University of Oklahoma Students Help in African Community

Friday, July 10th 2009, 6:06 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahomans are lending a hand to one community in Kenya. They're working in an African country right now at an orphanage for children.

One aspiring student-turned-filmmaker is documenting their work. The video came to NEWS 9 from a University of Oklahoma student volunteering in Kenya.

Within the country of Kenya, the Maisha Orphanage is vital. It stands in an area where there was once no place for children without parents to eat, or sleep.

"There was no toilet at all, and we are having more than 150 kids in that compound each day," Maisha Orphanage Founder Beatrice Williams said.

The compound was built up by the grass-roots non-profit organization that's attracted Oklahoma college students, even Oklahoma grade-school kids.

The money raised to build the first toilet came from an Oklahoma City sixth-grader's efforts.

Next, the team wants to build dormitories at the orphanage, a proper dining hall to eat in they want to provide educational scholarships.

Even if none of that materializes though, the Oklahomans have noticed these Kenyans will still have hope.

"They're always optimistic and positive," Oklahoma State University graduate student David Burwell said. "That's the one thing I think I'll take back, is how happy they are."

Oklahomans are also working with the kids teaching them arts education.

Learn more about the orphanage and the help being done there.