One of Prophet’s core values is to be “Fearlessly Human”—a promise to bring our whole selves to the table. While this commitment is seen across our work and the relationships we make with clients, there is nothing more emblematic than our biennial Prophet for Nonprofit auction. In the span of two weeks, every Propheteer is encouraged to get involved by donating and/or bidding on items to raise money for a selected nonprofit.
Not Your Standard Fundraiser
Donations come in all forms, but each item or service that is donated sheds light on the hobbies and passions of Prophet’s employees. From home-cooked meals to a curated map of hiking trails to tickets to a flashy restaurant opening, this year’s donations spanned topics, regions, prices and interests.
In addition to being an opportunity for employees to share their full selves, the Prophet for Nonprofit auction garners great enthusiasm from employees because of its larger mission: to support a nonprofit who is delivering positive change to communities beyond our own.
In the past, this auction has raised funds to build a kindergarten in Vietnam, equip students with bikes to complete their long journeys to school, fight the Ebola epidemic and build sanitation facilities for schools in Uganda. This year, Propheteers voted to support Orkeeswa School (IEFT), a community-based secondary school in rural Tanzania. More specifically, the funds raised in the auction sponsored 35 young girls through their first year of secondary school.
Why We’re Supporting the Orkeeswa School in Tanzania
Serving four villages, Orkeeswa School offers the only opportunity for most young people in the area to continue their education past the primary level. With average family incomes of $1 per day and an absence of secondary schools in the area, graduating sixth grade is often the end of a student’s education.
In addition to resource constraints, students in the village also face cultural barriers to continuing their education, especially girls. A traditionally Maasai community, Orkeeswa and its surrounding villages still operate through strict gender roles that continue to dictate opportunities for boys and girls. A pastoralist tribe, the Maasai have long viewed their sons as valuable cattle herders and their daughters as valuable farmers, homemakers and wives, rather than potential students and professionals. For this reason, most girls expect to be married after graduating sixth grade, often as young as the age of 11.
Orkeeswa School and its students, however, have begun to change this narrative. Established in 2008, the school provides free holistic secondary education to over 415 students and alumni from the surrounding villages. A co-educational institution, Orkeeswa creates an environment where boys and girls work and excel alongside one another, building each student’s confidence and breaking down the gender stereotypes that lead to continued discrimination.
When young boys see their female counterparts as equals in chemistry class and on the soccer field, they begin to remold the gender roles they had been raised to see the world through. Similarly, when fathers watch their daughters speaking English and teaching their younger siblings how to calculate costs at the vegetable market, they begin to embrace the value of education and – as Orkeeswa has seen time and time again – encourage their younger children to pursue secondary education rather than early marriage.
In addition to elevating the role of women and girls on campus and in the community, Orkeeswa School has a commitment to remain deeply connected to the needs and culture of the surrounding community. As a day school, students live and learn within their village, ensuring that they take their education home with them and continue to participate in the traditions of their culture. By merging the students’ natural commitment to their community with a curriculum designed to nurture creativity and foster critical thinking, Orkeeswa School equips its students to become the next generation of leaders in their own communities.
How Prophet for Nonprofit Supports Orkeeswa
Orkeeswa’s mission and commitment to providing quality community-based education resonated with Prophet’s employees and with our own commitment to giving back. Propheteers around the globe fully embraced the opportunity to deeply impact the lives of 35 young girls, donating and bidding generously to support the cause. We delivered on our value of being fearlessly human, but also on our value of being all in. By the close of the auction, we had 90 percent participation across all 10 Prophet offices and raised a total of $35,000.
Is Orkeeswa School an organization you would like to engage with? Click here to learn more and support students at Orkeeswa School!