A Look AheadJanuary 15, 2020 1:03 pm
CEO & Founder Chris Gates talks a little bit about what is new and what we have to look forward to.
All of us at Mainsprings have already hit the ground running in this new decade, and we couldn’t be more energized by all that’s in store for us this coming year and the years to come. After spending 14 years growing, developing and learning about what makes our programs successful and how it affects our whole communities, our team and entire organization is ready to have an even larger impact in the lives of those we work with. We could practically write a novel on the many initiatives, projects and improved programs we have planned for the year, but to save you a bit of time, here is a handful of things we are most excited for this coming year!
- Permaculture is spreading all throughout East Africa thanks to our very own Permaculture Institute of Tanzania! Thanks in partnership to the Reed J Oppenheimer Family Foundation, Valley Foundation and some other funders, we have been able to select 10 organizations from 5 different countries in East Africa to join our Permaculture Design Certification course next month, enabling these organizations to start permaculture farms of their own, and help us start to create a growing network of permaculture practitioners all across the region. This means thousands of lives and hundreds of acres of land will be transformed through this incredible style of farming that has helped Mainsprings’ farm become much more prolific.
- Technology is expanding in our schools! Thanks to various supporters and a new partnership with Shule Direct, a Tanzanian organization bringing technology education to rural schools, we are expanding both our computer lab and robotics program this year. Every class from 3rdgrade up will now have built in computer lessons in their schedules, enabling them to enrich what they are learning in the classroom and learn valuable technology skills at the same time. AND, our robotics program, with added supplies from our sister school, The Episcopal School of Dallas, is going to be traveling to Nairobi, Kenya for a regional competition of Lego Robotics this March! Our Dean of Students and robotics participants are very excited for the big trip.
- Our graduates are taking flight! After just hosting our 5thSecondary School graduation, we now have a record 21 graduates from our residential program who are studying in various universities and colleges. We could not be more proud of this group, who all continue to stand out in their various programs and are confident, capable, and intelligent young ladies. We can’t wait to see what they all do with their careers, lives, and how they will make an impact for their own communities in the years to come.
- Our second campus in Kahunda is expanding! This year, with your support, we hope to complete the construction of our Early Childhood Classrooms, add a large mushroom project to that campus, construct some staff and guest housing, and expand our permaculture farm. In just two years of existence, the Kahunda campus has already seen lots of development in a short amount of time, but that is just the beginning…
- Local leadership is being empowered! It has long been our goal to have the operations in Tanzania be run by Tanzanians for Tanzanians, with consistent support and oversight from the US office. This is the year we will be taking a big leap forward with this goal (which has had years of training and planning behind it) by transitioning our leadership in Tanzania to an all East-African staff. We could not have more faith in the many individuals who run our various programs, and know that they will be able to have incredibly well-run, culturally sensitive programs that will only continue to grow and improve in the years ahead. With over 102 staff members and thousands of people helped through our various programs, they have quite the task ahead of them, but we are excited to continue to work alongside our East African leadership as they continue to make Mainsprings shine.
Like I said, there are so many more things we could talk about and so many other programs and projects planned for the months and years ahead. Through it all, we are grateful for your continued support which enables us to do all of this and truly transform the lives of our children and their entire communities forever. We look forward to many more successes and highlights as we all roll along in 2020! Stay tuned…
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This post was written by Mainsprings