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The Inter­na­tional Club’s dinner fundraiser will benefit the Wang’arot Sec­ondary School in Kenya. Rose Okeyo | Courtesy

The Inter­na­tional Club is hosting a fundraising dinner to buy text­books for stu­dents in rural Kenya.

The dinner will be held in the Old Snack Bar on Thursday, Sept. 13 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The club is charging a $5 fee, and the funds will be given to Tujelimu, a charity run by Rose Okeyo ’13. The charity sup­ports children enrolled in Wang’arot Sec­ondary School, located in the Rarieda Dis­trict of Kenya. Okeyo said she founded Tujelimu to try to help Kenyan stu­dents in rural areas receive a better edu­cation.  

“We are showing them the love of Christ and teaching them how to fish,” Okeyo said. “I wanted to uplift the stan­dards of edu­cation in rural areas so they would have an equal chance at bet­tering their life.”

When Okeyo was still a student, she helped the Inter­na­tional Club organize a similar dinner, which raised over $1,300 to send to Wang’arot Sec­ondary School in 2011. The Inter­na­tional Club hopes to match her success this year.

“I per­sonally feel like edu­cation is a big tool to empower people,” said junior Ritah Ogayo, a member of the club. “Seeing how the kids lives were changed and seeing all these kids looking up to people like Rose really inspired the club to do this fundraiser again.”

The Kenyan stu­dents will cook beef stew, pilau rice with steak, and a veg­e­tarian dish called githeri. For dessert, they will serve chai tea and African donuts. Stu­dents from Kenya who are involved in the club carried spices in their luggage from Kenya for the dinner.

“I learned to cook by default,” freshman Cynthia Onchonga said. “Back home, after my oldest sister moved out, I had to learn to cook for my younger sib­lings. I learned by default and observation…and from Youtube videos.”

At the event, Ogayo will speak to dinner guests about the event’s purpose and tell them about the food.

“Most people think Kenyan food is spicy, and it is. But when we say it is spicy, we don’t mean it has jalapenos and peppers. We add spices more than salt and pepper,” Ogayo said. “It’s so dif­ferent. It’s like none of the food here.”

The dinner will also include a silent auction of ten African-themed paintings that Nour Ben Hmieida, senior and pres­ident of the Inter­na­tional Club, created. The sub­jects range from tigers to vistas of safari sunsets. Many of the paintings depict young women with African symbols.

“I wanted to encompass not just Kenya, but every part of that area,” Ben Hmieida said. “With the young girl with the Kenya flag on her face, my thought was that the kids are the future in every nation, any­where. They are the heart of Kenya, so it’s worth­while to invest in them and in their edu­cation, and to give them the tools they need to succeed.”

Nour also hopes that the dinner will help stu­dents learn about Kenya’s culture and her­itage.

“We’re trying to get people to be more aware of other cul­tures,” Ben Hmieida said. “It’s a fundraising dinner, but I also want people to know how rich the culture is. There are a lot of poor areas, but there is a rich culture and a rich com­munity there.”