Indigenous Education Fund Tanzania (IEFT) received $20,000 to build a 367 square foot classroom to provide education for 50 new students.


Description of how the funds will be used: To provide support for the Orkeewsa school in funding a 367 square-foot classroom building, providing a room to educate an additional 50 students. The new building will serve as a multipurpose room for students, families, theater, music and adult education workshops.

Description of Project/Program:

Orkeeswa School is the first and only secondary school in a remote rural area of Tanzania. The school serves four Maasai villages in a 32-square kilometer area. The mural painted on the kitchen outside wall states “Everyone is Welcome, Everyone Belongs.”


Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards-

High Impact & Life Transforming: Since its inception eight years ago, the Orkeeswa School has transformed the community in ways few could have envisioned. It all began with one young American teacher who was so inspired by the spirit and intelligence of the Tanzanian students, he stayed and began working with village elders to create a free secondary school that would educate young people. The Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania (IEFT) was founded to create a quality educational environment, and a more prosperous and cohesive community.

Become further inspired by the impact on students.  Listen to Bertha’s story about entrepreneurship and micro economics from Nyangusi’s story on the website link below.

Education: Everything is directed toward building better lives for the students and extending benefits into the community.  Educators equip students with skills they need to make an immediate and long-term impact. Through a variety of programs – from athletics, special interest clubs, entrepreneurship and leadership training – students’ horizons are broadened. Then they pass it on. In 2014, students completed over 10,255 hours of community service by teaching, coaching and mentoring at thirteen schools and two local NGOs.

Sustainability: The Orkeeswa Model is about more than acing national exams or even continuing to college. The program provides a holistic education integrated into the fabric of the existing culture. For example, the students grow trees and vegetables and food to support the school’s kitchen.

Community Building: As with successful schools everywhere, community involvement and support is crucial. There is an active local school board, a parent/teacher association and an advisory council working with staff and students. Currently graduated students Memusi, who is 21 years old, and Sioni, who is 20, are on the student board and aspire to be doctors and help their community.

Innovative: In less than a decade, this impoverished rural community of 10,000 people has worked with IEFT donors, volunteers and educators from around the world to create one of the top-ranked secondary schools in Tanzania and the only community-based secondary school in the region.

Measurable: Prior to the Orkeeswa School, 3% of boys in area villages would have the opportunity to leave home and study at a private secondary school. No girl would have enjoyed such a privilege. The current student roster is 227 students, of which 130 are girls (57%) and 97 are boys (43%). In September, 45-50 new students will be accepted into the Orkeeswa School, 14 students in their second year of higher education (10 boys, 4 girls) and 12 students in their first year of study (8 boys and four girls).

Organization’s Mission Statement: To work with local leaders and community members to build and operate sustainable secondary schools, which provide high-quality, free education to rural Tanzanian communities. Through our schools, we aim to create a learning environment that values creativity, enhances critical thinking, and builds leadership.