“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” -Madeleine L’Engle
Over 450 people from Oklahoma have stories to tell about their trips to Maisha. They’ve played with the kids, cooked with the widows in the kitchen and prayed for Kenyans living in the Nyalenda slums. When they return to their communities, they have the ability to paint a picture for those who have never heard about Maisha. They can tell “The Maisha Story.”
Beatrice Williamson, The Maisha Project founder, said their stories are the most powerful tool Maisha has to influence others. By encouraging them to share, she hopes to get more people involved.
“We can always make an announcement that the trip was awesome, people had a great time, but when people tell their own stories of their experience and what they learned and what they did there, it’s more powerful than us telling their own stories,” she said.
In September 2015, Maisha will launch “The Maisha Story Project”, a group of storytellers willing to share their personal stories with their spheres of influence.
Williamson said she hopes to see the number of volunteers and donations grow simply because people are not afraid to share their stories.
“…We’ve been dreaming about if we give people the tools they need to tell The Maisha Story, that would be double the amount of new people that will know about our project, knowing about the initiatives we do and basically getting a way to have more people plugged in.
“That’s where the idea came from…,” she said.
Each storyteller will be equipped with a toolkit of videos (like the one above) and information. They’ll be required to commit to a certain level of involvement to their choosing. Storytellers will have the option to do something as simple as share a weekly Facebook post to make presentations about The Maisha Story to small audiences in their network, whether that be at church, school, business or their local coffeehouse.
Williamson is looking for passionate people willing to advocate and pass on their stories and inspiration to new people. Maisha College and High School Boards are being developed as well to give Maisha influences in schools throughout the state. Travel to Maisha is not a prerequisite, many of our sponsors, penpals and others have wonderful stories to tell as well.
Once a month, storytellers will meet to discuss goals, fundraisers and ways to grow.
While Maisha is self-sustaining and does rely on donations, Williamson said money is not the only way to give back. She simply asks people to willingly give a small amount of their time to be a storyteller and inspire others to DO SOMETHING and write their own Maisha Story.
“They don’t really have to stress out about donating money if they don’t have money, but we just want people who are passionate about telling The Maisha Story… If we have 10 to 20 ambassadors that can get sold out through telling their stories and telling The Maisha story, I think we can do more for the Maisha children in Africa,” Williamson said.
Please join us for our first meeting from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 26th.
Please RSVP to Jennifer Whitener at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-445-3440.