BIG NEWS… LIVE from Kenya– SPECIAL Edition

WE HAVE SOME BIG NEWS…..

 

In the afternoon, a sweet new sound fills up the Maisha Center, the music of the Light the Future Choir.

 Maisha’s annual gala, Light the Future, will be held October 18th.  It is gearing up to be our best event yet.  To top last year, we have an idea that will be a game changer in the history of Maisha events. Drum roll…BRING MAISHA KIDS TO THE USA!  That’s right; we are hoping to bring 15 kids and 6 chaperones from Kisumu, Kenya all the way to Oklahoma to perform at the gala and local churches throughout the month of October. You’ll be amazed as they share their Luo culture through traditional and modern song and dance. They’ll also participate in cross-cultural activities with our partner schools and their pen pal friends.

As you can imagine, there are over 600 kids that step into Maisha every day, so picking only 15 was not easy.  Naturally, all of them wanted to go, so we held our own “Maisha Idol” to narrow down the competition.  After a whole week of auditions we chose the finalists based on talent and merit.  Each student had to be more than just a talented singer. We required: 1) Good attendance and grades at school 2) A respectful and obedient attitude 3) Permission from their schools to take a small vacation and 4) Good attendance at choir practices.

While we prepare the students, there are still many steps to be taken to allow them to make the trip.  The first one being acquiring passports and visas for everyone, (and if you have had any experience with trying to get those, you will know it’s not easy!)  So please begin to pray that we will have no trouble getting those.

The second step is one that requires your assistance.  All 21 people coming to the US must be funded. $2,500 is the amount needed per traveler for plane tickets, shots, documents, and all other expenses.  If you are interested in helping fundraise via a microsite webpage or in getting more information on how to help, please contact Jennifer Whitener at jennifer@maishaproject.org. 

As we begin to fundraise and prepare for the trip, I have had the joy of sitting down with all members of the choir and some of the chaperones to learn a little bit about them.  I would like to introduce for the first time our fabulous Maisha Light the Future Choir! *Please note, list of members is liable to change at any moment for various reasons*


from left to right, top row: Erick, Alice, Linda, Maisha Founder Beatrice Williamson, Felix, David, Collins, John, Evans
bottom row: Rose, Diana S., Emily, Norren, Diana O., Sharlyne, Vivian, Ann, Terezer, Faith       

Alice Akinyi Wanjira ***
Age: 16
Class: 10
School: St. Alloys Mayenya
Bio: Alice loves working with kids.  In her free time she enjoys singing and dancing.  She is great with kids and hopes to be a teacher someday.


Ann Akinyi Otita

Age: 10
Class: 4
School: Maisha Academy
Bio: Ann enjoys playing netball and football in her free time. She also likes the colors red and purple. She has a dog named Hashili. She cannot wait to drive and fly to get there. She has never done that before!


Collins Ouma Omondi
Age: 14
Class: 7
School: Omungi Primary School
Bio:  Collins likes to play football in his free time. He wants to be a pilot when he grows up. His favorite color is orange.  When he goes to America he wants to meet a lot of American friends.

 

(David) Alaton Tunya Odhiambo
Age: 13
Class: 6
School: Mayenya Primary School
Bio: David likes to do funny things, like make jokes in class or make funny faces.  He really enjoys running around his village.  His favorite color is green.  He thinks it will be “So cool” to be out of Kenya.  He’s looking forward to going to the US to see things that he has never seen.  Plus he’s really excited to see his sponsor Cody.

 

Diana Amondi Odiwuor
Age: 10
Class: 4
School: Maisha Academy
Bio: When Diana grows up she aspires to be a journalist.  She likes to play volleyball in her free time. Her favorite colors are red and purple. Her favorite animal is a cat. She has one brother and one sister.  When she gets to America she wants to greet those who are there.

 

Diana Amondi Sammy
Age: 10
Class: 4
School: Maisha Academy
Bio: Diana loves to sing in her free time.  She loves sharing her gift of music with all of her friends.  Diana is ready to go to America to share her gift with the world.

 

Emily Atieno Nyumba
Age: 9
Class: 4
School: Maisha Academy
Bio: When she has time to herself, Emily likes to play netball. She likes the colors green and purple. When she grows up she wants to be a lawyer. She has two sisters. She will meet American friends when she gets to America and also visit her Maisha friends.


Erick Onyango Okumu ***
Age: 21
Class: 11
School: Dr. Aloo Gumbi
Bio: Erick likes to read books when he has free time.  He also really enjoys reading his bible.  He is so thankful to be part of the choir because he enjoys singing songs.  He wants to go to America to share the gospel in the form of a song.

 

Evans Otieno Owango ***
Age: 17
Class: 11
School: Otieno Oyoo Boys High School
Bio: Evans loves all sorts of science, chemistry, and physics classes.  He finds martial arts very interesting.  His favorite color is blue.  He knows that he has a talent for singing so he’s very thankful for the opportunity to sing in the choir.  He’s excited to see all of his friends that have visited him at Maisha.  He’s also interested to contrast the environment of Oklahoma to Kenya.  He hopes to learn lots of new things while he is there.

 

Faith Atieno Onyango
Age: 9
Class: 3
School: Maisha Academy
Bio: Faith enjoys reading storybooks at home.  She loves cats and the color pink. She likes singing in the choir here at Maisha. She wants to play football in America when she gets there.

 

Felix Odiwuor Agolla
Age: 14
Class: 7
School: Omungi Primary
Bio: Felix likes to do homework when he is home and when he is outside he likes to play football. He likes dogs. He also wants to meet new friends when he gets to the USA. He says he just loves being in the choir.


John Onyango Okal
Age: 14
Class: 6
School: Omungi Primary School
Bio: John likes being in the choir because he likes to sing and to drum. When he has free time he likes to play and to cook. He has one sister and he lives at Maisha. When John grows up he wants to be an Engineer. His favorite color is yellow.  He wants to teach people in America African drumming. He is also looking forward to flying on an airplane and eating American food when he gets there.

Linda Awuor Wanjira ***
Age: 16
Class: 11
School: Migingo Girls
Bio: Linda loves to sing, dance, and tell jokes.  Her favorite color is pink.  She loves to play soccer and study math and English.  She is excited to be in the choir and get exposure to a country other than her own.  She is also very excited to get the opportunity to share her passion and talent of singing with many new people.

 

Norren Anyango
Age: 14
Class: 6
School: Omungi Primary School
Bio: Norren enjoys washing clothes and playing football. Her favorite colors are red and green. She would like to be a teacher when she grows up. She wants to meet friends in America and be very happy there.

Patrick Omondi Ogutu *** (Not Pictured)
Age: 19
Class: 11
School: Maliera Boys
Bio: Patrick is very excited to be one of the leaders of this choir.  His favorite color is blue.  He likes to play soccer and to watch movies.  His favorite movie is ‘The Legend.’  He’s very proud to be in the choir and he’s very thankful for this opportunity.  He hopes their performance will be a thank you to all the hard work we have done for them.  Also he’s excited to see all his friends in their homeland, since they have been coming to see him in Kisumu for so long.  He is very interested about American culture verses Kenyan culture, and to tell all his new friends he will make about Maisha.

 

Rose Achieng Amollo
Age: 12
Class: 4
School: Maisha Academy
Bio: Rose likes to play football, washing clothes and cooking. Her favorite animals are cats and dogs. She also likes to read storybooks. She is very excited to fly on an airplane to get to America and enjoys the choir immensely.

Sharlyne Margarett Awuor
Age: 11
Class: 5
School: Mayenya Primary School
Bio: Sharlyne likes to read storybooks in her freetime. She would like to be a surgeon when she grows up. Her favorite animal is a cat. She is so excited to see a movie when she gets to America.

Terezer Akinyi Ouma
Age: 9
Class: 3
School: Maisha Academy
Bio:  Trezer likes to read.  When she has free time, she enjoys playing with her friends.  After attending university, she hopes to become a nurse.  She is very ready to get to the US and try a lot of new foods that she has never had.

 

Vivian Achieng Odhiambo
Age: 8-9
Class: 1
School: Maisha Academy
Bio: Vivian likes to read her bible in her free time.  Her favorite color is red.  She is very excited to be in the choir and to travel to America.  She is most excited about riding on a plane for the first time. She can’t wait to tell her classmates about all her adventures she has while she is away.

 

Teacher Caroline *** (Not Pictured)
Choir Director *** (Not Pictured) 

*** Stars indicate older choir member chaperones

As well as preforming for the Gala, Maisha’s Light the Future Choir would be happy to visit YOUR church or school to share about Maisha and put on an amazing show.  Please note, Maisha’s Light the Future Choir will have a short amount of time in the US, so times will fill up fast! For more information about having Maisha’s Light the Future Choir at YOUR school or church, please contact me, Lauren Hatfield at lauren@maishaproject.org.  

Thank you all in advance for the support! Please continue to pray as we embark on this journey.  We would appreciate if you shared this post, to spread the word about this exciting news.  See you soon!

Maisha Project
405.445.3440
PO Box 570
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101
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In 2016, 82% of Maisha Project's total operating expenses were used for programs that benefit vulnerable children and communities around Kisumu, Kenya.

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