The Edmond Sun

October 21, 2013

Orphan organization to present ‘Light the Future’ gala


The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, will be the featured speaker at Maisha International’s third annual “Light the Future” gala and auction.

The public is invited to attend dinner at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Cox Convention Center Grand Ballroom, 1 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City. Event registration, silent auction bidding and live auction preview begin at 5 p.m. Auction items include a trip to Maisha in Kenya, a Big 5 Safari, Thunder tickets, boys and girls bicycles, a chocolate class by Chef Gene Leiterman and much more.

The night benefits the orphans and widows at Maisha in Kenya.

When Anna Lanson gave Maisha’s founder Beatrice Williamson a scholarship for education at the age of 9, she began a legacy of hope. Beatrice received a chance to succeed in life and tell her story.

 Since 2006, Maisha have been implementing community development programs in the rural villages of Nyanza, Kenya, where large international aid programs rarely venture.

Maisha’s education program provides scholarship for students attending preschools, primary and secondary schools in rural Nyanza villages. It offers tuition fees, text books, school supplies, uniforms and lunch to 285 orphans and destitute students.

Every day, Maisha’s feeding program touches 200 children at a cost of $255 per week. Maisha’s goal is to reach $2,500 per month so the growing number of orphans coming to one of these primary schools will be fed. Every penny raised goes directly to providing hot, nourishing meal for the orphans.

Other Maisha efforts include a healthy living program, assisting women in rural Kenya by providing the necessary seed capital and training to start small business enterprises, water initiatives and an art and cultural camp.

On-the-ground operations are run by local Kenyans trained in development, education, HIV/AIDS counseling and home-based care. Program activities are coordinated through Kenyan staff, and then run on a day-to-day basis by Maisha volunteers from abroad.

Tickets for the gala are available for $85 or a table of 10 for $850. Visit lightthefuture.ucpfund.org for more details, to purchase tickets or to sponsor or call 445-3440 for more information.