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
Improving the society by supporting children with disabilities holistically by enacting upon their human rights to create inclusivity.
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.
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
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
- Nashon Festo
- Elias Mandago
- Peter Kiloba
- Ligwa Yumbu
- Happines Kimaro
- Zephania Yunge
- Agness Gadamabi
- Kitambi Mbegu
- Rebeka Mwampashe
- Mwajuma Omary
- Adelia Sanga
- Elesia Anderson
- Kasunga John
- Saga Magebo
- Elisha Nkwinja
- Lilian Mganga
- Epafla Masanja
- Peter Maliga
- Azizi Fransis
- Mwajuma Tarange
- Hongera Mtweve
- Hamis Mafunde
- Njile Dogani
- 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)
People with disabilities that are currently on the streets such as Leonard
- 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)
|Source||Price TZS (USD)|
|Let Us Go To School Campaign||500,000 (216)|
- - All members of the organisation put in money which they could afford until the costs for the project was reached.
|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)|
- Members of ACI paid a monthly fee of 5,000 TZS
- In case more money was needed, members of ACI put in what they could afford until enough was raised
|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)|
- Members of ACI pay a monthly fee of 5,000 TZS
- In case more money has been needed, members of ACI put in what they could afford until enough was raised