Self sustainability is one of our original tenets – with the aim to make Malaika Kids more self reliant and locally supported, which we see as necessary for the longer term.
We are therefore positioning Malaika Kids as a social enterprise, where an initial investment can produce an income stream and other benefits, including lifeskills for the children.
Our 30 acres of bush and overgrown cashew orchard are gradually being cleared for the planting of crops and fruit trees. The soil itself is pure sand, and we are therefore adopting a system called ‘conservation pothole agriculture’, where we only improve the soil in regularly spaced potholes, which are replanted each time. Drought tolerant crops such as cassava, cowpea, and African eggplant grow well, and we have expanded our water catchment of two 30,000 litre tanks with the addition of an 800,000 litre pond, all of which are fed with rainwater harvested from the roofs.
The additional water should enable us to produce regular harvests out of season when prices in Dar es Salaam are high.
Mangos, oranges, bananas, pineapples, papaya and passion fruits have all been planted.
We also have a small herd of pedigree ‘Saanen’ goats, and laying chickens.
A nursery school has been started. This saves money and will generate income from paying children coming from Mkuranga.
Future ideas may include a guesthouse and restaurant for the tourist and weekender market, which would enable the older children to learn tourism skills at first hand.
Contacts with companies and organizations in Tanzania are increasing the levels of local support. This often comes in the tangible form of food, books or clothing.
We are honoured to be among the founder members of Molly’s Network: a formal accreditation scheme for Tanzanian charities, which enables organizations to donate without risk.
Ultimate sustainability depends on the Malaika Kids family bonds. This relationship means that when they become successful, we will look to our grown up young people to support the next generation of orphans in their turn.