Allison Bickel, from New Jersey, U.S.A, is one of Orkeeswa’s English teachers. Allison loves to share her passion for literature with our students. She has experience teaching abroad and brings new ideas and methods to the classroom. Allison also has an enthusiasm for long distance running and coaches Orkeeswa’s running team. Allison’s favorite place in the school is the Library, where she helps to connect students with books that they will enjoy.
Audiface Amede, born less than sixty miles from Orkeeswa, is the Student Coordinator as well as the History and Civics teacher. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Audiface is a focused and dedicated educator. As the Student Coordinator, he ensures that all of our students are prepared to learn each morning. Outside of the classroom, Audiface coaches our boys volleyball team and teaches Life Skills classes.
Seth Heinert, from Wyoming, U.S.A., is Orkeeswa’s Agriculture and Biology teacher. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and a Master’s Degree in Agriculture Education and brings a wealth of knowledge into the classroom. Seth manages the school garden, the woodworking club, and oversees microfinance programs. He has a passion for hands-on learning and his enthusiasm for teaching is appreciated by both students and teachers alike.
Thomas Laiser is Orkeeswa’s Second Master and he shares his passion for numbers while teaching Mathematics. He was born and raised just fifteen miles from the school and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Uganda and is working on his diploma in education. Thomas is from the Maasai Tribe and works closely with our students and parent community to solidify the relationship between home and school. Thomas sets very high standards for the students and is dedicated to helping all students fulfill their potential.
Mzee Leisnert has been involved with the school since the day it opened and is Orkeeswa’s Facilities Manager. Mzee was born and raised just ten minutes from the school and his role in community relations are essential to the school’s success. He is also involved in school security and maintenance, and coaches soccer. Mzee’s positive nature and dedication to the students enrich the atmosphere of Orkeeswa.
As the Associate Director of IEFT, Greg Flett manages our operations in the U.S.A. Greg earned his Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University and has worked for child-serving non-profit organizations for over ten years. Greg’s experience in management and leadership are a great asset to IEFT.
One of the most positive and intentional people we have ever met, is Paul Ole Saing’eu. He joins Orkeeswa as the school counselor working with students and families on a daily basis. Paul earned a Bachelor Degree in Psychology in Kenya, and is well respected as one of the few educated Maasai of his generation. As Paul is from the Maasai tribe, one of the many assets he brings to the school is his ability to share a common culture, understanding and relating the traditions of the community. Paul is an incredibly caring intellectual who makes a profound impact as a trusted advisor to students.
Lisa Heinert, from Nebraska, U.S.A., is Orkeeswa’s Athletics and Activities Coordinator. Lisa runs our school’s Leadership Club, coaches our basketball and running teams, and provides extra help and support to students when they are in need. As the Athletics and Activities Coordinator, Lisa organizes daily after-school activities, encouraging students to try new things and discover their passions. Lisa has a Master’s Degree in Leadership Education and brings her experience in youth and community development to Orkeeswa. Lisa’s enthusiasm for athletics energizes our students and contributes to the dynamic culture of our school.
Peter Luis is the Founder and Executive Director of IEFT. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in English, he left his home in California to teach in South America. While volunteering in schools in Brazil and El Salvador, Peter’s eyes opened to the transformational power of education. He moved to Tanzania in 2005 to become a volunteer teacher in a small secondary school. He was inspired by the incredible potential and enthusiasm of the students in the village.Out of the office, Peter loves to coach the school basketball team. Peter lives in Tanzania and is committed to helping all Orkeeswa students fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams. You can read more of his story in Our History.
Joining the IEFT team in 2010, Quinn Brady is a dynamic figure within the organization. Quinn is a taskmaster that takes on many different responsibilities, gets creative and makes things happen! Splitting her time between Tanzania and Boston, Quinn serves as the Development Coordinator serving a variety of roles from running the student sponsorship program to teaching Life skills and character development classes at the school. She has a gift of connecting with students and empowering young women. Her real passion is the students and giving them the tools they need through education to create and live empowered, engaged, and purposeful lives.
Orkeeswa’s dedicated cooking and maintenance staff are all members of the local community. Dereva, Happiness, Judith, Monica, Rose, and Agnes all play an essential role in supporting our students. In addition to keeping the school clean and healthy, many of these staff members house students who are displaced. They each play an essential role in the day-to-day operations of Orkeeswa.
You want it cooked, cleaned, repaired, and maintained? Ask one of these amazing staff members; meet Rose, Agnes, Judith, Monica, Happiness and Dereva! All of them coming from the surrounding community, these dedicated individuals play an essential role in supporting, feeding and caring for our students. In addition to keeping the school clean and healthy, many of them house students who are displaced as well as serve as mentors to the students. Everyday they keep the school running and our bellies full. We couldn’t do what we do without them!
Raphael Robert, IEFT’s Tanzania Associate Director, has been involved in our organization since its inception. He is a passionate local leader who is integral to the culture of excellence at Orkeeswa. He oversees human resources, government affairs, and finances. Raphael’s dedication to the school is motivated by his faith in our students’ potential to create positive change in the community. You can read more of his story in Our History.
Chris Mainga is Orkeeswa’s Chemistry and Biology teacher. He was born in Kenya and earned his Bachelor of Educational Science before joining the Orkeeswa teaching team. Chris’s favorite activity is performing Chemistry experiments with the students and he prides himself on pushing students to exceed their own expectations. Chris also leads the Public Speaking Club and serves as the school’s Academic Coordinator.
Yesaya Bendera, born in Tanzania, is Orkeeswa’s Chemistry and Biology teacher. Bendera also leads our school’s Science Club which is one of our students’ favorite extra-curricular activities. Bendera is a passionate soccer player and an excellent coach for both boys’ and girls’ soccer teams.
Hamad Ali is our driver and maintenance man. Hamad grew up close to Orkeeswa and he works hard to make sure that our school is running smoothly for our students. Hamad’s days are filled with driving, repairing, building, and looking out for our students.
Yussufu Robert is the Headmaster of Orkeeswa Secondary School. Robert was born and raised in the same village as Orkeeswa’s students. He earned his Bachelor Degree in Uganda and is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Community Development. Robert has a passion for education and is committed to helping the young people in his village create positive changes in their own lives and in their community.
Dr. Seth Msinjiri is Orkeeswa’s trusted advisor. Hailing from Tanzania, he excelled as a young academic and earned a PhD in Russia before returning to Tanzania to pass on the gift of education to the community in which he was raised. His many years of experience in the field of education have made his voice valued throughout the development of Orkeeswa.
Solomon Sambweti was born just a few minutes from the school and is thrilled to be back in his own village, helping the next generation of youth earn an education. He teaches Mathematics and Geography and also leads Orkeeswa’s Environmental Awareness Club. His teaching experience and his knowledge of local culture allow him to be a mentor to many of our students.
Given Mambali, from coastal Tanzania, is Orkeeswa’s Swahili teacher. He is a passionate teacher who brings excitement to learning. Outside of the classroom, Given shares his creative and expressive nature with students while leading the Drama Club. Given earned his Bachelor of Arts in Education and enjoys sharing his love of language with the students. Given’s contagious energy contributes greatly to Orkeeswa’s school culture.