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First Annual Event | Shine!

Our First Annual Event was a success thanks to all of our supporters and volunteers! Our theme for this year's event was Shine! Did you know that Angaza means Shine in Kiswahili (the official language in Kenya)?

We would like to thank Idlewild Baptist Church in Matthews, North Carolina for hosting our event this year! Our evening began with a warm welcome from Board Director & Sponsorship Advisor, Kylee Henneman followed by a Dinner on a Donation. We are grateful for the support received by Harris Teeter which sponsored the evening meal of a beverage and spaghetti dinner with the fixings (cheeses and salad/salad dressings). It was not complete until the Women's Softball Team, KAOS, baked desserts and obtained other beautiful cakes and cookies from various bakeries in the Charlotte area. We also had a special addition of garlic bread sticks by Kayle Barbur! If you missed those, you will have to make sure to grab them next year!

Our Speakers for the evening shared valuable information about the 'why' and 'how' behind our work around the world.

Kayla Recck, Therapist | Charleston County School District in Charleston, South Carolina, shared her research she conducted on the ground in Kibera on girls and education. She authored our Girls Empowerment lesson plans which offer a 16 week workshop that leads to a Certificate of Completion for the girls. Ms. Recck has been on the ground in Kenya since 2014 which is where she met the Founder. She has a passion for girls empowerment and serves as lead advisor for this area of our work. We look forward to Ms. Recck becoming published later this year on her Girls Empowerment Lesson Plans / workbook that will become available on an international stage! Join us in cheering her on! The Angaza Project will be the first organization to use her published work and use it abroad with Kenya as the first location! GO KAYLA!

Kylee Henneman, Elementary Education Teacher | Board Director & Sponsorship Advisor highlighted the challenges we found with girls education in Kibera, Kenya. She shared the Shining Scholars Sponsorship Program, a few stories of the girls who have been positively impacted by their sponsors, and how to get involved as a new sponsor. Kylee has been to Kenya several times and also has a personal project she created- a Library at a local community school! Kylee wants all children to have the opportunity to read and have books! She is also spearheading the after-school study session for our Shining Scholars coming up!

Jennifer Wiley, President & Founder | College Educator, wrapped up the event with sharing a few points of organizational history and how it all came together, our vision and plan for 2019. Jennifer continues to visit ground operations several times each year with the Board, making this next trip #18 since 2013. Our plans for 2019 are already underway with several items accomplished by this 5th month of the year. It could not happen without the relationships and partnerships on the ground and YOU! We have earned a Bronze Seal, then Silver Seal of Transparency in 2018 from GuideStar with the Gold on the way later in 2019. Copies of the Annual Report for 2018 were available on every table, but if you missed it, you can find it on GuideStar or here on this link:

The night was not complete without a fun raffle with awesome items from local businesses! We really appreciate every business and vendor that participated this evening! We had a great deal of fun with Kayla, Kylee and her sister Bayleigh calling out the prize winners for 18 packages, each filled with multiple items from local businesses.

Last, but not least, Maridadi Markets offered a stretch of tables filled with the handcrafted items from Kenya and Mexico. We are so glad that so many of you have chosen to "Look, Wear, and Be Maridadi with us" this summer. Your new hand beaded flip flips, beautiful beaded jewelry and decorative pottery in your home..... definitely says Maridadi!

Thank you all so much for being part of our 1st Annual Event! Below are a few more fun snapshots of the evening! We appreciate the difference you are making for the girls and women served in Kenya and Mexico!

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