The Maisha Story

The mission of Maisha is to transform lives and empower communities by providing lasting solutions to address poverty, hunger, disease and under-education. We accomplish that through projects such as education, health, economic empowerment and more.

Maisha ignites the passion in all of us to DO SOMETHING! As you engage with the Maisha Story, you begin to realize the potential in yourself to rise above and create a brighter future. We invite you to become part of the Maisha Story today by participating in Run for Life!



We saw one person stand up to make a difference. After visiting Maisha in 2012, Carmen Hancuff dreamed of combining two of her passions – running and Maisha. On the plane ride back to Oklahoma, she envisioned returning to Kenya to run the rural roads with her new friends. In March of 2014, she championed a team of eleven mothers and daughters from Oklahoma who traveled to Kisumu, Kenya to serve and deepen relationships at Maisha. After spending a week at Maisha, the Run for Life team traveled to Eldoret, Kenya to run in the Rift Valley Marathon – where the world’s elite runners train. They took nine children from Maisha with them to run. This opened a whole new world to the children. They watched intently and fully embraced the opportunity.


They came home with a vision of standing up in their community and hosting a race to bring change to Maisha. They got it! Maisha empowers people to transform their communities and that’s exactly what these children aimed to do. After months of hard work, they held their first Run for Life half marathon at Maisha in July of 2014. Proceeds from the race went towards helping build the new school building for the Maisha Academy, a school dedicated to bringing quality education to the area outside of Kisumu known as Kano.

We are excited to invite you to participate in the annual Run for Life marathon this summer! Proceeds will go toward building a girl’s dormitory at Maisha Academy.



The Goal and Vision

Maisha established Maisha Academy in 2012 to combat under-education. Education can break the vicious cycle of poverty and enhance the quality of life for the child and their community. The vision of Maisha Academy is to provide graduates a quality education, despite their socio-economic situation, and for them to be well-adjusted to live and prosper in their environment. They are matched with sponsors who invest in their education, allowing them to attend and concentrate fully on their schooling. The quality of education and growth in the children’s lives has increased substantially. Now, to realize the fullness of the vision, shelter and a safe environment must be provided for at-risk students.

The Challenge and Solution

Some of the children who attend the academy are living in unsafe or compromised situations. The very homes that are supposed to shelter them become the threat. A child’s home environment has significant effect on their learning and school performance.

A girls and boys dormitory will be built to house children identified as at-risk in their homes. This will give them not only a safe home, but directly increase their ability to focus and learn. Children in the dormitories will receive three meals a day, ensuring proper nutrition. Living on campus also eliminates the long walk to and from school which poses another danger.

Give Hope to the Hopeless

We hope you will embrace our vision of building the children of Maisha Academy a safe place to live while they receive an outstanding education.  You can build a safer and brighter future by participating in Run for Life! You may also help build a refuge today by clicking on donate and sharing this initiative with your friends.