Mainsprings was founded by Chris Gates in 2006, originally as a home for a few orphaned and vulnerable girls. By the beginning of 2007, Mainsprings accepted its first 7 girls, but quickly realized that in order to create long lasting, sustainable change, a much more holistic approach was necessary. Those first 7 girls attended a public school in the village with more than 900 students and only 3 teachers, healthcare was more than an hour drive for anyone in the village, and many of Mainsprings’ neighbors struggled to simply feed their families despite plentiful land. That’s how the Mainsprings’ holistic model came to be.

Today, Mainsprings is devoted to effecting change throughout the entire community, for both children and adults, realizing that an entire community needs to be prosperous in order to ensure no child has to live a life of extreme poverty. We operate our flagship campus, still in that original village of Kitongo and have begun developing a second campus in a different village called Kahunda, approximately three hours west of the Kitongo campus. Hundreds of children receive a top-ranked education and nutritious meals daily, thousands of patients receive much-needed medical care throughout the year, more than 75 East Africans are employed full-time, dozens of farmers learn how to live more profitable lives, and district-wide programs ensure that thousands of children and their families are equipped with the tools they need to escape the extreme poverty that is their life. Mainsprings is a movement that is creating waves of change across East Africa and strives to be a catalyst for change in even more communities across the area in the next several years.