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Biannual Newsletter - July 2019

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Twelve years on, the BTP is coming to an end. The aim was to support the children and orphanages I knew when I lived in Mwanza. With the final cohort completing their studies in 2019, that aim has been achieved.

Over £200,000 has been donated to the Banana Tree Project since 2007. This has seen over 100 children gain the uniforms, shoes, stationery and books they needed to access their primary education. Many children have been supported through their secondary education in Mwanza, working towards their Form Two, Four and Six national qualifications. Beyond school, the BTP has supported students with vocational, college & university courses.

The intention has always been to give young people access to the education and training that would help them overcome a troubled start to life and become self-sufficient. The result has been children moving from the streets and orphanages of Mwanza to become mechanics, wildlife rangers, nursery, primary & secondary school teachers, accountants, hotel managers and a doctor.

There have been many cases of children working extremely hard to seize the opportunity they have been given to become independent. Long journeys to school, limited meals, difficult access to study facilities, struggles with extra tuition and health problems have simply been extra challenges that many of the children have overcome to complete their courses and achieve their goals.

Messages from sponsored children have included their achievements and their struggles, but also gratitude for the help they have received and an enthusiasm for thanking those who have provided that support.

Many donors have given regularly over the years which has ensured stability of income, in particular Paul, John, Sarah, Jo and Jamie. Some schools have been prolific with their fundraising, not least St Albans School, Redbourn Infants School, Beaudesert School and Plymouth College. Kathryn & Cam in Australia have been extremely generous. Brian & friends in the US have taken on the full sponsorship of several students which has allowed those young people to complete their studies. I am indebted to Charlie for creating and managing the website with online fundraising while Leah’s enthusiasm and support kept things going. The BTP could not have continued for so long without the efforts of Barry, Ruth, Paschal and Fay in Mwanza who have managed and administered operations fluently. Enormous thanks also to the charity’s Trustees who have taken on responsibility for the charity’s work and overseen the finances.

The aim was to ensure that every donation went to the children with no funds being redirected for salaries, costs, transport and administration. With the voluntary efforts of all those involved in running the BTP this has been achieved.

A good number of the sponsored young people have volunteered a commitment to “pass on” the support by helping under-privileged children in their communities, and so the aims of the BTP continue beyond its end.

Ed Beavington

Previous Newsletters

Jul 2019 - The Banana Tree Project coming to an end
Jan 2019 - Ngusa does BTP proud
Jul 2018 - End of semester round up
Jan 2018 - Letters from Tanzania
Oct 2017 - Looking forward to the new challenges in the new year
Jul 2017 - Sadicki gains a Division One in his Form VI exams
Apr 2017 - Mock Form VI Exam Results
Jan 2017 - Goodbye, congratulations and good luck to Donald
Oct 2016 - BTP ten years on....
Jul 2016 - Little Yuseph has come a long way and starts A Levels
Apr 2016 - The Banana Tree Project does make a real difference to street children's lives
Jan 2016 - Shija's new job in Mwanza garage - a real BTP success story
Oct 2015 - Doctors, engineers and wildlife management - the wonderful range of careers BTP is supporting
Jul 2015 - Witness now starting in the world of work
Apr 2015 - BTP student appointed Academic Prefect at Lake Secondary
Jan 2015 - A sextet of BTP mechanics
Oct 2014 - Multiple division I results for BTP students!
Jul 2014 - Exam results just in from Mwanza
Apr 2014 - Latest news from Mwanza
Jan 2014 - Witness is top of the class
Oct 2013 - Chacha appointed head of school!
Jul 2013 - The first set of BTP students spply to university
Apr 2013 - Lots more students enroled on lots more courses
Jan 2013 - Form II results are in!
Oct 2012 - Exams, exams and censuses
Jul 2012 - Grades, goody bags & glasses
Apr 2012 - The Banana Tree Project: supporting budding mechanics and prefects alike
Jan 2012 - The Banana Tree Project five years on....
Oct 2011 - Exam results are in and a few words from one of our students - Yusuph Bartholomayo
Jul 2011 - Things are coming along fast at Mt Zion
Apr 2011 - Further plans for Mount Zion Orphanage
Jan 2011 - School reports are in! Plymouth College joins in the fundraising
Oct 2010 - Report of the St Albans sixth formers Mwanza trip
Jul 2010 - St Albans sixth formers plan for Mwanza trip
Apr 2010 - Everything running smoothly in 2010
Jan 2010 - Banana Tree Project to support an additional Mwanza orphanage
Oct 2009 - School results for our Lake Secondary students
Jul 2009 - Banana Tree Project website now online!
Apr 2009 - Banana Tree Project sponsorship funds school meals for orphans
Jan 2009 - 15 new secondary students funded
Oct 2008 - Fundraising updates
Jul 2008 - An interview with Dr Andrew
Apr 2008 - An overview of progress
Jan 2008 - A new school year begins
Nov 2007 - Reflections a year on...
Jun 2007 - Exam results are generally impressive
May 2007 - Meeting Azizi and Ibrahim
Apr 2007 - An interview with William
Mar 2007 - An interview with Rajabu
Feb 2007 - Children start at school
Jan 2007 - Getting the Project up and running