Turning Challenges Into Opportunities
How The Orenda Tribe managed to raise funds through global partnerships to increase its impact and enter the kids online gaming industry during the pandemic.
In 2019, I met Wael and his kind family at The Orenda Tribe’s booth in Dubai Design District’s pop up market. Little did I know that the stars will align years from that moment and that he will play a significant role in the growth of The Orenda Tribe.
Later in September of that year, The Orenda Tribe celebrated the opening of its flagship store in Jordan and we were happily surprised by the regular visits of Wael and his family to the store.
During one of those visits while explaining to Wael our mission and learning that he works with PepsiCo’s Corporate Affairs department, the idea of partnering to work with youth and bring positive impact to the region came up.
As a result, we agreed with PepsiCo to design an impact box to engage youth in recycling and waste management through art and storytelling and to train teachers in schools in KSA and UAE on how to address youth using this box.
An exciting project for The Orenda Tribe during a growth period for the company that all came to halt after only 7 months of opening our store due to covid-19.
Surprisingly, covid-19 revealed several opportunities for The Orenda Tribe.
The Orenda Tribe Goes Digital
Throughout covid-19, The Orenda Tribe decided to add purpose to the increasing screen time among kids around the world by gamifying our children’s stories that address climate change, gender and children’s rights.
A plan that was further solidified by the Advocacy, Media & Communications Director for one of our partners, Save the Children International, Mohamad Al Asmar, who shared with us how NGO’s and schools are increasingly adopting digital strategies to increase their reach to more youth.
That is when we decided to roll up our sleeves to raise funds for our first online application, and luckily were approached by CEWAS & BookBridge who enrolled us in a program that brought in a team of amazing people from different professional backgrounds from Europe and the Middle East to support us in entering the kids gaming market.
After month's of research we realized that there is a gap in kids online applications that creatively address social issues. The team also helped us through design thinking activities, due diligence and finding the best ways to enter the kids gaming market.
Funding the Digital Transition
At the end of the CEWAS program we pitched our idea to the Hilti Foundation and were offered an equity free, zero interest, soft loan to help us enter the kids gaming market.
Also, around that same time we explored with PepsiCo’s team alternatives to the distribution of the impact boxes to schools due to covid-19 restrictions. We proposed to digitize the impact box into a purposeful game for kids until schools reopen and received the approval from PepsiCo.
Going into 2022
Today, The Orenda Tribe secured its funding for its first purposeful children’s game. A free game that raises kids awareness on waste management and recycling, that will be promoted collaboratively with PepsiCo’s team to kids in the region and across the world.
We also started fund raising for our second game, that will address sea pollution.
Finally, we are excited to grow our small team of only two full-timers by welcoming new full-time members to the family to do greater things in this coming year. Stay tuned.