2018 was a mixed bag for AME. Our first students graduated the national exams and performed much better than we could have hoped. Whilst the governments free education promises have impacted both student numbers and our move towards self-sufficiency.
We currently have 150 students, and by the end of 2019 we expect to have 300. However it is important to note here that all students will then be receiving a free education. With the addition of the school bus and the dormitory, we will be well placed to offer a large number of places to the very rural students within the area of Wioso.
We have a clear plan for how to develop our alternative method of running cost development and our intention is to be raising enough within 18 months to cover the running costs of the model.
We also have two extremely solid new partners who have both committed to supporting the development of this model, and their contributions of a dormitory and a school bus will greatly effect demand.
New road to self-sufficiency: In 2018 we made the decision to go 'fully free' for all students, which requires the development of an alternative funding model. We decided upon the development of the additional 17 acres of the school site into an export farm. To do this, we developed an innovative partnership with a commercial partner which we intend to develop as the cornerstone of our revised model.
In Sept of last year, Lanfrey Farming took over the remaining site to develop an Organic Moringa farm for export to the US and the EU. The terms of the agreement were specifically designed to support the school, and attracted the interest of ethical investors in doing so. The terms of the agreement are as follows.
- An annual rental fee per acre, tied to the purchase value of the land.
- A 20% profit share arrangement to be paid back to AME.
- LF responsible for all licensing, exporting and capital expansion, including farm staff, solar and borehole expansion
- LF responsible for maintenance of school farm for feeding program, including all staff
This arrangement has served to reduce the costs to the school by removing responsibility for the school farm, as well as securing a long term income for the running costs of the school.
We are all very excited by the expectations for export this year, and the aim is to export 10 tonnes for sale in the EU and the US during 2019.
Supporting fee-free: In the meantime, as we develop out new model, we have been extremely grateful to The Toni Garrn Foundation and I-Engineering for supporting us with the development of a girls dormitory, school buses which will allow us to bring in farm greater number of students this year.
Further still Toni Garrn Foundation are us with ongoing running cost contributions as we develop the farm towards generating the revenue required to run the school. We are so incredibly grateful for their support, and for the support of all of our donors moving forward with incredible expectations for 2019 and beyond.
For any donations to our 2019 fundraising drive, please use the following accounts or contact details.
UK Sterling Account US Dollar Account
Bank: HSBC Bank: Wells Fargo
Account no: 62155907 Account no: 6268919351
Sort code: 400409 Routing no (wire). 121000248
IBAN: gb15midl40040962155907 Routing no (direct) 054001220
Contact: Please contact us below, we would be delighted to hear from you,
James Riggs (CEO of Alma Mater Education) 3 Lanfrey Place
(+44) 7766 733008 W14 9PY
UK registered Charity Number 1159983
US Registered 501c3