A Decade of Change

January 3, 2020 4:56 pm Published by

Founder & CEO Chris Gates reminisces about the last 10 years and the many changes that happened during the decade.

It’s amazing to me how quickly this past decade has flown by, and its hard to even remember all the not-so-little things that have happened during that time at Mainsprings. But, through all of these years, one thing has remained the same- YOU have helped to transform the lives of our children, their families and entire communities thanks to your support! As I think back on the beginning of the decade, in 2010, I can’t help but think about the chaos that came with opening our school that January. We went from a campus with 20-something children and probably less than 10 staff, to one that had over 200 children and more than 25 staff in a single day. Like I said, it was total chaos and it took us at least half the year before we felt we had the hang of anything.

While we have learned a lot from that experience at the beginning of the decade, specifically how to develop a little more strategically and thoughtfully, progress has definitely not slowed down through these years. Thanks to supporters from around the world, we have grown into a holistic care organization that is able to transform entire communities, entire families, not just help in the life of a single child. There could be an entire book written on all that has been accomplished, both the big and small successes that are seen in our programs each day, but to name a few, you have helped us:

  • Open our primary and secondary school in Kitongo, which is now educating over 450 students annually!
  • Transform our traditional gardens into a permaculture model that is not only feeding us more, but helping to educate neighboring farmers to better utilize their land!
  • Open Papa’s Cafe & Bungalows to help us be more sustainable, train underprivileged youth in the hospitality industry, and host our volunteers and supporters that visit our flagship campus!
  • Open our clinic to provide much-needed medical interventions for our community- which is now staffed by a full time (female) doctor and nurse!
  • Graduate 5 classes of students from our secondary school!
  • Support the graduates from our residential program in their higher education- 21 of whom are still studying!
  • Host over 1,300 volunteers in Tanzania and forged many successful organizational and school partnerships through the volunteer program!
  • More than double our Board of Directors!
  • Open our second campus in Kahunda, implement a permaculture farm, and build our first 4 buildings, enabling us to welcome our first 16 girls at that site!

These are just a few of the largest things that have been accomplished this past decade, but all the success we have seen drives us to do more. I recently read a quote from Charity:Water’s CEO that says “one of my favorite quotes [is] ’Do not be afraid of work that never ends,’ and there is a little of that [sense] when you’re doing work you believe is important and redemptive… that it’s never done. And that’s OK.” While we are energized by all that we have learned, experienced, and grown through this past decade, we are most excited about what’s ahead. We know that our work will never truly be done, but we are so grateful to have such a loyal and dedicated group of people like you with us for the ride.

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This post was written by Mainsprings