In 2017 your support helped to achieve so much in East Africa, here is one highlight from each of the past 12 months. If you want a bit more detail, you can read our latest impact report here.
The Hoja TTL Centre will provide a much-needed place for school leavers to continue their studies and provide quality teachers. Last year work on the toilets, a lecture theatre, admin block, watchmen's house and dormitories have been completed. Before opening, the main priorities are to build a laboratory, library and classrooms and to create a food forest for the centre's sustainability.
Small loans of as little as £20 have been given to parents of children at MLASEO Nursery. These loans will allow parents to set up small businesses to provide an income for their families. Parents will be able to contribute to nursery fees to improve the sustainability and quality of education, as well as affording healthcare and food to lift themselves out of poverty.
The community at Litisha were one of the first to receive sustainable agriculture training. With their increased profits they set up a nursery for their pre-school children building a classroom and paying a teacher with no external financial help. This year COCO invested in playground equipment so the children have a safe place to play outdoors learning valuable life skills, making friends and just being children!
In April we officially welcomed Colin to the COCO family when he married our CEO Lucy. At their wedding they had a collection to raise money to plant trees at FOCUSSA Primary School in Kenya, which they visited together after taking part in the Maasai Cycle Challenge in 2016. The trees will provide shade from the African sun, fruit for children to eat and oxygen to breathe. Thanks Lucy, Colin and your wedding guests!
Students at Hoja Secondary trialed e-reader tablets in lessons. These provide an interactive space for students to learn, teaching valuable IT skills, as well as saving the school money buying new books each time the national curriculum changes. Tablets were also trialed at Kindimba and they were a success, so there are plans to purchase more!
16th June marked African Child Day, celebrated on the anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa. In Southern Tanzania, Hoja Project organised a celebratory event for 300 school children, who watched speeches and performances on the importance of education and gender equality.
The beautiful Hoja Beach, near Mbamba Bay on the shores of Lake Nyasa is being developed into a holiday resort, with the help of Cititec. The community are already growing fruits and vegetables on the land to generate an income. The beach will generate an income for the local community, which suffers from a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
The community of Bwayi in Kenya, previously supported by Chance To Grow, received sustainable agriculture training in August. This has empowered parents to be able to increase their crop yields to generate an income and be able to send their children to school and afford essential healthcare.
The children at Kids are Kings nursery in Southern Tanzania now have a safe new classroom in which to learn. The community helped to make the bricks, clear the land and fetch water for the building work so that the construction could be completed as quickly as possible. Previously the nursery was held in an expensive, rented property. The money saved will be reinvested to further improve the quality of education for the children.
A severe jigger infection in Western Kenya meant children were unable to go to school and parents were unable to work. The infection was successfully treated and all the children are now healthy and back in school learning!
A hugely successful appeal meant that work began on a Fishpond at Mercy Primary in Kenya. The pond will mean that women like Linet are no longer forced to have sex with fishermen to buy fish to make a living, but can buy them from the school instead, both ending exploitation and providing an income for the school.
A chicken project was established at Mbamba Bay, which will generate an income to support a coordinator in the area. A volunteer has already been achieving great things in the area, the chicken project will provide him with an income so he can continue to do his excellent work and have an even bigger impact on this remote area.