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The Indigenous Education Foundation of Tanzania (IEFT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community-collaborative organization that provides the highest quality, affordable secondary education to underserved indigenous children in rural Tanzania. IEFT empowers children to positively transform their lives, improve their communities and break the cycle of extreme poverty, while working to preserve their culture and traditions. Through the development of Orkeeswa School in Lashaine Village, IEFT provides secondary education to children who have no hope of continuing their education past primary school.
IEFT was founded in 2005 as a collaborative effort between Tanzanian and American volunteer teachers. The founders were inspired by the intensely motivated students in the rural area of Monduli, Tanzania and were compelled to make a difference in the lives of under-served children.
The average age of a child entering secondary school in Tanzania is 13. Studies show that the choices a girl in the developing world makes between the ages of 12 and 14 will determine the course of the rest of her life - whether she drops out of school, is forced into an early marriage and continues the cycle of poverty for her next generation; or she enters secondary school, receives a quality education, allowing her to learn the skills she needs to support her family, marry at a later age, better care for her children, reduce the spread of STD's and help break the cycle of poverty. After seeing how difficult it is for the students in rural Tanzania to continue their education beyond primary school, the founders committed to working solely in the secondary school sector.
Shortly after, IEFT started Orkeeswa School in Lashaine Village, 7 kilometers outside of Monduli town. The school currently has over 220 dedicated students between the ages of 14-21 years old. Working with local and volunteer teachers and staff from around the world, IEFT provides these children with the highest quality education and a remarkable school experience. The difference between Orkeeswa School and many other NGO-based projects is that IEFT works alongside villagers in the development of the school and its impact on the community.
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