Microfinanced Mangos

A self-sustaining helping hand

While public education in Sri Lanka is free, many Sri Lankan schools – particularly in the regions, lack adequate funds to maintain and improve infrastructure and provide for a sufficient range of academic activities.  So education outcomes and opportunities for rural school children are severely  constrained. This is particularly true for the school children of the Ampara district.  In most cases, schools teaching up to 300 students receive less than Rs.1, 000 per month (AUD $8) to maintain infrastructure. 

The Aspirations Education Foundation observed this situation (read Ajith and XX’s story here) and in 2012 kicked off a Mango Cultivation project at Government schools.  The idea was to provide a sustainable source of income for the school community, to provide for desperately needed school infrastructure.  The project is cultivating a very special variety of mango named “TEJC” (Tom Ellawa, Juwan Carlos) for which there is a strong international and national market. One mango tree can bring an annual income of Rs. 35,000 to 50,000 (A$245-400). The Project is cultivating 50 – 100 mango trees per school. 

Aspirations provide mango plants, fertilizes, insecticide, technical advice free of charge to schools through the project period.  The cost of plants, fertilizer and other expenses will be recovered from the total income received from the sale of mango. 

The Aspirations Project have already planted 1,870 mango plants in twenty nine schools in five districts.

Mango cultivation takes place on arable, unutilized school land. The process is managed by an “Abhilasha” committee, headed by the school principal, comprising 10 members; 5 from school staff and 5 from parents of school children.

The project faces challenges such as lack of regular water sources at schools, (including lack of facilities for harvesting rain water) to ensure the plants survive during prolonged drought. The project also faces a lack of community mobilization process at school level, as well as strict administrative and financial regulations to release funds when and where necessary.

Get involved! 

The project requires:

Additional funding and installation of pumps, water tanks, wells for many of the schools below.

If you’re an engineer, or community development student (from Deakin or one of our partner institutions in either Australia or Sri Lanka) and are prepared to raise funds for the project, (a pump, sourced locally costs as little as $300) provide expertise overseeing the purchase and installation (by the school community), contact the GCP office today to see how you may get involved.  You may be invited to participate to the Australian Project team travelling to Ampara, Sri Lanka in January 2015.

The Aspirations Project have already planted 1,870 mango plants in twenty nine schools in five districts. These schools are:

1.    AM/Wavinna Vidyalaya

2.    AM/Kotawehera Vidyalaya

3.    AM/Kiwlegama MV

4.    AM/Dewalahinda Vidyalaya

5.    AM/Padagoda MV

6.    AM/Namalthalawa MV

7.    AM/Namaloya Vidyalaya

8.    AM/Welusumana Vidyalaya

9.    AM/Ambagahawella MV

10.   AM/Weheragala Vidyalaya

11.   AM/Thottama Vidyalaya

12.   AM/Saddhatissa MV

13.   AM/Senagama MV

14.   AM/Aluthela V

15.   AM/Polwatta MV

16.   AM/Paragahakele MV

17.   AM/Sirisanda V

18.   AM/Koknahara MV

19.   AM/Kadurugoda Temple

20.   AM/Owagiri Temple

21.   AM/Namaloya Temple

22.   AM/Koknahara Temple

23.   BA/Kandegama KV

24.   Po/Kurulubadda V

25.   Po/Kurulubadda Temple

26.   Tri/ Padaviya Jayanthi MV

27.   Tri/Yaya 12 Vidyalaya

28.   Tri/ Yaya 13 Vidyalaya

29.   VA/Madukanda MV

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