Pascali, Frank and Yuda - need you help

These boys have been orphaned and are now reliant on themselves......

We are supporting them with the limited funds we have available but they need more help. To have a toilet, to buy new clothes and shoes (second hand from the market), books, a bicycle, a mattress, some stools, contribution to school meals, etc.   if you can help with a few pound each month it all really helps. Thank you

Cows against poverty

Farmers start off with chickens and either sells eggs or baby chickens until they have made enough money to buy a goat… or two goats….. and then they breed goats until they have enough money to buy what they really aspire to…. a cow.

A cow can provide the farmer with milk, maybe as much as £4 a day. This takes the farmer out of “poverty” and with this level of income he/she can buy the medicines the children need, improve their diet, send the kids to secondary school and beyond, add another room to the house…. They have choice.

What if a female cow was shared…… where I give to my neighbours any female calfs so that they too can benefit from having a cow on the condition that they have to follow suit.

Here at LTT we also ask what if the cow was at school…. Not in the classroom learning but in the school farm, the income from the milk would be significant for the school and if there were more cows then the school can get a great income and start to be more self-sufficient. The income could cover the schools water bill, the electricity bill, the chalk bill, maybe but tea for teachers, maybe repair the broken door. A school with income can go from being totally dependent on the local authorities or community contributions to having a degree of self-sufficiency, self-determination.

It does not stop there…… the manure from the cow can enrich the soil in the school farm so that the land can feed the cow, and even grow vegetables for selling at the market or adding to the lunch time meal of the students….. What is the manure passed through a biogas digester before going on the fields, it could generate gas and reduce or remove the dependency on firewood and reduce deforestation.

Lets not forget that cows make baby cows….

So cows are a cure to many issues that fall under the bracket of poverty….. A cow costs £500-600, a major expense…….. if you want to support our cow buying programme, please click on the donate button…..

 

 

Environmental degradation due to school meals

I visited the Kwaang Secondary school last week and saw a massive stack of firewood that had been delivered to the school from unknown sources so that the cook can cook lunch for the students. I have no idea how many trees that represents but for the school it represents just two week of firewood

Traditional method of cooking is massively energy inefficient. Things need to change

Traditional method of cooking is massively energy inefficient. Things need to change

The cook's pots sat on 3 large stones over a roaring fire with flames going all over the place and the pot of beans was bubbling away furiously. My heart sank a few notches.

I talked with the teachers and shared some knowledge with them

1.       Thin pieces of firewood burn better than thick pieces and produce more heat. Greater surface area exposed to oxygen, so if the cook cuts the wood up she can make better use of it.

2.       This wood should then be stored and dried for 3 months. Direr would is less smoky

3.       Once a pot of beans is boiling it needs to only simmer. When food is simmering it is cooking as fast as it can so remove some of the firewood and save it for later.

4.       Put a lid on the pan this keeps the heat inside the pan and means you can reduce the heat underneath.

5.       Encase the fire and guide the heat to where you want it – i.e. on the bottom of the pan.

The firewood is paid for by the community led 'school meals committee' and it is with them we need to negotiate. Our plan is this –

  • LTT pays for a fuel efficient stove to be built at the school and the committee repay us from the savings they make. No savings – no repayment
  • LTT will train the cook on how to manage the firewood and heat and not melt the pan!
  • Once the repayments are made the savings for the community are used to fund a local person to establish a tree nursery and to grow plant and nurture suitable firewood trees within the school grounds, ensuring that at least 40 are planted each year. In 10-15 years’ time the school will have its own, sustainable source of firewood and no longer contribute to the national deforestation problem. If they do really well, they may start to sell within the community and generate an income for the school.

To kick start this project at Kwaang we need to raise just £200.

If you can – please help us get this money together so we can take action against deforestation and demonstrate to other schools how they can bring abut change.  

Technology in the field - One Giant Leap for LTT

Mobile data collection has helped to revolutionise how we collect the data we need to assess the progress of the farmers taking part in our agricultural training programme?

Every year we ask farmers what their plans are for the year, record their expected yields from each crop, the price they hope to sell at and the costs they expect to incur over the year. We also do this for livestock. This tells us the production levels and ultimately the profit they aspire to. We then record their progress against their plans. This is an exercise not only in monitoring the programme but also in agricultural planning enabling the farmers to assess the pay back on the crops they plan to grow and enabling them to adjust if they realise they will make a loss on certain crops. For some farmers, this has helped them to think about ways of saving money and therefore improving their profits promoting strategic thinking about their farming activities not simply doing the same year on year.

Through our training we are trying to give farmers the knowledge and skills they need to increase the productivity of their land and maximise their harvests, to support improved incomes and increase profits however when it comes to the actual levels of production and income there are many factors that come into play. Did the rains come at the time and in the quantity they were needed? Did the rains fall at other times when not wanted, which can affect the ripening process? Was there a problem with bugs and diseases which impacted on the harvests? How did the rest of the region/country perform? This effects the selling price and market demand. Where farmers able to store crops until the price went up or did they need to sell them to meet financial needs.

If we only look at income in some year’s, the yields might be high but the price low making it appear that the farmer has not done so well and conversely if the yields are low but the prices are high it might appear that the farmer did well. The dream scenario is of course high yields and high prices. We also need to consider that some crops are fast growers and so can provide fast turnover of income, some crops are one yield a year, so the timing of planting and multi-cropping is important especially if that multi-cropping can improve soil fertility and act as pest control. Meanwhile some crops are grown predominantly for the household and so are not expected to be a big earner and improved production can often mean the family has to buy less additional food, whilst other crops are purely for sale. Similarly, some farmers can generate large incomes from certain crops using high inputs meaning that although the income looks great the actual profit makes it less successful. We also need to be careful when comparing farmers as one acre of land in one location may provide a far better harvest than an acre just 2 km away. We therefore look at yields, income, profits and costs within the context of the year in question to help us assess the progress of farmers over the course of the year and to understand how the training we deliver is being implemented and the difference that makes for farmers yields and incomes. We also share this information with the farming groups to support them in evaluating their own success for the year and creating opportunities to learn from their peers where there have been significant successes.

This means we need to collect a lot of information and traditionally we’ve relied on paper surveys and significant man power and hours to input and then analyse all the information. This year LTT and MCDO have been developing and testing a mobile data collection system to allow our team of CASOs (Community Agricultural Support Officers) to gather the information on their smart phones directly from the fields in a short period of time. This is then sent through to an excel spreadsheet from which we can sort and compare data in close to real time. This significantly speeds up our data collection and analysis process which frees our team up to spend more time on training and mentoring of farmers and crucially enables us to adapt as the programme is running using real time information to respond to emerging needs and opportunities. It also means we can share insights into our programmes with our donors and supporters much faster. Simultaneously it also creates the potential to start putting farmers doing the same crops in touch, they could then begin sharing transport cost, sell in bulk and buy inputs in bulk as well as benefiting from peer support and learning. it is the first step towards voluntary cooperative working, which as with many things needs to demonstrate its benefits before being embarked upon.

While mobile data collection might seem simple and obvious to us in the UK given that we seem never to be more than 5 feet from someone using a smart phone, this is a new venture for MCDO and LTT which has the potential to transform the way we gather and use information and for some of our team it’s their first time using this kind of technology. Investing in this step is essential for LTT and MCDO to continue to effectively serve the increasing numbers of farmers we work with and although there are likely to be bumps in the road we are hugely excited about this new adventure!

If you’d like to know more about our farmer training programme and the impact its having for farmers in our partner communities, click here.

Work like this taking funding, if you like what we are doing and can help our work, please consider making either a one off donation or a standing order through the donate button above

Bringing about cultural change in a community

Ethical and responsible tourism tells us to respect the local cultures of the communities we choose to visit. How then should we change harmful practices or gender inequalities that are inherent in those cultures? In reality, we shouldn’t.

It would be very colonial or imperialistic or whatever other terms you may choose to suggest that one culture is better than another. It is also worth remembering that culture is not a static thing but something that continually evolves as people are exposed to more education, more books, films, and television, different music and art, ideas and different situations such as war and terrorism.  

The Girl Guides helping to change harmful environmental practices. 

The Girl Guides helping to change harmful environmental practices. 

All cultures have aspects that others might find unacceptable but in reality if a culture is to change it is best that that change comes from within, led by people that the community trust, who speak the same language, understand the history, the environment, the culture, who are respected by the community and trusted by them not to trick them.

LTT are working to create a better educational environment where girls and boys can excel, progress to further education and become leaders of the future so that they can bring about the changes that they want to see in their culture. Similarly we work with the local Girls Guide group to help them develop young women into the leaders of tomorrow’s world.

Community Agricultural Support Officers (CASOs)

Crystal ball gazing in 2014 helped us to understand that if we were to expand our agricultural projects beyond the successes in Managhat and in to more communities we would need agriculturally trained staff on the team. 

So we interviewed candidates from Waangwaray, Managhat and Malangi communities and selected 4 young men to send on a 2 year course on Livestock and Agriculture for Livestock course at the Agricultural Institute in Bacho.

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The 4 students completed their training in November 2016 and Mr Marceli, our agricultural officer, then enhanced their knowledge by training them on crop and vegetable growing until then were ready to take on the mantel of a CASO in their own community.  The 4th CASO has taken on responsibility for the edible gardens programme and will take on the tree project with Mr Marceli when it gets funding.

Mr Marceli is a hugely knowledgeable farmer and a great trainer but he is not a man-manger nor one for the paper work and is close to retirement age. So we decided to recruited an Agricultural Farm Manager called Robbie to start of the succession planning. He job is to manage the team, document the training, liaise with the community leaders and those being training. It is a big job that is only going to get bigger so we are delighted to have him on board.

Training are hugely motivated and proud to be able to share their knowledge  with their community and have now begun to do so. So welcome to the team.

By providing training to local farmers the CASO's are able to help the farmers improve their yields and diversify their farming activities and be so doing improve their income security.  However most of the farmers will always be dependant on rainfall. Farmers we have trained in Managhat have been able to afford to save crops back either to sell at a higher price or to keep in case the rains fail this year, which they mostly have. In previous years this would not have happened and the farmers would have sold their crops as soon as harvesting them.  This is a position we want all farmers to be in. 

Our Savings and Loan Programme

We all crave financial independence and the women in Babati are no different. Trouble is when you have no assets to your name to offer as collateral to banks or other finance houses they are not going to give you a loan to invest in your own business. To a bank you are a faceless number and a high risk - the higher the risk the higher the interest rates. To LTT you are a person needing a helping hand so that you can improve your standard of living and overcome the challenges you face on a daily basis. You are still a risk, but one with a face and a support network.

Stall holders at Mandazi Corner

Stall holders at Mandazi Corner

So back in 2013, with the financial backing of a donor we consulted two communities (Sawe and Waangwaray) and eventually established a Community Loans Programme to which we later added a savings component. Loans are made to the group who collectively have to repay the loan on the agreed date. An individual may receive between £50 and £200 depending on how long they have been in the group. While the majority are women men are not excluded. The groups provide their members with business and enterprise training as well as access to loans at agreed interest rates, enabling community members to take full advantage of the opportunities they identify.

Shopkeeper increasing his stock variety

Shopkeeper increasing his stock variety

So far the loans have been invested in all sorts of ventures, including renting extra land for farming, buying better seeds, buying a dairy cow for milk production, buy and selling goats, setting up a catering business, adding new stock lines to existing shops. One shopkeeper now employs someone as a direct result of her success

New home next to old home

New home next to old home

For many of the group members the most significant effect of the programme has been the ability to increase their disposable income so that they can improve their homes, send their children to school ensure food on the table each day. At a recent meeting one member excitedly explained that her daughter is completing her certificate in Community Development, funded from the profits from her business. Yay!!

As well as being able to run a profitable business the groups also create space for members to come together, sharing ideas and new insights and gaining courage form the support of their peers. This is particular important for those members who struggle with their business or face competing priorities when it comes to investment, not all business will make a profit every year which is why LTT commits to supporting the loans programme for a minimum number of years, enabling people to build up their business until they no longer need a loan from us. As the founder of the Sawe group said ‘the loans group brings “Unafuu”’ (a Swahili word meaning a sense of ease), creating space to learn from each other and exchange ideas’.

As well as accessing loans from LTT the programme also enables members to put savings contributions into the programme. These are then loaned out to the group and the interest generated through re-payment goes back to that person which of course increases the value of their savings. As the savings pot increases in size the loan pot from LTT can reduce, with the ultimate aim that the group can function on loans from its member’s savings, completely independently of LTT – Sustainability in action.

 

Green News

Sustainability

Sustainability is about ensuring that the needs of today’s generation are met without hampering the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Reduce or replace

Trees are chopped down for timber for building homes and for firewood to enable families to cook. But no trees are being planted to replace them. Therefore it is unsustainable. With your help we can plant more trees in the communities and teach people of their importance. 

By introducing fuel efficient stoves to schools and homes we are reducing the demand for fuelwood.

By collecting cow poo in a bio-digester we are able to generate methane which can be used to cook from and so replace fuelwood.

Solar power can also replace kerosene

Reuse

If a person has enough imagination they can reuse most things.

Water bottles can be used for drip irrigation, air conditioning, lighting, toys or to hold a different type if liquid like soap or cooking oil

Cement bags can be used as grow bags for shopping bags

Tyres can be used for shoes, gardens, playground toys

Leftover food, grasses, leaves and other biodegradable matter can be used to create compost and help to improve the quality of the soil

Empty bottles of Coke, Fanta and Sprite etc. are returned to the factor for a few shillings

Christmas Appeal

In primary schools in Babati, northern Tanzania, where water is scare and soap costs money, children can't wash their hands as often as they should, before eating and after using the toilet. Many aren't properly aware of the dangers of dirty hands - they don't know that dirty toilets and poor hand washing are the main cause of diarrhoeal disease, which in Tanzania is still a leading cause of death in children under 5. 

We want to ensure that all the children in the schools where they work have access to basic hand washing facilities and soap, and that they are being taught why it is so important to wash their hands correctly and when they need to wash them. We all know that a good WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programme can improve children's health, improve school attendance and enable even young children to participate as ‘agents of change’ for their siblings, their parents and the whole community.

If you want to help you can make a donation HERE

Thank you and Merry Christmas

Emily Kirby Tanzania Collection RAFFLE

The winners are:-

1st prize - Sarah Page -

2nd Prize - Bev Morel

3rd Prize - Wilf Odgers

4th Prize - Suki Bishop

 

Even if you can't make it to the show you can still be in with the chance of WINNING one of Emily's fantastic paintings! 

Enter the Tanzania Collection Raffle, for a chance to win one of the following prizes, 

1st prize Mama, an Emily Kirby Original  | 2nd prize Road Through Babati a print of one of Emily's original landscapes  | 3rd/4th A bottle of Matugga Rum  

Click HERE to buy your ticket, £5 each, once you've bought a ticket we will send you an email with your ticket number and enter your raffle ticket into the draw. 

Raffle tickets are on sale all this week, online as well as direct from LTT at the gallery, 

The draw will take place at the Menier Gallery at 4.00pm on Saturday 11th June 2016. 

Good luck and thank you for your support!  

Mama

Mama

Print of "Road Through Babati"

Print of "Road Through Babati"

The  Emily Kirby Tanzania Collection

7th to 11th June 2016

11.00am to 6.00pm on Tuesday-Friday and 11.00am to 4.30pm Saturday

 

Menier Gallery 51 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU

just a few minutes walk from London Bridge Tube (Borough Market exit)

Award winning Zambian born Artist Emily Kirby, known for her vibrant use of colour and vivid portraiture will be exhibiting her bespoke collection of Tanzanian Art inspired by her visit to Babati and the development projects run by LTT

50% of all sales goes to LTT's work in Tanzania so please come along and enjoy the show

Please note that the above paintings are works in progress....

New Addition to the Managhat Family

We are delighted to announce the arrival of a new calf to Biogas project at the Managhat Primary School. This is our first calf there and has been met with great joy. What does it mean?

It means that the mother will be producing milk for the next 9-12 months which can be sold by the school to contribute to the day to day operational costs of the farm hands.  This is the beginning of the road to self sufficiency that we had been planning for with the school, the development and village committees. 

Of course the extra manure will contribute to increased biogas production for the school's cooking needs and the additional slurry will be added to the fields to improve crop yields.  

No day is the same

I was recently invited to a Primary school as part of their explain your job lesson. They had heard from accountants, teachers, lawyers, and so on and today was my day to try and explain what a day in my life is like in Tanzania. As no day is ever the same I collected together a series of images that show the diversity of the work and how beautiful the people are I get to work with. The volunteers are from St Dunstan's School, London. 

Self Sustaining Schools

LTT’s long term strategy for the schools we work with is to be able to walk away knowing that the schools and their community have the skills, resources and desire to maintain the buildings that have been renovated or built and care for the assets that have been provided in a sustainable way. To achieve this we have been working with Head Teachers, Teachers, Ward Education Officers, School Development Committees and Village Committees to develop a School Enterprise Training Programme that addresses the urgent need for students to learn transferable life skills relating to business whilst generating an income for the school which it can use to deal with planned maintenance.

The Enterprise Training Programme will focus on the resources and potential of each school – Waangwaray has its farm and we are adding a pilot chicken project; Sinai is planting drought resistant Cassava; Managhat is developing its market gardens and milk production. The students are involved in these projects learning hands on skills alongside accounting and sales knowledge. These projects all need start-up funding so the schools can become self-sustaining. 

Malangi News

After months of negotiation and grant applications work has progressed at Malangi. 

Two dangerous classrooms, a store and the head master office were demolished. The community dug the foundation for two new classrooms and a teachers office and provided the stones and bricks, while we provided the cement, metal poles, skilled labour, floor and roofing materials, doors, windows, glass and the fixtures and fittings. The roof's rafters are made from metal, which is a first for us and for a school in Manyara Region. We opted for this due to the serious termite problem within the school.  

Over 250 books, selected by the Head Teacher were delivered to the school to start the process of addressing the book imbalance.

Two teachers houses have been completed and teachers have moved in. Teachers houses are really important to rural schools. If teachers have poor accommodation they tend not to stay long as life becomes too much of a struggle. Providing homes keeps the teachers at the schools. 

Our efforts to drill for water at the school have not been successful despite drilling down to 150m. This is a great shame and will make some of our plans harder to achieve

Work starts soon on the next phase......

Planting for the future

The Managhat Primary school students of today are planting avocado trees for the students of tomorrow. The  trees were grown in our demonstration garden from fruit produced at the Waangwaray Trees that were planted 8 years ago.  An Avocado Tree is a gift that just keeps giving.  The fruit are highly nutritious providing a variety of different vitamins, irons, potassium, fiber and polyunsaturated fats (the good kind) 

Art with LTT

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In October 2015 we were visited by the Zambian born Emily Kirby. She ran 3 workshops with students from the Waangwaray Primary school Kwaraa Secondary School for students with an interest and ability in art. With Emily's unique view of colours she challenged the students to portray their art in a different way using coloured paper and cloth. In another workshop we challenged the colours that nature has given animals, asking the students to capture different animals energy and spirit in colour. 

She also visited the different community projects we are running and met some of the people we work with to gain inspiration for an ART SHOW of Emily's work that we are planning for 2016. 

Fine Art

We are thrilled to bits to have Emily Kirby come out to Babati and work along side us for a week in October 2015 where she will be running some art workshops with a local artist and children from primary and secondary schools. She will also be gathering inspiration from our projects for an Exhibition in London to raise money for the Livingstone Tanzania Trust in May 2015.  Details coming soon. You can follow Emily's trip on her blog.....