The process of moving from an NGO/donor model to a social investment business model has not been an easy one in Tanzania. For much of the last year The Mango Tree UK has been in dispute with the board of trustees in Tanzania as to the nature of the governance of the College and of the Tanzanian trust, and specifically about the ownership of KPC. This reflects an endemic culture of corruption in Tanzania whereby community ownership can easily become confused with self-interest and the motives and interests of local politicians get in the way of beneficiary-led development. The dispute over the College has been further exacerbated this year with the pre-election conflict, which is likely to continue until the general election in October. As a consequence, The Mango Tree’s Chairman, William Fulton, was prohibited from the country during a visit to KPC staff in February. Despite the best efforts of The Mango Tree’s many supporters, The British High Commission staff and the contacts we have with the Tanzanian Government, the febrile atmosphere of a pre-election period has led to an inability for senior politicians to resolve this situation. We very much hope that by Christmas the country will stabilise once again and we will be able to resume our regular visits to the country.

Throughout the dispute the TMT UK Board of Trustees has remained firmly accountable to its donors and the Charity Commission. No funds have thankfully been lost and although the KPC registration and land deeds are still being examined by politicians and lawyers, the KPC remains in the hands of the management committee and is being governed by a strengthened board of local directors who are committed to ensuring the College remain fully accountable to the Kyela community. William Fulton, The Mango Tree UK Chair of Trustees, remains the chairman of the KPC board.
TMT UK has also transitioned all our remaining educational support work of our registered orphans, to be delivered through a new educational welfare department which started operating at KPC in August last year.

The College is steadily becoming a tremendous facility providing hundreds of young people, from this rural marginalised area of Tanzania, with access to a variety of skills and qualifications. The KPC has already seen £1.02million of investment – every penny of which was funding earmarked by donors to the College. An additional £200,000 remains to be invested on equipment. This will ensure the College can flourish and provide orphans and the wider community with a vocational facility that is a beacon for local development. The Principal, Salatiel Mwakyambiki hopes to achieve financial independent status by September 2016. 

A recent innovation at KPC is a class for deaf students. One of our beneficiaries, who is totally deaf, has persuaded the KPC management to start a class for 26 deaf students, teaching them both sign language and vocational skills. This has been very well received in the local community. More about this in our next Annual Report later this year.