Meet our students

Read our students' stories, get inspired, then get involved!

More than 70,000 students benefited from educational opportunities provided through Teach A Man To Fish projects in 2015 alone. Our mission is to ensure that when they leave school they are ready to succeed in self-employment, skilled jobs, further education, and in life.

The Inspirational Student

Joseph, Rwanda

Joseph is 15 and goes to Liba school in a rural area near Nyanza. Last year, Teach A Man To Fish started working with students and teachers at Joseph's school to set up a real poultry business.

Joseph immediately joined the school business team. Suddenly he was learning exciting new things including how to look after and keep chickens healthy. In 6 months the school poultry business was selling eggs and chickens to local cafes.

The school business taught Joseph how to plan and run a profitable business and gave him the confidence to do it for himself. 8 months later Joseph set up his own small business with 3 small chickens. The income from egg sales already buys school books and shoes for him and his sister.

The Business Leader

Siphindile, South Africa

Siphindile is 18 and was an integral member of her school business team. Hope Valley School and their unique bead bracelet business won the prize for South Africa in the School Enterprise Challenge 2015.

"I was chosen as the team leader. I enjoyed this role because I had to keep the team motivated especially when we face problems. I motivated the team to co-operate and not to give up. I learnt a lot from the school business. I used to struggle with accounting, as a team we helped each other out. This is now something which I would like to do in the future and the school business helped me a lot. Because of this I now have more career options. Before I wanted to be a social worker, now accounting is a second option for me, I have more options.

My favourite thing about the school business was problem solving. Problems we faced were when our needles broke and the team felt very de motivated, it was my job to keep them motivated. I helped to motivate the team especially when things went wrong. This is the skill which will help me a lot when I leave school. When people face problems they go with their emotions, I now know how to look at all the options and talk with my team members to find a solution which will help everyone. 

My biggest personal achievement has been gaining confidence. I am now able to talk to new people and communicate clearly. Before being involved in the school business I did not speak clearly and was often told to speak up. The school business also taught me to present myself well. My advice to other young people interested in starting a business is to be confident and passionate about what you do. You will face challenges but if you are passionate it will help you get through these situations."

The Unstoppable Entrepreneur

Jorge Guerrero, Paraguay

If you've watched our video you'll have seen one of our former students, Jorge Guerrero, talking about what he was learning at school - he's the one from the family of 19 children!

Several years on now, and the remarkable way in which Jorge has taken advantage of that education to transform his life is incredible.

After graduating from our flagship San Francisco school in Paraguay he wanted to pursue his dream of studying Agronomy at university so he could go back and help in his community. Despite winning a scholarship to cover his fees, he had no way to pay for his living costs - the kind of setback that would cause most young people with his kind of background to give up.

But not Jorge! He took what he learned at our school and came up with a highly entrepreneurial solution. Striking up an agreement with an old age home which had unused land, he created an organic vegetable garden where part of the production would go to the home and the rest he could sell to generate extra income. To help his products stand out and fetch a better price, he even created his own brand 'BioGran'!

Now close to finishing his university studies, his final goal is to create a big business that will generate many jobs and will contribute to his country’s social development in a sustainable way.

Stories like this are why we set up Teach A Man To Fish, to give the millions of Jorge's out there a chance to unleash their potential.

If you'd like to help us to achieve this goal, please take a few seconds more to get involved or donate now

The Artistic Entrepreneur

Lawrence Ndalinke, Uganda

On the surface, Lawrence Ndalinke may seem like a regular Second Year student at St. Denis Secondary School in Makondo, Uganda - but he's also the perfect example of the kind of young 'entrepreneur-in-waiting' that it only takes a small spark to ignite.
At the end of last year St. Denis started a guest speaker series where owners of successful local businesses came to share their experience and advice with the students.
After attending one of these talks 16-year-old Lawrence felt so inspired that he decided that he too wanted to become self-sufficient and support his family.
As a student from a poor family, Lawrence had no capital, no land, and little time during term after his one and a half hour walk each day to and from school.
However, where there is a will, there is a way!
Lawrence's first idea was to sell banana pancakes. This tasty snack is cheap to make and due to its popularity, there is always a market for it in the villages.
To generate the money he needed to set up his pancake business, however, Lawrence began to design and produce beautiful posters and cards using old cardboard boxes. Ultimately his card business turned out to be so successful that he chose to focus on it instead.
He now sells his art work to anyone and everyone from the Sisters at the parish church to foreign volunteers passing through.
As St Denis' school businesses get fully started - a dairy, a supply shop, a plantain orchard and recently a corn mill - more students like Lawrence will have a chance to get hands-on business experience and practical experience of larger scale enterprises.
And after seeing the change a spark of inspiration can create, you can only imagine the impact that lighting a fire of possibilities like this will have on them - sign up to our newsletter, and we'll keep you informed!


Studying for a Better Future

Evelyn, Kenya

Evelyn lives in a small hut close to the school with her family of seven: her mother, three brothers and her oldest brother’s wife and baby. Evelyn finished primary school in 2007. Having done well in her Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCP) she was determined to go to secondary school. "I dreamed of carrying on my education," she says "but with so little money, I didn’t know what hope there was".

In early 2009 two of her old teachers from Ondati Primary school came to visit her and told her that a secondary school was starting in Ondati with a lower and flexible fee. She was thrilled at the news and became one of the first pupils of Ondati Girls Secondary School on opening in May 2009.

She is enjoying her time at the school and the hopes it provides for a better life. "Being in a girls' school is good because it is free of the troubles that boys bring." she explains. Her favourite subjects are Business Studies, English, Kiswahili and Christian Religious Education.

However, her life is not without difficulties. Even with a lower than average fee, paying the whole amount of Ksh 1,500 per term (around $20) is beyond her reach – creating uncertainties for the future. Fortunately, the school businesses, set up with help from Teach A Man To Fish at Ondati School, will soon start generating income, meaning her fees can be reduced even further. She remains hopeful about the future and says when she finishes secondary school she would like to train as a nurse so she can help other people who have health problems like her mother.

A Boy of Many Talents

Michael, Uganda

Michael is 16 years old and the most important thing in his life is his chance for an education - an education which will prove to be vital if he is to achieve his dream of one day becoming a vet.

Michael attends St Denis school.  He lives with his mother Milly, father Fulgensio and his five brothers and sisters in a modest one-room house. Whilst clearly being driven towards attaining his dream job, Michael understands what his parents have done for him by giving him the opportunity of an education. He says: “Once I am the most brilliant vet in Uganda, I will do anything to help my family as they are sacrificing a lot to educate me”.

He likes to go home happy that he has learnt something new each day and to share his newfound knowledge with his family.  A man of many talents, Michael has recently taken up piano lessons at school and his sport of choice is volleyball – he laughs that he must be the only man in Uganda not to support a football team.

Living in a rural area dependent upon agriculture, Michael spends the school holidays helping his mother in their banana plantation and collecting food for their pigs. The rural life suits Michael much better than life in the city as it is far quieter and less crowded.  He would like to continue living here after attending university and he hopes to be able to grow his own crops and keep his own animals.  The practical education he receives through the businesses at St Denis is of great value to him.

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