Strengthening societies, supporting peoples' own ideas


A fundamental pillar of African society has always been the duty of the extended family to support any members of the household in need of help. But this traditional strength has, in rural impoverished societies, been put under immense strain as a result of the AIDS crisis. For more than a decade now communities have been collapsing across the continent as too many children, who have lost one or both parents to AIDS, overwhelm family members already struggling under the burden of persistent poverty. The result is that whole families are dragged too far below the poverty line to survive. Severe malnutrition, preventable diseases and infant mortality rates increase. School attendance rates plummet, and many are forced to migrate from their villages to become urban street children, creating many challenging social problems.

The organisation has evolved so much from my first visit in 2006. I am incredibly proud to be a part of its past as well as helping with its future.

The Mango Tree Orphan Support Programme believes this snowball effect to be one of Africa's most appalling problems. Over 12 years we have developed what we think, is an innovative, effective, sustainable and cost effective way of tackling the issues at their root.

Since 2002, The Mango Tree has been driven by several central principles. One of the most important aspects of The Mango Tree is the all encompassing psychosocial support for our orphans throughout the entire project. The Mango Tree is the only agency operating in the 120 rural communities where we work.  We have established trust through our partnership working and recognition from local leaders. Our in-country teams are made up of local people who, over the years, have been seen to support and nurture the orphans, their families and other vulnerable members of rural societies and to uphold a feeling of belonging. 

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