Following the early successes of our business and the completion of our initial target of the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 we wanted to take a broader approach to our next goals. One of these goals is to establish and maintain a charitable foundation. This foundation was established at the end of 2008.
As with all things we do, we consider carefully our approach and challenge the norm. We have decided to approach our charity work in the same way as we do our business, with focus and the taking of responsibility. For this reason we have chosen to exclusively work with two small villages in Tanzania. Furthermore, we didn't want to just make monetary donations as other companies do, we wanted to "get our hands dirty" and commit our time as well.
Our approach differs from that of other charities that tend to focus on projects in that we are focussed on the communities. Put simply, rather than building a health post and then moving to another part of the world we remain in the villages and provide support where the communities need it next. We believe that this approach fosters a strong connection, an understanding and a sense of responsibility that will make our work more effective.
As you will see from the following pages our business also benefits from the motivation our own people get from their involvement and visits to Tanzania. The money raised is used to support the villages or to pay for the visits of our own staff only. Beyond money being used for the materials used in construction or other projects our visits also present an opportunity to employ and pay locals for their work and help. This is essential in the development of the community as it avoids the culture of free handouts which can be hugely damaging to the development of the community.
We were delighted to get things moving quickly and this meant we were able to send the first group of volunteers to Tanzania for 11 days in August 2009. We sent a further group of 8 volunteers in August 2010
We hope the following pages will provide some idea of the staggeringly special journey that the first volunteers of the charity experienced.
Firstly, we should recognise the enormous contribution of everyone from the company at the Christmas party in 2008 who, combined with the company matching the contribution, managed to provide the villages of Milingano and Yamba with their largest ever gift. This gift took the form of a double classroom which the 7 volunteers assisted in building in 2009.
The ongoing work to completion of the building continued in our absence and we are pleased to say was completed a month ahead of schedule and ready for use in February 2010. This double classroom has now been handed over to the Tanzanian government and the classrooms opened for use by the children of Milingano
In 2009 fundraising came from employees taking part in numerous events from SkyDiving to Triathlons, taking part in Movember and the Great North Run. This was followed by a second year of donations at the Christmas party where a staggering amount was contributed from everybody at the company and again matched by the company. In August 2010, a second group of volunteers commenced the building of a second classroom in Milingano.
As volunteers, we are well looked after with housegirls trained in hygiene preparing our food and keeping the house clean. We have watchmen that sit outside all night whilst we sleep. Not really because it's dangerous but because it's a job that we can pay someone to do and assist the local economy.
General information about Milingano and Yamba
In the Tanga region of Tanzania which is in the Northeast of the country, around
100 miles west of the town of Tanga.
Milingano is in the lowlands of the West Usambara mountains with Yamba up in the mountains
Basic and lacking in flavour but well prepared, hygienic and nutritious. We are extremely well looked after by the 'Housegirls' that we employ. This is part of the scheme to develop an economy around work rather than a handout of aid. Options for the volunteers to buy booze, snacks and treats are available in Tanga before you head to Milingano so it's not all hardship!
To provide the ongoing support needed for the desired development of the villages of Milingano and Yamba.
The development will be wholly in line with the requirements and requests of the villagers themselves.
We believe our original approach in providing support to the specific places rather than individual projects in multiple locations will become a blueprint for other organisations and companies to follow.
Simply, it follows the basic ethos of Trent Pearce to take responsibility. We believe that having an ongoing responsibility to the community rather than a project is the only way to truly deliver a sustainable development program.
To be both financially and personally involved. To commit time as well as donations
to the ongoing support of the villagers of Milingano and Yamba.
To be resourceful in our support by using contacts and outside assistance where necessary.