Maisha’s Light the Future Choir from Kenya stood on the turf, performing for the University of Oklahoma’s Football team on Oct. 21. The players clapped their hands with smiles on their faces as the kids’ song echoed throughout the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
OU’s Head Football Coach Bob Stoops welcomed the kids onto the field after they received a personal tour of both the football stadium and basketball practice court. The choir also met OU Women’s Basketball Head Coach Sherri Coale and performed for the basketball team.
The 24 children from Maisha had the time of their life playing on the football field, basketball court and soccer field.
While on the OU campus, the children received a personal tour and visited the School of Engineering where several choir members who aspire to be engineers have been invited back for a more in-depth tour.
In Norman, the choir also went to the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The kids explored caves, observed skeletons of various dinosaurs, and viewed animals native to Oklahoma, with wide, curious eyes.
OU was the first college that connected with Maisha and began sending interns to work in the Oklahoma office. The partnership began in 2008 with the establishment of the Maisha Art and Cultural Camp in Kenya (MACC.) OU student Kendall Brown created the camp, whose goal was to provide an outlet for the children to express their emotions through photography, English composition, drawing, painting, song and dance.
After MACC, many OU students majoring in Journalism and African Studies, among other things, became involved with Maisha over the years by volunteering their time, going on mission trips to Kenya or interning. One such student is Maisha’s videographer Mark Nehrenz who came on that first trip in 2008 and has stayed on board for the duration.
Beginning the 2014/2015 school year, the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at OU took the partnership to a new level. Their practicum program placed a master’s degree administrative MSW student in the Oklahoma Maisha office. They will help put strategic developmental policy and evaluation in place, providing Maisha with invaluable resources and collaboration.
The school is hosting “The Song of International Social Work” event featuring the Light the Future Choir from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21 at 700 Elm Ave. in the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work. The event is open to the public; tickets are $10 for non-students and may be purchased at the door.
For more information about the concert or to register online, visit https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ea0q40766430e0cd&oseq=&c=&ch=.
We are thankful for OU’s partnership with Maisha. Boomer Sooner!