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Newsletter May 2007

With winter long gone in the North, welcome to the spring edition of the Teach A Man To Fish quarterly newsletter – positively bursting with life in your inbox.

From growing African business leaders, to close brushes with Nobel laureates, and even online animations, there really is something for everyone – read on!

  • Karatara: A new kind of business school for rural South Africa
  • First International Conference on Entrepreneurial Schools launches
  • Graduating to higher things: Student successes in Paraguay
  • Recipe for success in education: TeachAManToFish online animation
  • A Nobel Cause: TeachAManToFish meets Professor Yunus
  • News in Brief: From the World Bank to the South Bank

Karatara: A New Kind of Business School for Rural South Africa

Campus Business - Organic VegetablesThe South African business school for the poor using entrepreneurship to bring higher education to rural communities

“Africa doesn’t need hand-outs; they have failed her over and over again.  In fact, the last thing we need is handouts from the northern hemisphere,” or so says Steven Carver founder of the Karatara Project. “What Africa really needs is smart, cutting edge businesses that unleash her rural wealth, and create jobs - lots of them!” 

Founded in the region near the small town of Karatara, the Karatara Project was established to develop a new model for rural business schools – one which would deliver a first class business education, but without having to rely on handouts.  

What is so unique about their approach?
At the Eden Campus, the first Karatara Project site, students learn business skills while running profit-making enterprises which are owned by the school itself.

Campus Business - Cycle HireFrom organic vegetable production, to bicycle hire, to re-designed clothing, these campus businesses are educational for the students, but also offer employment opportunities to local residents.

The clever part however is that the income stream from these businesses goes towards sustaining the costs of running the campus - avoiding it getting trapped in a cycle of relying on ongoing donations to stay afloat.

While campus businesses will help to cover operating costs, Karatara is also the major stakeholder in the Miracle Company  - a social enterprise currently developing biodiesel projects – whose profits will support the investment costs of replications across Africa.

By making a high quality business education available to young people from marginalized rural families, they aim to inspire a new generation of rural entrepreneurs with a spirit of self-reliance - and in doing so strengthen the culture of enterprise within their communities.

Financially and environmentally sustainable, entrepreneurial in focus, and locally driven, Karatara is project with enormous potential to create positive social change!



First International Conference on Financially Self-Sufficient Schools launches

Conference on using school-run businesses for education & income set for December 2007

Teach A Man To Fish has been working hard since its creation to catalyse a movement for change in education. We’ve built up a virtual community of nearly 400 individuals and organisations in more than 60 countries who understand the need for education to be more relevant and better resourced. Scenes from th Conference Host

Great as the internet is, there’s no real substitute for face to face contact. The Financially Self-Sufficient Schools conference 2007 will bring together up to 100 delegates – including educators, development practitioners, academics, international institutions, & donors – to reinforce the bonds within our community, exchange ideas, and inspire individuals for social change.

The conference will be held from the 4th to 6th December on the campus of the San Francisco Agricultural School, a unique agricultural high school in Paraguay. This school has not only achieved exceptional educational results, but surprisingly good financial performance results as well. 

Although the school takes no money from government and charges virtually no fees, it expects to be 100% financially self-sufficient by the end of 2007, thanks to income from the sale of goods & services it produces and provides.

Our conference host is just one inspirational example of a Financially Self-Sufficient School which uses profit-making businesses to teach students practical agricultural and business skills  in a real-life context, and reinvests school-generated income in its facilities and staff.  Other Financially Self-Sufficient Schools and educators will also be in attendance.  Come learn from their experience and/or share your own.  

For more information on the conference and how to register click here.

Call for Proposals
Teach A Man To Fish is currently accepting proposals from all individuals and organisations working in entrepreneurship education and related fields wishing to present their work at the conference. Please visit the conference website for more details on how to submit a proposal and for acceptance criteria.



Graduating to Higher Things: Student Successes in Paraguay

Graduates of San Francisco Agricultural School exceed all expectations on getting their high school diplomas

Graduates Class of 2006Success for the children of rural families in Paraguay is often just having a little more tomorrow than they have today - a little more than needed for survival.

The San Francisco Agricultural High School thinks they can aim higher, and is now proving it. Within two months of graduation its Class of 2006 students had all found jobs with highly-respected employers, obtained places at top universities, or started their own small rural enterprises.

This is a great achievement for most high school graduates, butespecially for kids who come from very poor rural backgrounds, have just finished high school, and are entering a job market with very limited opportunities for young people!Jorge Martinez at Earth University

Although the school aims to prepare its students for life as rural entrepreneurs, the doors opened through this education can lead in many directions. Indeed, four of the school’s graduates have now gone on with full scholarships to EARTH University in Costa Rica and Zamarano University in Honduras – the Harvard and Yale for agriculture in Latin America.

One of these is Jorge Martínez, a 2004 graduate from a humble but hardworking farming family. Neither of his parents had completed elementary school - a common situation in rural Paraguay – so right from childhood, he knew that life would not be easy unless he could obtain a good education.

“Having thrown myself into my earlier studies,” he says "I found my true vocation in agronomy at the San Francisco High School, which became like a second home to me.  There I gained the knowledge and tools necessary to attend one of the best universities for agronomy, EARTH University in Costa Rica." 

Thanks to the opportunities provided by the San Francisco Agricultural High School and from EARTH University, Jorge will be able to return to Paraguay with the necessary knowledge and skills to help his family and contribute to his community’s agricultural development. 

 

Recipe for Success - Teach A Man To Fish animationRecipe for success in education: Teach A Man To Fish online animation

Online animation offers a fun way to understand our alternative approach to education

Sometimes a great idea can get lost in the language that we use – particularly in the world of international development. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, we thought, if understanding our approach to education was as easy as reading through a recipe?

So with the help of a couple of talented volunteers we’ve put together a short animation that takes the mystery out of this approach we call “Education That Pays For Itself”.

It’s so simple a child could understand it – and they do!

To see the animation, just click here.


A Nobel causeTeach A Man To Fish with Prof Muhammad Yunus

Teach A Man To Fish rubs shoulders Nobel Prize winner Prof Muhammad Yunus

Everyone needs their heroes, and when it comes to choosing someone who has made a phenomenal impact on the lives of poor people internationally, there are few more impressive individuals than 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of pioneering microfinance institution the Grameen Bank.

So when Teach A Man To Fish was presenting at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship and we had a chance to meet the man himself, we embraced it with open arms.

Some have said that “Education That Pays For Itself”, as a financially sustainable approach to tackling poverty, has all the potential to equal the huge a success of microfinance. Whether we can achieve this same impact through education will depend on many factors – but it’s certainly a noble cause!


News in Brief:

World Bank consultation
After a 25 year gap the influential World Development Report produced by the World Bank is once again focusing on agriculture. Much has changed in that time in the world of agriculture, but one thing remains constant – the education system in most developing countries fails to prepare the farmers of the future to escape the poverty trap.

Having been invited to take part in consultations on the draft report, TeachAManToFish made sure that our innovative approach to solving this situation was conveyed loud and clear. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that when it comes to the finished report due out later this year that our suggestions make the final cut.

Chickens for Uganda schoolEaster Fundraising campaign
We’d like to thank all those individuals who contributed so generously to our Easter fundraising campaign to support a poultry project at a girls’ school in Uganda. Learning how to raise chickens is a great livelihoods skill – and by selling the eggs the school will be able to keep on providing the girls a top quality education for many years to come.

Don't worry if you missed our chicken mail, it's not too late to find out more - or to donate now!

From Ghana to Tanzania: Even more opportunities to volunteer overseas
Having launched our Ghana volunteering scheme in the last newsletter, we’re proud to announce a new partnership to support overseas volunteer projects in Tanzania. For anyone wanting to get involved in development and conservation work close-up, this is one more great opportunity. For full details, click here!

Your Voice Against Poverty
Two years ago, world leaders were given a huge global mandate to make poverty history. Unprecedented public pressure led them to make some big promises – to increase aid, and cancel many poor countries’ debts. Despite these promises they still haven’t shown enough urgency in taking the action necessary to eradicate poverty.

In June the heads of the G8, a group of eight of the richest countries in the world will once again meet, this time in Germany. If you’re in town, come gather on the banks of the River Thames in London on Saturday 2 June and send the Prime Minister off with a message on poverty ringing in his ears. Wear white, bring your alarm clock or phone alarm, and raise your voices against poverty. For more information visit the campaign website.

Can’t make it to London? Then send an online message to Angela Merkel the German Chancellor – click here!


Link of the Month

The Development Gateway is probably the top resource available on the internet for anyone interested in the issues surrounding international development. With a community of over 30,000 members and a huge range of regular bulletins on topics ranging from technology to civil society to HIV/AIDS, it’s easy to navigate and full of relevant information.

For the record, our belief that the Development Gateway is in tune with the most cutting-edge approaches to development has nothing to do with the month long feature they just ran on Teach A Man To Fish... well maybe a little bit!


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