Fish 4 Friends

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Childhood Poverty and Hunger

The Tanzania Study, Childhood Poverty in Tanzania: Disparities in Child Well-Being, reported that roughly six million children aged 0-14 years are living below the basic needs poverty line, and around three million children fall below the food poverty line. Yet, 70.8 % of Tanzanian children reported to live in absolute poverty! Children suffer most from hunger, also referred to as malnutrition or undernutrition. Their mothers also suffer greatly from malnutrition, which affects the child before birth.

Two basic types of malnutrition.

The first and most important is protein—energy malnutrition—the lack of enough protein (from meat and other sources) and food that provides energy.

The second type of malnutrition is micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) deficiency. (

Providing a diet of fish can help to address both types of malnutrition….

Fish 4 Friends

Yes, we are going to raise fish to change children’s lives! Fish 4 Friends came about when Mandi Biocic and Shane Sylvester realized that they wanted their nonprofit, Two 4 Change, and the NGOs that they were trying to help in Tanzania to be self-sustainable.

In the States I designed and built Recirculating Aquarium Systems for nearly 10 years. Raising fish in tanks became a passion for me. Here is some of my work and designs, These same life support systems that I designed and built, can help to change children’s lives here in Tanzania.




Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, shellfish and even plants. The term aquaculture refers to the cultivation of both marine and freshwater species and can range from land-based to open-ocean production.

Fish for Friends will be a tilapia farming project with an aquaponics system that will provide food and income to the KOROGWE ORPHANAGE AND YOUTH CENTER to help support the 100 children and their caregivers.


To farm tilapia in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). A RAS reuses water over and over, cleaning the waste from the water, which we will use to produce naturally grown agriculture products like tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, peppers, and other produce. The engine for this system derives from using the waste from the fish system as natural food and fertilizers for intensive agriculture production.

The project will be producing a fish that is high in protein and micronutrients that so many of these children are deficient in. The income produced from the sale of the tilapia and produce will go directly to the school for the children’s education. Education is a basic human right. And lack of this human right perpetuates the vicious cycle of poverty. Fish 4 Friends will have a huge impact on the community of Korogwe for years and years to come!


The tilapia, veggies and fruit produced will be the orphanages main source of food. The orphanage will also be able to generate an income from the excess tilapia and produce, which means they will not have to depend on outside donations in order to run efficiently, and in the future will have the ability to help even more children.

Being this project will be on the same property as the orphanage, it also will give teachers and caregivers the opportunity to incorporate the project in the children’s daily learning curriculum. Invaluable life lessons like simple farming techniques, basic aquaculture, money management skills and guest speakers, will allow the children to be more hands on and thinking about their future.

Remember, Korogwe Orphanage center is run strictly on donations. This means for months at a time the teachers are not getting paid, the only water supply to the property is shut off and worst of all food and medicines cannot be purchased for the children.


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Currently a number of Tanzanian waterways are being over fished including Tanzania’s largest, Lake Victoria. This is a direct result of Tanzania as a whole not having the skills or knowledge to farm fish effectively. With a recirculating aquaculture system you are able to breed more fish in a smaller space, sterile environment, in less time, while conserving valuable natural recourses like water and land. 

Not only will building and maintaining this project create jobs for the community, it will stimulate the local economy by attracting Tanzanians from neighboring towns and villages looking to purchase the fish and produce. They will also visit eager to gain knowledge on how to maintain a successful fish farm. ( Think of what hosting the Superbowl does for a city!!!)

Having visited universities and government aquaculture programs here in Tanzania, that have had less than stellar results, it is obvious that the demand for fish is here but the supply is not.

Two 4 Change is excited about and fully committed to this project.

As mentioned in the States, Shane turned his hobby of fish in to a successful business for nearly a decade before selling it to come to Tanzania.

Fish and recirculating aquarium systems are not only something he has plenty of knowledge on, but it is also his passion and we are eager to use that passion to continue to help others.

As mentioned earlier this is a large project that will have a profound impact on the children and community of Korogwe Town, Tanzania. Shane and I have already spent a substantial amount of our own money to purchase the design plans for this project.


Where your money goes:

The Two 4 Change is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit foundation, so all contributions will be TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!(US only). The funds collected for this project are going directly to build tilapia farm. After completion, the farm will operated by myself and my wife and we’ll also be hiring local Tanzanians to help to put money back into the local economy. We have already sourced the equipment that we will need locally and have purchased the design plans for the build. Here is the specific breakdown of where your money goes:


Nursery  Tank 1 $770 $770
Grow-out Tanks 2 $1000 $2,000
Reservoir 5000L 2 $700 $1400
Drum Filter 2 $175 $350
Wet/Dry Filter 3 $320 $960
Canister Filter 3 $640 $1920
UV Sterilizers 3 $700 $2,100
Nursery Pumps 1 $300 $300
Grow-out Pumps 2 $930 $1860
Oxygen Gen 5 $480 $2,400
  Plumbing 3 $200 $600
  Weir Box 3 $80 $240
Generator 1 $3,000 $3,000
Electrical 1 $800 $800
Green House 1 $1,000 $1,000
Fish Food 1 $4000 $4000
Fingerlings 10,000 $0.03 $300
Cost to build     $24,000


Other Ways You Can Help:

Some can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help!

•  Share! Just “like,” and share our FB page and posts. Hit Twitter, Instagram,, then and share!!

•  Like the vision? Help us spread the word so that others who may be able to help promote or contribute can play a part as well!

•  Be a Buzzmaker! Create buzz in anyway you know how!!

Stay connected, share your ideas, know you’re appreciated!


The Passion

The vision is to launch a movement across Tanzania, to give orphanages, youth centers, nonprofits and NGOs a way to sustain themselves and not have to always ask or beg for donations. To help them fight childhood poverty and malnutrition.  A hand to the sometimes helpless.  The hope is to ignite an unstoppable strategy that revolutionizes how local nonprofits and NGOs support themselves and their the work here in good old Tanzania!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”—Margaret Mead


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