Moving forward to enhance Orchards!
In 2021 we completedf another successful year with one orchard and 2 more concrete cisterns constructed. A 200 tree orchard was planted at Kinyimbili Primary. The generosity of a Canadian supporter allowed for the completion of a large concrete cistern at Ikanga Primary. Leighton, a SOAS director wrote the proposals to get further Duncan/International Rotary funding, for a cistern at Nandala Primary. As always, Leighton's communication with TanCan over the build and costing parameters was invaluable. On the ground, Alban's organizational skills at efficiently getting the cisterns actually built was tremendous. AND, of course, nothing would happen without the hard work of all those students and local villagers who helped with the layout and execution of the construction of the cisterns.
Parents and teachers assisted with the planting of trees, (see videos)! Joseph, Alban's father, did a phenomenal job of instructing the students and getting the Kimyimbili orchard planted. It is volunteer labor that enables SOAS to do so much with the funds that are donated.
Percentage of income used for expenses and administration = 0.76%. Expenses $115. Income $15273.
In 2020 we further focused on water as it was identified as being of high priority. Typically, the children are tasked with supplying water for not only the school, but also for the teacher’s households. As villages are perched at the top of hills and streams are at the bottom, it means a great deal of class time being spent carrying heavy buckets. Even more problematic is the quality of the water as it’s dipped from ponds or slow moving streams. Illness from unclean water is very common.
The wells and large concrete water cisterns, installed to date, make the teacher's, and student's, jobs so much easier. This year, SOAS and TanCan added hardy hand pumps to the cisterns. The pumps can be used by the children. These were installed at both Kinyimbili and Ihanu.
Also, as a result of the economic down-turn, resulting from Covid-19, the parents in Kidete Primary were unable to complete the kindergarten classrooms that they had started. SOAS stepped in, with a $3000US donation to finish the mud brick classrooms.
We thank our supporters for helping us to help those less fortunate.
Percentage of income used for expenses and administration = 0.70%.
Expenses $154. Income $21,083.
In 2019 Our 10 orchards are flourishing, providing improved nutrition to over 4,000 disadvantaged children. The avocado trees give heavy yields, providing an income for some schools. The crop success has also enticed local farmers to plant avocado orchards on their own village lands.
The permaculture project at Mdabulo Secondary School continues to significantly supplement the diet of the 800 students in residence. It has become a demonstration permaculture garden, and a teaching platform for local and international volunteers.
Visits by SOAS directors – personally financed – alerted us to the ongoing water crisis: children carrying contaminated water long distances to supply the school’s overall water needs. It confirmed the need for large concrete cisterns. Through grants from the Kahane Foundation we have drilled wells at 3 schools: Mdabulo Secondary, Ihanu Secondary and Mlevelwa Primary. With support from the Duncan Rotary we have installed covered in-ground cisterns at 2 schools: Kinyimbili and Ihanu Primary. These concrete tanks harvest enough water during the rainy season to meet year round water needs. Our goal is to continue with improvements to the water supply at each of the schools.
Percentage of income used for expenses and administration = 1.56%. Expenses $498. Income $32,037.
In 2018 again in collaboration with The Kalane Foundation we drilled wells at two more schools, Ihanu and Mlevelwa. Although drilled wells provide the cleanest source of water they are expensive. In consultation with the school communities, SOAS/Tancan have decided to transition to building large concrete cisterns instead, using water harvested from the school roofs.
Percentage of income used for expenses and administration = 2.76%. Expenses $953. Income $32,455.
In 2017 In collaboration with TanCan, Seven Ravens Permaculture Institute, and the Kahane Foundation, SOAS implemented an ambitious 2.5 acre permaculture project at Mdabulo Secondary School. Ottoman assisted with the planning and planting as part of his permaculture training qualification. A community well, and cistern, was also installed. We also planted a two hundred fruit tree orchard in both Ibwanz Primary and Ihanu Primary.
In 2016 SOAS provided training in permaculture for Ottoman Lutambi. Ottoman plans to building a Permaculture Teaching Academy for graduating students in the region. Many of the orchards are starting to produce fruit - solar dehydration is becoming a topic of interest.
In 2015 School Orchards Africa funded TanCan to help children plant orchards at two more rural schools. They are at the villages of Nandala and Ludilo. Approximately 200 trees were planted at each school and at each a water cistern was supplied. TanCan organized a pruning and maintenance workshop for the teachers, students and community supporters from all the participating schools.
In 2014 orchards and water cisterns were established in the village schools of Ilasa and Igoda.
2013 - Mlevelwa Primary School
Mlevelwa is another small Tanzananian village in the rural area.
There are 218 students in grades 1-7 (115 girls; 103 boys).
Like the others there is no electricity.
School Orchards Africa Society funded Tancan to provide the following at Mlevelwa :
Growth and survival data will be available when we receive our first annual progress report. Extra Guava were planted here as experience at the other schools showed they do well in the climate.
2013 - Mdabulo Primary School
Mdabulo is a similar rural small Tanzananian village.
There are 441 students in grades 1-7 (234 girls; 207 boys).
Like the others there is no electricity.
School Orchards Africa Society has funded Tancan to provide the following at Mdabulo:
Growth and survival data will be available when we receive our first annual progress report. Extra Guava were planted here as experience at the other schools showed they do well in the climate and they have had 100% success rate, (very resistant to disease and drought) , lots of fruit per tree, they are the childrens favourite, and they are the most nutritious.
2011 - Kidete Primary School
School Orchards Africa Society has funded Tancan to provide the following at Kidete:
Variety Height initially (cm) Height now (cm) Survival rate
Avocado 60 Full grown 80%
Apple 70 Full grown 90%
Peach 50 Full grown 95%
Guava 50 Full grown 100%
2011 - Ikanga Primary School
Ikanga is a small village 7 km from Kidete: population 1,495.
There are 305 students in grades 1-7 (164 girls; 141 boys).
Like Kidete there is was no electricity when we planted the trees.
School Orchards Africa Society has funded Tancan to provide the following at Ikanga:
Variety Height initially (cm) Height now (cm)
Avocado 60 full grown
Apple 70 full grown
Peach 50 full grown
Guava 50 full grown
As Tanzania has two rainy seasons the trees grow rapidly. Temperature and altitude influence the growth of the trees - which differs between schools.
SOAS Funds Motorbike
The roads in Iringa are almost impossible to drive on during the wet season. Tancan director's and their horticultural volunteers are now able to travel more easily from school to school to assist with the orchards.
The children plant and care for the fruit trees
Electricity in schools
Rural schools do not normally have electricity. After we planted orchards at our first two schools the government installed electricity. We like to think that our efforts had some influence on that decision. We are hoping for similar progress at our other schools.
Some teachers earn so little they cannot even afford a bicycle. We would like to offer them some help with teaching supplies. Things that we take for granted in Canada - paper and pens - make a huge difference in Tanzania. With your donation we will be able to send these things. Let us know if you wish to specifically target your donation towards teacher supplies.
You can help these children and their village community by donating as little as $10, which will fund a fruit tree from planting to harvesting. Larger donations will help us build large concrete cisterns in each Orchard school.
Just click this button to donate and help us.