Oct 12, 2020

SUPPORTING GIRLS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Rescued Girl undergoing Couselling sessions
Rescued Girl undergoing Couselling sessions

PROJECT SUMMARY

The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust Kenya is implementing “girls for the future” intervention in North Rachuonyo Sub-County. This is an intervention with a view of eradicating the education barriers that prevent young girls from attending school but with a vision of empowering the girls to achieve their full potentials in school. The project targets 600 girls and young women in both primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education.

ONGOING PROJECTS

  1. Women Enterprise- supporting girls through the apprenticeship program
  1. ‘ Safe Space’ for girls and young women-Providing ‘Safe Space’ for GBV survivors
  2. Alternative Family Based Care (AFBC)

SUPPORTING GIRLS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

‘Jijenge’ program for girls in Tertiary Education

This program has endeavored to support girls to gain entrepreneurial skills that enable them to become better entrepreneurs and create themselves jobs. The program being a form of tertiary education has enabled positive contributions in the community by the young girls.

In the last quarter ending September 2020, the organization mobilized 16 girls to join the apprenticeship training in the fields of hairdressing, catering, and tailoring. Hence 10 girls were enrolled in hairdressing, 5 girls in catering, and while a girl opted for tailoring.

The girls in the field of hairdressing are being trained on plaiting, blow-drying, weaving, chemicals, manicure and pedicure, facial, entrepreneurship, communication skills, and customer care; a program that will go for six (6) months before they are graduated.

Additionally, girls in the field of catering are undergoing training on customer care and relations, communication skills, production, customer service, value addition, and entrepreneurship.

The tailoring course is also progressing well with a girl enrolled and attached to one of the best tailors in Kisumu County who is an expert in mass production of school uniforms. The girl has progressed well and now lacks the sewing machine to enable her to become self-reliant after completion of the course.

The first phase of this program saw 10 girls graduating from the salon. A follow-up done to the 10 girls, discovered that five (5) are attached to various salons and beauty shops being paid piece rates while five (5) girls are at home but we have established linkages for them to join various saloons once the COVID-19 infection rates reduce.

Challenges Faced during project implementation

  • Inadequate space to accommodate more than 30 girls in the hairdressing.
  • Lack of enough startup capital to jump-start the girls to own their saloons
  • Inadequate upkeep for the girls in the apprenticeship program
  • Inadequate training materials for the girls hence missing some units before graduating them

Way forward

  • Identified place, which is spacious for the hairdressing, and can accommodate at least 50 girls; resource mobilization for the rent payment ongoing.
  • Link the girls to the government Youth Enterprise Fund and Women Enterprise Fund to benefit then in starting their full-fledged saloons.
  • The availed resources cannot meet the upkeep and accommodation of the girls hence the need for more fundraising.
  • Attaching the girls to other existing saloons with the course units, we cannot provide at a fee.

 

Case Study

Seline having failed to join college due to pregnancy became one of the first batches of girls to enroll with The Royalty Beauty Parlor and barbershop for the six months’ course. She decided to take training in Salon and Beauty therapy, which she undertook alongside Computer classes. After six months into the training Saline can testify on the progress made in her life “I joined the team knowing nothing that’s after wasting five pleasant months at Homa Bay Vocational Centre now I can do most of the things”, she says. She is glad that within a short period (5 months), she had learned everything that is a pedicure, manicure, facial massage, plaiting, and haircut and she is sure of doing them.

Seline is grateful to the sponsors of TMT and the Director for having given them a second chance to acquire skills that help uplift their lives as girls. Much appreciation also she gives to their tutor, for her enormous heart of considering them as her children, the entire staff of The Mango Tree for always checking on them every day on their welfare.

Having observed the kind of commitment and dedication on Seline, TMT decided to keep her as one of the tutors for the girls who are undergoing the same apprenticeship program during the second intake.

GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE RESCUE AND RECOVERY CENTRE

Providing ‘Safe Space’ for GBV survivors

This project provides a Rescue and Recovery Centre, which is a ‘safe’ space for gender-based violence survivors, to help them get away from a toxic environment of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. The survivors mostly girls and young women do not have anyone or anywhere to turn to, remaining in the same environment as the perpetrators since the perpetrators in most cases are hidden and protected culturally. The Centre offers medical, legal, and psychological support to victims.

The impact of violence, which the COVID-19 pandemic has immensely sped up, affects the individual woman’s living conditions and quality of life. Children who witness domestic violence are at increased risk of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and poor school performance, among other problems, which harm their well-being and personal development. School-related violence limits or destroys educational opportunities and achievements for girls.

During this period, 13 cases of SGBV have been reported among some of our school-sponsored girls with only 4 cases of the reported being prosecuted by the relevant authorities. It is worth noting that most of the cases are hard to deal with because the caregivers refuse to disclose and prefer out-of-court settlement that eventually affects the lives of the girls.

TMT-K is collaborating with other stakeholders to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book for these awful acts.

ALTERNATIVE FAMILY BASED CARE (AFBC)

Over the last ten (10) years, the organization has used AFBC (Alternative Family-based Care) to support highly vulnerable OVC. The foster homes have provided the OVC with an adequate family environment to enhance development.

The organization managed to continue supporting 20 highly vulnerable OVC at AFBC (Alternative Family-based Care) through the provision of foodstuffs, medical care, and regular visits.

Challenges

  • The COVID 19 pandemic is currently the main challenge. With most vulnerable children being at home and are exposed to sexual exploitation and abuse hence being in danger of early pregnancy, contracting HIV/AIDS, and other sexual diseases, because of poverty extreme hunger, and illnesses. This will eventually lead to many girls dropping out of school.
  • Funding remains a key challenge to implementing this project. The organization is constantly engaging its donors for continuous support and for the timely completion of the project. Meanwhile, the organization is trying to come up with innovative ways of continuity of the project.
Salon lessons in session
Salon lessons in session
Rescued Girl undergoing treatment
Rescued Girl undergoing treatment
Case Study: Seline at Computer class
Case Study: Seline at Computer class
Jul 21, 2020

BUILDING RESILIENCE IN AGRIBUSINESS

INTRODUCTION:

The Mango Tree Orphan Trust Fund -Kenya has been implementing the achievable ambitious plan of improving the livelihood of 1500 rural farmers through agribusiness. It has been more than a year since the project was initiated and several agribusiness projects have been initiated and are ongoing. The project's fundraising target is $50,000 and we have been able to raise $13,678. This amount has been used to construct a modern grains store, construction of a modernized poultry farm, buying the poultry farm inputs, buying the poultry feeds milling machine, and has been used to loan the registered farmers in the cooperative society capital for buying soya bean seeds for planting. This same amount has been used to initiate some agribusiness activities that benefit the farmers. The key agribusiness activities here include goat farming, poultry farming, apiculture, aquaculture, cassava farming, ground nuts farming, mango farming, soya beans farming, and tree planting. For the quarter under review, the organization planned and accomplished the following activities:

FARMING ACTIVITIES

The organization in partnership with the registered local farmers, County, and National Government agricultural extension officers and other agribusiness institutions implements many agribusiness projects within Homabay and Migori Counties.  The organization is implementing the following specific agribusiness projects:

a)      Apiculture

Out of the 40 hives distributed to the farmers in the preceding periods, 28 hives have attracted the bees and the progress is well. Harvesting is targeted to happen in 5 months after a strong formation of the cobs that can hold more honey by August 2020. The initially distributed hives have produced up to 60kgs of pure honey in the last 3 months which is quite low. This is a result of movement restrictions imposed by the government (curfew) as a measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 which has been a honey harvesting barrier. The restrictions have therefore resulted in a negative impact on the farmers’ incomes. We hope for more harvest after the uplift of the curfew.

Way forward

  • Conduct routine follow up
  • More training for the new households on beehives management and timely harvesting
  • Supporting the beneficiaries on the processing of pure natural honey, packaging, and marketing.

b)      Aquaculture

We fully restocked 37 ponds in our last year’s budget which were well managed up to harvesting point. Out of the 37 ponds 5 dam liner ponds were at the model farm in Kosele TMT main office and 14 community liner ponds. The remaining 18 ponds were community earth ponds. The 18 earth ponds were fully submerged by the floods from the raising lake water level due to global warming and other challenges. Despite the numerous challenges faced by our farmers with earth ponds along the lake we still were able to record some meaningful positive results from the liner ponds.

Achievements

  • The farmers manage to harvest 12 liner ponds successfully with proceeds record averagely of between Ksh 25,000 to Ksh 30,000.
  • Two farmers can be self-reliant, hence fully graduated but still closely monitored by our field team.
  • 5 Farmers successfully saved part of their proceeds with the TMT farmers’ cooperative promising continuity.
  • One earth pond fish farmers managed to harvest his pond successfully despite the challenges.
  • Most of the fish farmers used their incomes to pay school fees for their children in the months of January and February

Fish Cages

In the reporting period, our fish cage project in Kiwa Island has been successfully started with the installation of 9 cages fully stocked with 1500 fingerlings each, summing up to 13500 fish targeted at the harvesting of all the 9 cages. As at the reporting time we have mobilized a total of 51 households around the project area targeting to benefit 357 people directly and indirectly. The community remains positive with the project idea but due to the COVID-19, we are not able to continue with our planned capacity building activities for the targeted household clusters as earlier scheduled though the routine fish cage feeding and management are ongoing with the help of community service volunteers.

Challenges

  • Due to the effects of global warming, we have had a share of its impact in our project area and specifically the earth ponds along the lake this has been aggravated by the inconsiderate sand mining along the lake. The farmers lost fish stock worth KSH 125000 in 17 ponds.
  • 2 dam liners are submerged with the rising water level from the lake which cannot allow the building of dykes and construction of new ponds along the lake.

Way forward

  • We consider investing in dam liner ponds for the affected households targeting 10 households.
  • We are encouraging a few farmers who have land on higher grounds to construct new earth ponds
  • More focus should be directed to fish cage farming since it is the only safer way to go

c)      Goat Farming

Most of the farmers feel so happy and motivated with the project as they can now smile 3 months after the placement due to kids' delivered reports. Based on the project goal of initiating, enhancing and providing a sustainable alternative source of livelihoods through a meaningful, participatory and intensive dairy goat upgrading project at the household level, a good outcome has been seen and better reports received from individual farmers where 61% of the local does have delivered kids of averagely 2 months old and most of these households are headed by the women. This is in conjunction with improved nutrition and health among the beneficiaries as a result of the consumption of good milk from the goats. We, therefore, believe to receive more positive reports from the goat farmers as the field officers do not conduct their routine daily monitoring as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and expect to extend to the remaining farmers who are still faced with similar economic and social challenges, these would increase the number of dairy goat crosses visible within the project area.

Way forward on Goat Farming

  • Passing on of the delivered kids to other farmers to increase placement
  • More placement to be carried out to hit the 44% remaining for placement
  • Continue working with the County Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to monitor any outbreak of infectious diseases, vaccination, and prompt treatment of the goats.
  • Distribute fodder trees and legumes to the beneficiaries and train them on feed management.
  • Liaise with the veterinary officer to train the farmers on goat breeding management.
  • Establishment of a sustainable management practice of appropriate quality goat feeds.
  • Conduct routine on-farm follow-ups

d)      Tree Planting

The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust has been working with the communities, schools, and other local organizations to mitigate on reclamation of the land left bare due to sand harvesting which was a catastrophe in waiting.

The Infrastructure is impassable with a total power blackout for over 1 year as the root of the electric poles were weakened by the sand harvesting.

Though drawn back by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of tree distribution, TMT has managed to distribute 72,165 tree seedlings of various species ranging from Eucalyptus, Pines, Gravellier, Calliadra (which is a fodder tree) and 180 fruits trees comprising of grafted mangoes, Avocado and Pawpaw which is to help in reclamation of the harvested sites, boost the tree cover which is far below and introduce fruit tree per home for value addition while instilling the culture of a tree growing in the community.

The community has embraced this initiative as households are encouraged to embrace and join The Mango Tree Farmers Cooperative Society.

The tree's survival rate is well with a record of 89% picking up and growing strongly. Therefore we need to conserve the environment at all costs as the environment and the economy are two sides of the same coin.

Way forward

  • To distribute another batch of trees in August during the short rains
  • Do follow up and monitor the progress of the already growing trees
  • To continue collaborating and sensitizing the communities on the importance of trees and taking care of our environment.
  • To link up with the local administration and the Kenya Forest Service department to strongly intervene and minimize human-animal conflicts hence ensuring that growth is attained and control on cutting down trees aimlessly.

SUCCESS FACTOR

The organization has been able to utilize the raised $13,678 into various projects that are of benefit to the organization.

Challenges:

  • Power fluctuation is a challenge in the poultry farm. The incubators require 100% availability of electricity for the best hatching rate. Power outage makes the project cater to the expensive cost of fuel for the generator that acts as a backup when there is a power outage.
  • The organization is grateful to the donors who constantly support the projects through donations. However, funding remains a key challenge to implementing this project since the funds raised has not been enough for the successful implementation of the activities. Out of the $50,000 budget, $1 has been successfully fundraised and the organization is, therefore, appealing to the donors for continued support. The organization is also utilizing all available opportunities in the various projects to ensure that it gets income from the various projects to fund and expand on its projects. Moreover, the organization utilizes labor from the community volunteers as well as the senior beneficiaries who support the organization as a way of giving back to the community.

PLANS FOR NEXT QUARTER

  • Poultry project has got a plan of purchasing a solar-powered incubator to solve the problem of power fluctuation that reduces the hatching rate.
  • More training for the new households on beehives management and timely harvesting
  • Supporting the beneficiaries on the processing of pure natural honey, packaging, and marketing.
  • Install a solar panel at the poultry farm to be able to start another round of incubation.
  • Exploring ways in which fish farmers can diversify and start fish cage farming
  • Passing on of the delivered goats' kids to other farmers to increase the placement target.
  • Stocking of the ready earth ponds and fish cages
Jun 16, 2020

SUPPORTING GIRLS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Girls in apprenticeship training ready to graduate
Girls in apprenticeship training ready to graduate

‘Jijenge’ program for girls in Tertiary Education

In the past 8 months, Mango Tree has put a concerted effort into developing a program for young girls to gain gainful basic skills and to become entrepreneurs hence creating jobs for themselves and the market.

We developed a succession program for our young girls in tertiary education so that they may be able to contribute positively towards the community at whatever capacity by being creative, innovative and entrepreneurs or business people. The program kicked off with 30 girls engaged in different fields that is hairdressing, Catering, Fashion and design, and many others.

The hairdressing course which takes 6 months completed its 1st training with 10 girls graduating. The program had a small setback with time because of the COVID19 pandemic which has affected the whole world. As a result, some of the girls have delayed completing their various training. However, 10 girls doing hairdressing completed their apprenticeship and graduated. Apart from the skills gained, they also were awarded some seed capital as a start-up. We are hopeful that these young girls will become successful entrepreneurs in creating employment for others. The project is targeting 200 girls.

OTHER ONGOING PROJECTS

Supply girls with Reusable Sanitary Pads

1)      Health Outreach

2)      School levies to vulnerable children

3)      Holiday Tuition, Reproductive Health, and empowerment Seminars

4)      Alternative Family Based Care (AFBC)

Activities Progress

ü  The organization supplied 442 adolescent girls with re-usable and disposable sanitary towels. The girls were trained on the use and re-use of the sanitary towels and through community health nurse, conducted 15 outreaches programs targeting girls with health education and treatment. HIV counseling and testing was also done.

ü  Through TMT family school holidays, the organization mobilized 800 adolescent girls and conducted health and motivational seminars. The seminars focused on among others; life skills, sex, and reproductive health, career choice, youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship skills.

ü  Over the last ten (10) years the organization has used AFBC (Alternative Family-based Care to support highly vulnerable OVC. The foster homes have provided the OVC with an adequate family environment to enhance development.

ü  The organization managed to continue supporting 20 highly vulnerable OVC at AFBC (Alternative Family-based Care) by providing foodstuff, medical care, and regular visits.

Challenges

ü  The COVID 19 pandemic is currently the main challenge. With most vulnerable children being at home and are exposed to sexual exploitation and abuse hence being in danger of early pregnancy, contracting HIV/AIDS, and other sexual diseases, because of poverty extreme hunger and illnesses. This will eventually lead to many girls dropping out of school.

ü  Funding remains a key challenge to implementing this project. The organization is constantly engaging its donors for continuous support and for the timely completion of the project. Meanwhile, the organization is trying to come up with innovative ways of continuity of the project.

 Next quarter activities

Supplying of Masks, Sanitizers, Reusable sanitary towels, sensitization and Health talk through home visits by

Community Health nurse

Conducting online tuitions, health and empowerment seminars, while observing the COVID19 regulations

in collaboration with Community nurse and professional counselors/speakers

Offering psychosocial support due to COVID19 effects at Alternative Family-based   Care homes

Strengthen the incubation and entrepreneurship center/resource center at our Farmers Training Centre

Supporting Girls in Entrepreneurship
Supporting Girls in Entrepreneurship
 
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