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Education is the foundation for youth-driven, community-led development.

About Orkeeswa

Through accessible, high-quality, community-based education and leadership development, Orkeeswa cultivates thoughtful decision-makers and creative problem-solvers prepared to achieve their own vision for impact.

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Communities worldwide face systemic challenges with economic inequality, gender discrimination, environmental degradation, access to high-quality social services, and more. In our rural Maasai community in Tanzania, these challenges are exacerbated by unique social and cultural circumstances, and compounded by a severe lack of basic resources. The challenges communities face are complex and interconnected, and call for solutions that are creative and collaborative. Our work cultivates young leaders across disciplines, developing a network of community-driven innovators who can collaboratively create healthy, thriving communities.

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Many young people across Tanzania are unable to access one of the key drivers of social change: Education.

  • Almost 70% of children aged 14–17 years are not enrolled in secondary education. 

  • In the country’s rural communities living in poverty, less than 3% of students access the 11th and 12th grades.

  • These rates are significantly lower for girls in rural areas where traditions such as early marriage keep girls from continuing their education.

  • For those students who are able to attend secondary school, an educational system carried over from traditional colonial structures limits creativity, collaboration, and community engagement.

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Using the community as a classroom, we invest in student-centered, skills-based learning for young people at three critical points:

Orkeeswa Outreach utilizes trained and motivated Orkeeswa student and alumni leaders to run holistic programming in local primary schools.

Orkeeswa School provides high-quality academics, robust co-curricular programs, student wellness services, and community-based leadership through a holistic secondary school experience.

Orkeeswa Incubator supports the ongoing impact of alumni through professional development, higher education scholarships, and small grants and mentorship for entrepreneurs.

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