About us

Able Child Initiatives (ACI) is a young non-governmental organisation founded in 2019 and located in Mbeya in Tanzania. It currently operates in the neigbourhoods of Iyunga, Ilemi and Uyole. ACI primarily helps children with disabilities (CWD) to go to school. Because it addresses the issue holistically, it also helps the caretakers, often the mothers, who face the burden of taking care of the children hence stay at home. Furthermore, ACI helps CWD who graduated and other people with disabilities with employment and entrepreneurship. Currently, ACI is doing fundraising to start off the Shoemaking Project to make people with disabilities economically independent. Whenever possible, ACI supports other vulnerable people for instance by providing free education for children from poor families.

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission

Improving  the society by supporting children with disabilities holistically by enacting upon their human rights to create inclusivity.

Vision

A just society which recognises the rights of children with disabilities and enables them to live in aninclusive environment

History and Achievements

When Elias Mandago came to the Ilemi neighbourhood in Mbeya in 2017, he found out that there was no school with special education. Therefore, he started to identify children with disabilities by talking to the village executive officer and street representatives. Next, he started looking for a classroom where the children could be educated. He succeeded by finding the opportunity of using a classroom at the Ilemi Primary School. This was in July 2017. From this moment onwards, Elias started teaching an increasing group of students consisting of Children with disabilities (CWD). At the beginning there were just two children.

In the end of 2017, he realised that there was a need for a non-governmental organisation in order to help CWD properly. Together with his friends Nashon, Peter, Edwin, John, Happy, Zephania, Agness, Kitambi, Rebeka, Mwajuma, Adelina, Elesia, Kasunga and Sango, they started to establish Able Child Initiatives by writing the Constitution. The Constitution was verified by the National NGOs Coordination Board on August 15, 2019 with the registration number 00NGO/R0468. This was not an easy task. After the constitution was being rejected three times, the group members did not give up and their persistence was rewarded when Elias went to Dodomo for the fourth time.

At the same time, Elias and Peter have educated eight CWD during the academic year of 2018. Three of the eight went to Standard 1 with regular children and the other five, together with fourteen newly registered children formed the class for the academic year of 2019. An important factor for fourteen new students was the Let Us Go To School campaign exerted by Elias and his friends which led to the registration of 122 CWD all over Mbeya. In the beginning of 2019, the group organised the hiring of the compound consisting of an office and a classroom. Also, they arranged materials such as benches, the blackboard, a desk etcetera. In addition, the group supported Damas Mwambenja to study shoemaking in Dar es Salaam. He will be teaching in the Shoemaking Project. Once registered, the board of Able Child Initiatives created Human Resource Policies, Finance and Regulation Policies and Child Protection Policies. For the year 2020, 12 children with disabilities have been registered at the unit for CWD at Ilemi primary school. As it is still possible to apply for education, this number may increase.

Since the academic year of 2019, preschool education is offered to four to six year old children on the compound of Able Child Initiatives. The children either have disabilities or come from poor families. In the year of 2019, 32 children, of which 12 had one or more disabilities, were educated every morning by Matilda Joseph after which 28 children entered Standard 1. Four children with disabilities stayed at Able Child Initiatives to continue with preschool education. For the year 2020, there are 22 students registered of 7 children with disabilities and 15 come from poor families, but more are expected to be registered as the applications are still open.

  Due to the lack of space at nearby primary schools, which leads to children not being able to receive sufficient amounts of education, Able Child Initiatives also provides free education for children from poor families. In 2019, two groups of in total eleven children from Standard 7, aged eleven to fourteen, were educated by Elias Mandago, Maraki Inyasi and Joachim Andrew, one group every morning and one group every afternoon. Unfortunately, only four made it into secondary school. This is a common problem for children from poor families. This year, 70 students, from Standard 3, 4 and 5, aged eleven to fourteen, are being educated every working day in the evening by Maraki Inyasi and sometimes by Elias or Joachim.

In October 2019, Elias joined Workaway, a volunteering platform, to get into contact with volunteers. In December, the first volunteer, Robin van Seumeren, arrived and together with his mother Anneke Jansen who resided at home in the Netherlands and Elias, they created this website.

Certificate of Registration

Certificate of Registration

Meet our children!

Organisational Structure – Board of Directors

  • Director & Secretary: Elias Mandago
  • (Vice) Executive Secretary: Florida Makoye
  • Treasurer: Peter Malinga
  • Other member 1: Nashon Festo (Chairperson)
  • Other member 2: Lilian Mganga (Vice Chairperson)
  • Other member 3: Peter Kiloba
  • Other member 4: Elisha Nkwinja (Project Manager but not (yet) board member)
  • Other member 5: Epafla Masanja (Human Resource Manager but not (yet) board member)
  • Other member 6: not yet elected

Stakeholders/people involved

  1. Nashon Festo
  2. Elias Mandago
  3. Peter Kiloba
  4. Ligwa Yumbu
  5. Happines Kimaro
  6. Zephania Yunge
  7. Agness Gadamabi
  8. Kitambi Mbegu
  9. Rebeka Mwampashe
  10. Mwajuma Omary
  11. Adelia Sanga
  12. Elesia Anderson
  13. Kasunga John
  14. Saga Magebo
  15. Elisha Nkwinja
  16. Lilian Mganga
  17. Epafla Masanja
  18. Peter Maliga
  19. Azizi Fransis
  20. Mwajuma Tarange
  21. Hongera Mtweve
  22. Hamis Mafunde
  23. Njile Dogani
  24. James Pamba
  • Ilemi disabled: 12
  • ACI preschool education: 22 (of which 7 are have disabilities and 15 are from poor families)
  • ACI poor extra school: 70
  • Elias Mandago (teaches both at the Able Child Initiatives compound as at Ilemi Primary School)
  • Maraki Inyasi (teaches at the Able Child Initiatives compound)
  • Joachim Andrew (teaches at the Able Child Initiatives compound)
  • Matilda Joseph (teaches at the Able Child Initiatives compound)
  • Peter Malinga (teaches at Ilemi Primary School)
Damas Mwambenja  

People with disabilities that are currently on the streets such as Leonard

ACI works hand in hand with street leaders. They keep us informed about the situations concerning PWD.
ACI tries to maintain relations with all parents. It has identified a group of 25 mothers which are to be assisted in becoming financially independent.
Every 4 months a report is written to the government.
  • Robin van Seumeren (Holland). Robin stayed at Mbeya for a month in January and helped mainly by developing the website. He continued this when he returned to his home-country the Netherlands by writing texts.
  • Anneke Jansen (Holland). Anneke, Robin’s mother, has technical website-building skills and has helped building this website from her home country.

Finances (last updated March 2020)

Expenses:
Source Price TZS (USD)
Let Us Go To School Campaign 500,000 (216)
Total 500,000 (216)
Incomes:
  1. - All members of the organisation put in money which they could afford until the costs for the project was reached.
Expenses:
Source Price TZS (USD)
4 * Transportation to Dodoma for registration 280,000 (121)
Hiring lawyer for creating constitution ACI 250,000 (108)
Furniture office ACI 450,000 (195)
Registration fee ACI at Dodoma 150,000 (65)
Creation human resource, finance and regulation and child protection policies 750,000 (325)
Shoemaking training fees Damas 750,000 (325)
Learning materials children 150,000 (65)
Equipment needed for office 270,000 (117)
Painting office 230,000 (100)
12 * rent compound ACI 600,000 (260)
12 * wages teachers 540,000 (234)
Total 4,420,000 (1913)
Incomes:
  1. Members of ACI paid a monthly fee of 5,000 TZS
  2. In case more money was needed, members of ACI put in what they could afford until enough was raised
Expenses:
Source Price TZS (USD)
Website domain name and hosting 73,000 (32)
2* rent compound ACI 100,000 (43)
2 * wages teachers 90,000 (39)
Total 263,000 (114)
Incomes:
  1. Members of ACI pay a monthly fee of 5,000 TZS
  2. In case more money has been needed, members of ACI put in what they could afford until enough was raised
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