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This time for Kenya

Bethel students help orphans through non-stop movement

Bethel students help orphans through non-stop movement

By Laura Osterlund
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Participants engage in a zumba lesson with instructor JJ Anderson. This activity was one of the favorites among the group. | Photo by Laura Osterlund

Upbeat music pumps through the speakers, echoing through Sports And Recreation Center. High-spirited students talk, laugh and play games. All while standing.

They will be on their feet for the next six hours.

On Saturday, Apr. 7, 18 students participated in Bethel’s first ever Day Of Movement, an all-day event hosted by the Oasis for Orphans student group on campus.

Oasis for Orphans is a non-profit organization that aims to nourish the 110,000 vulnerable orphans in Southwest Kenya. Currently it has two care centers that tend to 200 orphans.

The Oasis group at Bethel was started by grad-student, Steven Anderson, this past fall. Anderson works as a project specialist at the Illinois-based nonprofit, through which he has spent a total of ten months in Kenya.

The Bethel group currently has 10 members, and is led by senior Tori Snyder.

“My passion for Kenya came from studying abroad,” said Snyder. “So it’s cool to see the passions of these people and see how they have now become passionate about Kenya and for orphans.”

As a group, their ultimate goal is connecting students to the opportunity to love orphans in whatever way they can. Namely by having events that fundraise, such as the Day of Movement.

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Participants react to one of the scenes created by Bethel’s improv comedy group. The group was one of the many activities that happened that day. | Photo by Laura Osterlund 

During the Day of Movement, students participated in a number of activities including zumba, dodgeball, worship, prayer, and volleyball. Throughout the six-hour event, participants were not allowed to sit down.

“It’s the idea of sacrificing yourself physically in the hopes of having people recognize is as a sacrifice, and as a commitment to do it for a cause,” said Snyder. “And it’s a recognition that helping other people that are in need should be something that you are joyful to experience.”

Before the event, participants were encouraged to fundraise at least $100. The money raised was able to fully support an eight-year-old orphan named Clinton for a year.

During the event itself, participants received  incentives to raise more money, which would go to a nine-year-old named Esther. For every $50 raised that day, a predetermined victim would have to spin ‘The Wheel of Egg” and endure an egg-related punishment.

The punishments ranged from having an egg-roll race; to drinking an egg, banana and orange juice smoothie; to getting pelted with eggs for an “eggsecution”.

By the end of the day, a total of $1800 was raised.

“I like the idea,” said junior Brody Hed. “And the ability to create this space where we can share in community and also help people out who are on the other side of the world while also growing together here. It’s a cool mix of two worlds, and it’s really cool to be a part of.”

A full six hours after it started, feelings of fatigue and accomplishment filled the once exuberant group. Several students fell dramatically to the floor right as the clock struck 6:00, while others stayed standing for a few more minutes while they made final reflections on their day.

For Snyder, the Day of Movement “Will be a day that I look back on as being impactful in not only my life,” she said. “But in the lives of many of my friends, and most importantly the orphans in Kenya.”

1 comment on “This time for Kenya

  1. Roy Swensen

    Maybe we as Americans should feed the starving children in our own country first. America has many hungry and homeless. I understand the cause but we don’t need to go across the ocean to be charitable.

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