Etatu and Msambweni
Msambweni consists of a group of villages, the residents of which are largely reliant on fishing and farming for their livelihoods. It is within this collective community that Etatu works. The majority of our work is in the village of ‘Mwaembe’, meaning ‘place of mangoes.’
Msambweni is rural and the lives of most of the residents are characterised by poverty. They are also characterised by generosity and resilience. Many people strive not only to survive but also to work for the good of others.
Msambweni is a community facing change; the region is developing, a few large companies have located in the region, foreigners and tourism companies are developing land, the provincial administration has moved the headquarters of some departments to Msambweni and the main Provincial Hospital is located there. The population and the pressure on land and resources is growing. Many of the newly available jobs are not going to local residents – their skills and levels of education are too limited. There is a chance that for many residents change will bring with it greater rather than less hardship
We would like to help build a community which is resourceful: ingenious, capable, full of initiatives, especially in difficult circumstances.
We believe in the transformative power of education – few experiences in life can make as much difference as learning. Etatu aims to improve the life-chances and standard of living of the inhabitants of Msambweni by raising achievement in school, building confidence and developing skills.
What does ‘Etatu’ mean?
‘Etatu’ literally means ‘Three ‘e’s. It is a name chosen by a group of twelve year olds, shouting out ‘Education, Education, Education’. It clearly indicated what children in Mwaembe place emphasis on. Education is the cornerstone of our work but ‘E’ can equally well mean ‘Enterprise’, ‘Empowerment’ or ‘Environment’, all of which are closely related and important to what we do..
Etatu is pronounced: ee-tar-too
The Team in Kenya
The Etatu team in Kenya consists of Bakari, Alfan, Leila and Ali, all of whom live in the area. It is a principle that everyone whom Etatu employs come from the villages of Msambweni. Bakari is the Chair; Alfan oversees the sponsorship programme and manages the Banda; Leila, who joined in September 2019, is our link with Msambweni Primary School and the Orphans’ Programme; Ali runs the jigger clinic and helps with the holiday programme.
Alfan and Ali were amongst the first pupils whom Etatu sponsored; we supported them in their last two years at Msambweni Secondary School, which they left at the end of 2014.
Jacquie Lindgren founded Etatu. She is a qualified teacher with wide ranging experience in England, Kenya and other parts of the world. At Trinity College, Cambridge, she obtained a History degree, specialising in African History. She has an MA in Development Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. She has qualifications in Training, in Project Management and in teaching children with dyslexia. Etatu gained charitable status in 2013. Jacquie is the Chair of Trustees.
‘I was born in Tanzania and spent most of my childhood in Kenya. I have known Msambweni, where Etatu works, for over 30 years. When I was asked to take a lead in building a community learning space and when my childrens’ friends grew up and needed help to continue their schooling, I realised I needed other people’s involvement. I therefore set up Etatu.’
Rupert Rumney is a sports television producer, was TV consultant to the International Hockey Federation for over ten years and is now managing television production for Expo 2020. He has visited Msambweni regularly for over twenty years and is committed to helping those he has got to know. Rupert has undertaken several sponsored initiatives on behalf of Etatu.
Jan Pryer first visited Msambweni in 1993. She lives in Plymouth and is a vet. Jan believes ‘in a universal right to education and vocational opportunities allowing a community to develop and thrive’. Her particular interest lies in the medical issues which affect schooling: illness, malnutrition, disability, jiggers and disease.
Etatu and its Trustees are members of the Institute of Fundraising, The National Council of Voluntary Organisations and the Foundation for Social Improvement.
We strive to be open and factual in our dealings with the people and communities we work with, our donors, our partners, volunteers and the public at large. We demand of ourselves high standards of professional competence and financial accountability. The principle of respect lies behind our relationship with everyone we work with.