Dal student organizes open mic night for Kenya

Dalhousie’s Genevieve Fay held a charity event for Heshima as an assignment that encouraged students to put their ideas into action.

By Ariel Gough

(Dalhousie student Genevieve Fay at an open mic night at the Grad House Café on Saturday. Fay organized the event in support of Heshima, which works to promote education and creativity among youth in Kenya.)
Dalhousie student Genevieve Fay at an open mic night at the Grad House Café on Saturday. Fay organized the event in support of Heshima, which works to promote education and creativity among youth in Kenya.

Dalhousie student Genevieve Fay held a charity event on Saturday for an assignment that encouraged students to put their ideas into action.

Fay, an international development studies student, organized an open mic night at The Grad House Cafe on Saturday in support of Heshima, which works to promote education and creativity among youth in Kenya.

Fay said the action assignment was to do something that involved what they were learning in class such as globalization and charity.

“I chose Heshima because I’m passionate about education and I thought an open mic night would be a creative way to support the cause.”

Heshima– which means respect, honour and dignity in Swahili – is a non-profit organization that gives financial aid to youth in Kenya to ensure that they can stay in school.

Fay also chose to support Heshima because she thought is was cool that Dalhousie alumna Lexis Beattie founded the organization.

Sharing their talents

Students and local artists performed classic rock and punk tunes in support of the cause.

Alyssa Morshead, a former student at the University of King’s College, played the guitar and sang at the event.

“[Genevieve] is a really close friend of mine and I heard she was organizing this so I was like ‘Yeah I’ll do it,’” said Morshead. “It’s a good way to bring awareness. People who go to these events are also interested in donating to charity so it’s an easy way to have an event that helps the community.”

[videojs mp4=”http://peninsulanews.kingsjournalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/IMG_0350.mov”]

Alyssa Morshead, former King’s student, performs an original song. 

Spreading the word

Amanda Maier, sponsorship coordinator for Heshima, said community events are important to help spread the word about the organization.

“The power in our organization succeeding is ensuring that people know we exist, so we have to get the word out,” she said.

Maier said that the average child in Kenya has a hard time getting into school and staying in school because of the expenses, including books and uniforms. Heshima supports Kenyan children by covering some of these expenses.

Twelve students are receiving financial aid from Heshima. Maier hopes that with more public awareness, they can do more.

“With more public awareness and financial support from the community both in Canada and Kenya, we can really grow the organization and make a difference.”

Successful evening

Fay said she is pleased with the outcome of the event.
“All of of the acts that got up there were good and we had some good vibes,” she said. “We raised some money for the organization so, I think it went really well.”