Reflections on BoldLeaders Conference

Audi Mambai speaks to his colleagues in the Opening School Meetings about his experience with BoldLeaders.

BoldLeaders is a youth leadership program that believes “so goes Africa, so goes the world,” meaning that Africa and other less developed parts of the world should not be left behind. BoldLeaders funds opportunities for students to participate in four week cultural exchange programs with a focus on conflict resolution, leadership, civic engagement and education. From Tanzania, only nine students and two chaperones were selected; I was one of the chaperones. We spent our time in Denver, Colorado and Washington, DC, visiting schools, youth organizations and agriculture organizations. While in DC we visited museums and the monuments, the US Department of State and also the Peace Corps office.

There are several things which I learned through BoldLeaders that I want to implement at Orkeeswa. First is the importance of time management. I saw in America that you can accomplish more and complete many tasks when you keep to your schedule, something that we are not always good at doing in Tanzania. We lose valuable time each day; I think that at Orkeeswa we can set a standard to be more efficient. Another thing that I liked about America is how the society and specifically the adults mentor the younger people. They were good mentors because in their culture mistakes are allowed to be made and students are given a second chance. I plan to bring that attitude into my classroom more; I want to be a good mentor and let the students know that if they fail at something, they can try again.

BoldLeaders encouraged us to be comfortable in an uncomfortable environment. In African culture it is very uncomfortable for men to be emotional. At Orkeeswa we see our volunteers being very friendly and emotional; they sympathize quickly with the students. This is comfortable for them because it is part of their culture. For a male teacher it is very uncomfortable to show emotion, like crying, even hugging. I now have a better understanding of the volunteers and their culture. This understanding will help us to do our best work together at Orkeeswa.

I am very loyal to Orkeeswa; I believe in the philosophy and the mission. I know that we are doing a good job but I would like to see ideas from BoldLeaders incorporated as well. I think these ideas will help to take Orkeeswa to an even higher level.

-Audi Mambai

Audi Mambai is a History, Civics and Life Skills teacher at Orkeeswa Secondary School. He has been involved with the school since its inception and has been a full time teacher since August of 2011. Audi was graduated by Dodoma University in Dodoma, Tanzania with a BA in Education.


Scrabble- An Orkeeswa Pastime

For this Scrabble competition, Nickson and Lais used good strategy to make high-scoring words, but it was the female duo of Suzanne and Naeku that eventually won the game with the word “zags.”

An Orkeeswa Pastime

Scrabble is a game in which a player uses letters to make a complete meaningful word. This game can be played by two or more people, either individually or in groups. In Orkeeswa Secondary School there are four students who choose Scrabble as their favourite game to play in the library. These students are Naeku, Nickson, Suzanne, and myself. We’re all in Form Three.

We all have different reasons for liking Scrabble. Naeku does not play sports so playing Scrabble gives her something to do. When I was in Form Two, I used to play Scrabble three times a week. Suzanne got a Scrabble certificate in Form Two.

Between the four of us, everybody gets to win at a different time; there is no one champion within us. For just one word, we’ve been able to get over 36 points. Whenever one of us makes a word with “q” or “z” or “x”, we feel very proud.

We like to play scrabble because it helps us learn new words. It is also fun. One time, Naeku wanted to spell the word, “giraffe,” but she spelled it as g-i-r-a-f. Allison said it was wrong and we all thought it was so funny. Besides spelling, playing Scrabble has also taught me something else – practice a lot and you will do very well.

Lais Lazaro, Form Three

The Importance of Sports

Flora Kipapurwa (most left) stands with netball team mates Neema Saitabau, Christina Seth, Nengai Mesareiki, Anna Tataya, Maria Payani, and Diana Lekiton. The team recently played against St. Jude’s School at a sports day hosted by Orkeeswa. The final score was Orkeeswa-19 and St. Jude’s-12.

Playing Sports at Orkeeswa Opens Many Doors

My name is Flora Kipapurwa. I am a Form Three student and I am an athlete. At Orkeeswa School, we have different sports like basketball, netball, football, volleyball and many others. I like to play sports a lot because sports make my body to become healthy, active, and strong. Sports are really important because they help me to release stress sometimes.

Sports also create opportunities, like you may get a chance to travel. For example, I have been to different places, like Moshi and Arusha, just because of sports. I had never been to these places before. Orkeeswa students also participate in sporting events that are outside of the school, like UMISETA. This is an event where they choose the best players from schools all over the Arusha region and the aim is to take those players to go to play against the players from all over Tanzania. Some Orkeeswa students have participated in UMISETA whereby they got a chance to travel to Dar es Salaam.

Sports also create friendships. The students from Orkeeswa have created friendships with students from other schools, like the International School of Moshi (ISM), St. Jude’s School and some public schools around the area. I would like to encourage my fellow students to participate in sports because sports can also help you in your future.

Flora Kipapurwa, Form Three

Caring for the Rabbits

Dickson is an involved Form One student who cares for Orkeeswa’s rabbits as a part of his Agriculture class, and he is also one of the class leaders who takes special interest in this project and ensures that all students are attending to and caring for the rabbits.

Caring for the Rabbits

In our Form One class, we break up into five different groups because there are five days in a week that we come to school. Each group has to take care of the rabbit on one day of a week. In my group, we take care of them on Wednesday, but I go there every day.

We give the rabbits food several times a day. The rabbits eat cabbage, bread and a type of vegetable called mchicha. One day, we did an experiment to find the rabbits’ favorite food. We took cabbage and mchicha and then we gave to them. They ate cabbage very fast, which means their favorite food is cabbage. We are still experimenting to find new and healthy food for the rabbits.

I enjoy the job of taking care of rabbits because it is another part of agriculture. Before we got rabbits at Orkeeswa, I didn’t know how to care for them, but now I know. I found out that rabbits are much easier to keep at school than home, and I also now know that is not easy for them to get diseases.

We’ve only had the rabbits for a few months, so that’s why we are still doing a lot of experiments. Keeping the rabbits sounds like a lot of work in this story, but when you are actually keeping them, it’s very easy.

Dickson Sampson, Form One

Computer Time at Orkeeswa!

Tajiri Lemta, Stephano Saning’o, and Lazaro Mesarieki are just three of many students learning vital computer skills that will help them at Orkeeswa and beyond.

Computer Time Has Come to Orkeeswa

Orkeeswa Secondary School is one of the most wonderful schools in Tanzania and it is growing every day. Orkeeswa has such fantastic students who like reading, learning, and enjoy having significant things like computers. There are about thirty computers in Orkeeswa, which are used by the students to type, play computer games and learn from educational programmes that are found on our computers.

My name is Nickson Obedi. I’m a student of Orkeeswa Secondary School and I am one of the students who likes using computers. The day I heard that we were going to use computers I felt good because I knew the time had come for me to learn how to use computers. It was incredible because I never thought something like that would ever happen in our school. I appreciate the work our teachers and the IEFT organisation did and now is the time for us students to use the computers in an appropriate way and gain a lot of knowledge from them.

Nickson Obedi, Form Three

Sabore runs for Orkeeswa

Sabore N is pictured here (far right) with fellow Orkeeswa runners, Sabore S and Lucas at the 2012 Kilimanjaro half marathon.


I like running because I am a talented runner. Also, I like running because I get exercise that helps me in other activities which require running. For example, I can play soccer well because I run. When I go to competitions, I like to meet new people and exchange ideas.

This year, I have competed in two half marathons, the Kilimanjaro half marathon and the Arusha half marathon. I also ran at the Braeburn cross-country meet, the Orkeeswa cross country invitational and, just this weekend, I ran in the 1500 meters at the ISM Track and Field meet. I did well in all of these events. I have run the Arusha half marathon and the ISM Track and Field meet in past two years as well.

In February I will compete in the Kilimanjaro half marathon again and I hope to begin running full marathons soon. My dream is to continue running and one day end up running professionally. I don’t know if I can run faster and farther than others, but I have learned at Orkeeswa to never give up and always try my best!

Sabore Naisike, Form Two

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a Form One Classroom Activity

Damiano is a Form One student that is also active on the school soccer and basketball teams. He is pictured here hanging his paper crane in the Form One classroom.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a Form One Classroom Activity

The Form One class at Orkeeswa is reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. It is a story about a little girl who lived in Hiroshima where the United States dropped the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb caused cancer called leukemia so it continued to kill many people after the first day of the atomic bomb.

Even though the story is very sad, my Form One class has done some very fun activities with our teacher Lisa Phu. When Sadako got sick with leukemia, she made paper cranes to give her hope. Each student in Form One got a piece of colorful paper and we learned to fold them and make paper cranes. All of our paper cranes are hung in our classroom now. Another activity we did was making sushi. Each group made one big sushi roll using nori, rice, avocado, egg and cucumber.

The activity that I enjoyed the most was folding paper cranes. It makes our classroom look nice when they are hung from the ceiling. And now I know how to make my own and I can hang them in my house and my house will look nice also.

Damiano Benedicto, Form One

Making Science a Reality

Lais Lazaro, Nickson Obedi, Gidion Thomas, and Jackline Bariki use the science lab to perform experiments for Science Club.

Making Science a Reality

It was July 2012 when Orkeeswa Secondary School started having a science laboratory with equipment. Before this month Orkeeswa students had never used the science lab for any practicals in the science subjects. It was within July when I started doing experiments in the science lab. I was really happy to go to the science lab to conduct experiments because I had never used the lab before. The first experiment I did in the science lab was for the chemistry topic volumetric analysis.

Before we had the science lab, it was really difficult for me to understand the teacher without doing experiments to know the reality of what the teacher was teaching. Doing experiments is important and I am very happy to know how to do experiments. Doing experiments within the lab has great importance toward my life. Doing experiments helps me answer the exams which involve practical questions. This also helps me to remember much more about what the teacher has taught me. Through experiments, I get to know how different things are formed. Doing experiments is a great way to develop and gain more knowledge in science subjects because we get to know things in reality.

Lais Lazaro, Form Three

Getting Ready to go to the USA

At Orkeeswa, Victoria is a leader in many ways – in sports, in the classroom, and among her female peers. Through the US Embassy’s Youth Leadership Exchange, Victoria will learn new skills that will affect her classmates and her community.

Getting Ready

I went to Dar es Salaam on 5th September in order to get my visa to go to America through the US Embassy’s Youth Leadership Exchange. When I arrived, I met my fellow students who are from different places like South Africa and Kilimanjaro. I was very happy to be in Dar es Salaam because the place is very good, especially the hotel I stayed in. The name of that hotel is the Lion Hotel and it is located in Sinza Place. On 6th September, I went to the Embassy to apply for my visa and the next day, I went to the hospital. After that, I went to take pictures while finishing up the visa interview. The interview was not difficult. Then I went to the booking office to get the tickets. At 4 am, I started my safari back to Arusha. I left Dar es Salaam around 6 am and reached home around 9 pm.

I’m very happy and excited for my trip which leaves on 25th October. I’m very proud of having been chosen to represent my country abroad. I’m looking forward to learning about the USA and my fellow participants’ cultures. I also can’t wait to share my ideas and make new friends.

Victoria Samora, Form Four

Naeku’s Family



While visiting her mother in Monduli Juu, Naeku also got to see her niece and her younger brothers.

I am a Form Three student at Orkeeswa Secondary School. I studied at Orkeeswa Primary School. I am sixteen years old and I am the fifth born in my family. I have eight siblings – six brothers and two sisters. All of my siblings are married. I am the only child who has gone to high school. Some of my siblings ended their education at primary level while others didn’t go to school at all.

During my lifetime, I haven’t lived with my parents for a long time. Right now, I have a mother only. I have been living with my sister for twelve years. That means that when my sister got married, I went with her. She takes care of me as my mother would. I am really proud of my sister as well as my brother-in-law who is acting as my father. I appreciate their kindness and the respect they have toward my life.

What makes me to remember this is when I look at my siblings who have not gotten the chance to go to school. I am very sad that I have no example to follow in my family, but this challenges me to work hard and I hope that I can be an example to be followed by my young brothers as well as my nieces and nephews.

Naeku Logolye, Form Three

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