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The Orkeeswa Angels Project

The Morningstar Foundation is proud to announce its newest initiative, the Orkeeswa Angels Project. The project seeks to raise funds for the advancement of universal education in Tanzania; more specifically, it funds three initiatives that benefit the Orkeeswa Secondary School community:

  • It supports the artistry of Maasai women from Northern Tanzania's Monduli Hills

  • It enables young Orkeeswa students to develop and run a microfinance project designed to fund post-secondary education for boys and girls graduating from Orkeeswa Secondary School

  • It contributes to the tuition of all students attending Orkeeswa Secondary School. Unfortunately, only 5% of Tanzanian youths are currently receiving any form of post-primary education

At the same time, the Orkeeswa Angels Project provides Orkeeswa students with the opportunity to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The students at Orkeeswa manage inventory and quality control during angel production, and oversee packing and shipping to the United States. Margaret Melkiori, a Form V Orkeeswa student, has been especially instrumental in developing and leading the project in Tanzania.

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Of course, at the center of this project is the beaded angel--an interesting twist on the traditional Maasai art of beading, which is a unique expression of Maasai culture; indeed, it is a important source of enjoyment, pride, and income for Maasai artisans. This beaded angel (left), and all beaded angels that are a part of this project, was created by a Maasai artisan who is a member of the Orkeeswa Secondary School Women's Group, a community outreach program that exposes local women to financial planning and provides a market for their beadwork. The profit the artisan receives from the purchase of an angel is equivalent to three days' work from her only other source of income--chopping wood in the forest and carrying it 16 kilometers (on average) to the market, where it earns her a paltry daily total of less than $1.00 USD. But with the support of the Morningstar Foundation and the Orkeeswa Angels Project, these Maasai artisans can now increase their income to better support their families' basic needs and of course, the education of their children.

In Tanzania, Margaret and her team of students at Orkeeswa work hard with the artisans on making the angels, placing orders, managing inventory, and organizing packing and shipping. These earnings are placed in a fund that enables Orkeeswa students to pursue educational opportunity at all levels.

Now, through the Orkeeswa Angels Project, the Morningstar Foundation is finding and developing retail outlets for the sale of angels; this is where you--the caring individual who wants to help, but has not yet found a way to do so--come in. With the purchase of an angel, you can conveniently contribute to the advancement of universal education in Tanzania, and enable bright-minded young children to obtain the education they need in order to succeed in spite of their poverty.

Because education should be for everyone.

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