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TESS was first established in 2009 by Margaret Stevens who responded to the request from Bishop Charles Obaikol to start a sponsorship programme for needy girls, which led to the formation of TESS (1131999).

Margaret Stevens heard about an exceptionally bright orphaned boy living in a camp, Okorio Joseph, who had a place at Ngora High School but was unable to take it up because of having no-one to pay his fees. Margaret had previously linked Long Field High School in Melton Mowbray with Ngora High School, so asked them to sponsor him. When she visited his home and grandmother, she found that there were two sisters who had also done well in their Primary Leaving Exams (PLE). The grandmother had saved enough money (just £5), and hidden it in the grass thatched roof of their hut, to send one of the girls to a day school. But when term was due to start, she couldn’t find it even though she took the grass thatch apart. So all the children were at home. Because of this, it didn’t seem fair to send Joseph to school and not the girls. So Margaret said she would find sponsors for the two girls as well.

Margaret’s passion led to 100s of sponsors being attracting and the charity growing in both supporters and reach. in 2014 Stuart Rutter became UK Country Manager and with the support of the new Board of Trustees helped put TESS on a financially stable footing and opened up the sponsorship programme once again, with 24 students starting in 2015 and 25 in 2016!