Organization’s overall annual budget: $825,000

Requested dollar amount for this grant: $31,869

Suggested dollar amount for this grant: $30,000 – $32,000

Description of how the funds will be used: To support rural Tanzanian school children through the purchase and maintenance of a 32-passenger bus to transport Orkeeswa school students and staff to school and school events.

Description of Project/Program: what makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address: 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 where there are few paved roads – none leading to the school. Getting students, faculty and staff to and from school is as important to its educational mission as books, curriculum and teachers. The vehicle will provide transportation for more than 250 students, faculty, volunteers and staff. Vehicles previously used to carry far fewer people and require several morning and afternoon trips to deliver students and staff to and from home safely, wasting valuable time and energy. The Toyota Coaster will allow students to attend classes more regularly and stay on campus longer, even during rainy seasons. This will allow more students to travel to sporting and field trips while actually reducing transportation costs. Currently, the school has had to hire several bus taxis.

Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards: High Impact, Direct Benefit, Education, Sustainability, Community Building, Innovative, Measurable: Since its inception eight years ago, 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 to 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. 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. Prior to Orkeeswa School, only 3% of boys in area villages had the opportunity to leave home and study at a private secondary school. No girl had enjoyed this privilege. Now 227 young men and women in equal numbers attend Orkeeswa School. This is an unprecedented opportunity to promote young girls and their future. But 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. 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. 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. The school employs 293 local people and has become an important part of the community economy. Become inspired by the impact on students at their website. Listen to Bertha’s story about entrepreneurship and micro economics. The need for transportation for students and staff is critical to the school’s mission and success. An Impact Giving grant toward the purchase of a heavy-duty, 32-passenger school bus will free up staff time to focus on classroom time, while meeting pressing needs for dependable transportation.

Organization’s Mission: 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.