S: Humble Beginnings...the Maisha Story
1: 2005 Pre-Maisha Malnourished children; little HIV/AIDS education with extremely high rates of infection and almost no acceptance of status; have to walk considerable distances to reach disease ridden water sources; no students passing KCPE exams required to continue to high school; no medical care within walking distance; cooking done outside over open flame using firewood...
2: 2006 Mama Grace feeds first 2 children, they show up next day with 20 more which rapidly increases to 60 by the end of year. Maisha Orphans & Widows forms as a Community Based Organization (CBO) in Kenya, operating from Mama Grace's home.
3: 2007 - Maisha International Orphanage begins non-profit in U.S. - Evacuate children to Nyalenda in January due to severe flooding and malarial infection. - Dr. Bryan Frank of Global Mission Partners organizes first mission to Kenya - visit children and "PLWA's" People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nyalenda slums. Communication done through translators. - Water is Life drills well at Maisha; hosts hygiene/sanitation classes. - Devastating election violence in December brings hundreds of displaced Kenyans to camp on Maisha grounds. - Feeding 115 by end of year.
4: 2008 First Team Maisha - First Team Maisha mission group travels to Kenya over the summer and hosts “MACC” Maisha Art & Cultural Camp, brain-child of OU student Kendall Brown, bringing an outlet for traumatic life circumstances through drawing, photography and dance. - PLWA visits continue, to become an important part of every Team Maisha – visiting and praying for the sick, offering hope and encouragement, seeing our miracle working God in action. - Teacher Robin Davis stays over the summer and begins intense English lessons in village schools. The Kenyan Certificate of Primary Examination “KCPE” is only given in English making it a vital skill to be able to advance on to high school. - Maisha commits to giving scholarships to all class 8 students at village schools, the turning point where they continue to high school or get stuck in the poverty cycle. - Water is Life returns to Maisha – holds hygiene/sanitation classes and surveys local schools for future well sites in an effort to reduce water borne illness. - Feeding 250 children six days a week by the end of the year, children are learning quickly and beginning to speak with team members in English, 5 pass exams and continue to high school.
8: 2009 Second Summer Team Maisha mission travels to Kenya – multi-cultural team consists of members from U.S., Bolivia and UK. Dumplin returns for his second summer with a mission of his own –he and his classmates in the U.S. raise funds to build pit latrines -quite an accomplishment for a 9 year old! Team joins in the construction of toilets and a kitchen structure as well as holding health care training.
9: - Global Mission Partners returns to host medical camp. - Ginger Parrick begins our first Christmas Team Maisha mission. Broke ground on the Maisha Center on our newly acquired land - the first two-story building of its kind in the village. 300 children being fed six days a week by end of year, 26 children pass exams and continue to high school.
10: 2010 South African mission group Going North build security fence around property, 350 children being fed by end of year and 26 children pass exams! | Summer Team Maisha mission continued construction on Maisha Center, began training in sewing skills with acquisition of sewing machines, and conducted health training classes as well as medical camp.
11: Christmas Team Maisha Bruce Edwards visits with team and establishes Shambas of Maisha "Gardens of Life " - a community garden aimed at bringing sustainability to our programs. Dr. Nancy Shuman-Miller begins Widows Bible Study. Maisha Center is completed in one year’s time, although activities have been conducted throughout the year. Maisha Feeding Program moves inside, Maisha Market economic activities gets a permanent classroom with sewing center.
14: 2011 - Bruce Edwards becomes volunteer Director of Sustainable Farming for Maisha. - Spring mission from Choctaw Road Baptist Church hosts VBS and Widows Bible Study, visits women in prison in Kisumu, begins recording Maisha Choir and hires local doctors to run medical clinic. - Michael Votaw returns with Summer Team Maisha and builds a solar powered computer classroom inside Maisha Center; now have lights, 2 laptops and internet! Future of A Child desks for pre-school classroom started. Medical work, done begin mandatory HIV/AIDS testing on members. - Global Mission Partners returns to host medical camp and South African mission teams visit Maisha. - Fall Team Maisha – Water4 reps Eric Mixon and Joseph Ogwang join team drilling a well and training locals to form the Maisha Drilling Team; Bruce returns with team to train and expand Shambas of Maisha. Break ground on Maisha Homes, deliver hundreds of dresses to girls from Piece Makers sewing group in Oklahoma and do leader training. - Christmas Team Maisha hosts VBS for the children, Widows Bible Study with a special dinner, takes the new children team leaders on a field trip to the equator and does health screenings for all the orphans. - 450 being fed by end of year, 42 children pass exams and continue to high school.
19: We go forward into a brighter future with good nutrition, clean water, access to medical care, successful micro-finance projects, educational achievements and a broader knowledge of HIV/AIDS that has led to higher acceptance rates and prolonged lives. This generation of orphans is being empowered to discover their full potential and leave a legacy to their children. We thank all of those who have become part of the Maisha Story, allowing us to bring hope to the hopeless and light to the darkness.