the future costs of the orphanage. From art sales, to a store for used goods, to a local bakery; when they see a niche in the market, they’re ready to make it work for the children they care for.
A great example of this is their oyster mushroom farm. What started as a tasty way to provide an extra source of protein for their children is slowly being transformed into an additional source of income for the orphanage.
Getting the conditions just right for mushroom farming takes a little practice, but because of this it can be a highly profitable activity that’s often overlooked in many developing countries.
And because it’s a business which can be started on a small scale, even schools with little available space can have a go – that’s one of the real advantages the fungus business, you don’t need mush-room for it!

Prestigious Prizes: Awards Hat Trick for Paraguay Partner

Financially Sustainable School for Rural Entrepreneurs scoops three international prizes.
The San FranciscoSchool for Rural Entrepreneurs in Paraguay has had an incredible few months receiving much deserved international recognition from some leading names in the international development, education and social enterprise sectors.
November saw the Fundación Paraguaya receive the Templeton Freedom Award Prize for Social Entrepreneurship for its Self-Sufficient Agricultural School, closely followed by the World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE) Award for Sustainability.
And, just when it looked like things couldn’t get any better, January brought the Global Development Network ‘Most Innovative Development Project Award’.
“This is an immensely proud time for us.”said Martin Burt, Executive Director of Fundación Paraguaya and Teach A Man To Fish, “We have shown that it is possible to create Financially Sustainable School which transforms the outcomes for poor rural youth. The challenge now is to show this can be done in any country where there is need – but we love a challenge!”
Read more about these awards and the winning organizations via the following links:

Graduating to Better Things: Bolivia Partner School’s First Graduation Day

“Eight students graduate from agricultural school” doesn’t sound like the kind of headline that would normally be worthy of newspaper printing – let alone reading!
But the story is a little different at the Centre for Alternative Agricultural Education in Tarairi, Bolivia, because it’s a milestone moment for a school which is trying to do something more than just teach – it aims to transform outcomes for poor rural youth, to help them lift themselves out of poverty.
After three years of study these fresh graduates will have the same high school qualification as their peers at other schools, the “Técnico Medio en Gestión Agropecuaria”.
The difference however is that these students have not only learned the theory of milk production, but even more important, how to make money running a dairy business.
This is because, for these same three years, they have been learning the skills demanded by the curriculum within a fully functioning and profitable dairy business owned and run by the school.
It may be small today, but as the school grows its class sizes it will benefit more students every year. For them this is not a numbers game, it is about creating impact – and with a business plan for financial sustainability in hand they can be confident that growth will not mean compromising the quality of education they’re committed to deliver.


News In Brief

Education That Pays For Itself: Past & Future
Sometimes just getting to our conferences can be an adventure! After arriving in Quito high in the Andes, over 100 delegates working in 27 countries made their way by plane, bus, & canoe on to the remote Yachana Lodge, deep in the Amazon jungle – and the base of Yachana Foundation, Ecuador’s award winning and highly inspirational sustainable education organization, and the hosts of Education That Pays For Itself 2009. Read all about the event here.
And just in case you’re kicking yourself for not making it along, don’t worry, plans are now in development for Education That Pays For Itself 2010– provisionally scheduled for Tanzania in the first week in December.
A Prince Amongst Men
Invites to meet royalty don’t come along every day, so Teach A Man To Fish Managing Director Nik Kafka was delighted to get a quick word with Prince Charles at the recent Youth Business International (YBI) Awards in London.
YBI support young entrepreneurs internationally to get started in business, providing not just finance but also experienced mentors whose support and advice can make all the difference.
It’s just the kind of program that could catapult Teach A Man To Fish school graduates even further down the road to success. Expect more news in the near future!
Fresh Bloggers
All good things must come to and end. So as Mary and Alex say goodbye to Kenya and Nicaragua respectively, we welcome some new faces on the ground, and the Blogging baton passes on again.
Read David’s tales from the Ondati Girls’ School in Kenya here.
Or take a peek inside Rebecca’s diary at the La Bastilla College & Eco-Lodge in Nicaragua, here.

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