THE HISTORY OF SHOE4AFRICA
Meet Nancy Sirma, the latest student to get a Shoe4Africa four year scholarship (thanks Maria Lopes). She graduated from the Shoe4Africa primary and now goes onto secondary. Education is one of the best gifts you can give a child. Want to help? Let us know.
One of our favorite programs is the S4A Hal & Stacey Kelly feeding program. We returned to Lodwar, northern Kenya. Ajuma was up there so once again she kindly came along and helped host a mass children's event at her Mother's Conference Center. We bought stew, rice, chapatis, and had sodas, candy, biscuits and lollipops... plus the kids when home with books, pens and pencils.
Kids begin to pile into the compound, we invited 300 but 500 turned up!
The following day we walked around the bushlands giving out food to the grandma's. Very rewarding work.
One of the inspiring Grandmas (Tatas) we met out in the bush
Then back to Nairobi we went to the Children's Cancer Ward at the Kenyatta national hospital. We wanted to create a picnic party day for the children. So we purchased apples, bananas, oranges, mangoes, biscuits, candies, flavored milk, fruit juices and more before driving out for a fun afternoon.
My Super helpers - Kenya's super models - Nanzi Ajuma & Elsie Njeri buying fruits in the market
Three schools got a Vibram Shoe4Africa hand out, along with T shirts and soccer uniforms as 'barefoot running' came to Kenya and tons of kids tried the five fingers - protecting their feet from hookworm, giving protection, and maintaining that 'strong' foot that leads to so much global success.
Fast legs at the Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei school
Thanks to a kind donation from Chantel Antonetti (now of L.A.) we were able to pass on a laptop to Ann (below) who is one of very few young ladies from Turkana to reach the level of further educational. Ann also came and helped us at the Vibram hand out.
To celebrate Women's International day Katie Couric hosted a Show on Women. Anthony was featured to talk about Shoe4Africa. Great to get on the show on a major network channel too. ABC.
Top right - when Katie was talking to Deborah Roberts you can see our Shoe4Africa pictures up on the main screen!.
Click [HERE] to watch a clip of the Katie Couric Show
In February my friend Claudio Berardelli launched a Shoe4Africa scholarship program that would pay for needy students who graduated from the S4A Janeth Jepkosgei Primary School to allow them to go to a secondary school. Claudio collected the money for the first student. Elvis Kipkurui would be the first recipient. Moments after I pasted on Facebook my friend Lieng-Seng Wee (an athlete I used to coach) pledged a four year support for another student - thanks guys! $900 buys four years of education for a child; their complete secondary school. By the end of the month TV ace Shon Gables (a friend of mine who I once ran the Brooklyn Half with) and Another friend Maria Fatima Lopes had pledged too - thanks!
Elvis Kipkurui & Jael Chepkogei, are the first two Scholarship students from the Janeth Jepkosgei Shoe4Africa Primary School and follow in a line of students who have been supported by Shoe4Africa going back around ten years.
NOOK: As a child I felt as if I lived in a public library. Every room of our house has an expansive bookcase. You could barely climb the stairs for books also piled there. One sad element I always see in the public schools is the dire state of books. Most kids have never owned a single book in their life; getting a plain paper exercise book is a task. Can you imagine the joy I felt when Peter & Victoria Farago handed me dozens of Nooks donated for free from Barnes & Noble (each capable of holding around 1,000 books) to give to our schools? I could have wept, and probably did on the cycle home.
With our ongoing plan to upgrade the education in the Rift Valley area we were really happy to receive school books to distribute from our friend Pat Duffy in NYC. The photo below shows a drop at the Little Joy primary School, 10km outside of Eldoret, with school directors World Marathon champion (2) & Olympic Silver medalist Abel Kirui, and the 13th fastest marathoner of all-time, Jonathan Maiyo.
And also distributing School sporting equipment (Thx Becky L.) to the school girls of Kamariny & Chebonet Primary schools. The kids are holding the model of the public hospital that will become 'their' property... after we have built it
On December 31st, with the staff of the Moi Referral Hospital I signed he contract to begin work, then climbed into a JCB (backhoe) and without further ado started breaking ground! Kind've surreal to finally begin this project... building East Africa's first public children's hospital. The amount of hours, the sacrifice... this project has become my life since March 17th 2008:
Signing the contracts
My first time driving a JCB
The T-Mobile Shoe4Africa 5K. Adding to our list of impressive supporters we were very proud to welcome T-Mobile to our portfolio. Not only that but the CEO of T-Mobile, and our board member, John Legere, came to run the race finishing a commendable sixth place. We sold out with 400-entrants and ran the race in Manhattan's Riverside Park on the 2nd. It was also our second running race on American soil, and T-Mobile's first foray into sponsoring the running world. Another iconic name, Pepsico, were our food sponsors. Thanks to all who supported the event that, as you can read below, was switched to a fund raiser for Hurricane Sandy. Edward Stern & Antonia Swan were the race's top finishers.
On Dec 24th we held the annual Shoe4Africa Women's 5k in Iten, Kenya. 1,100 ladies registered in 3.5-hrs to reach our cap. Mercy Cherotich Kibarus was the fastest to the line. Contrary to the article [link] the ipad prize went to a lady who comes from out in the countryside, very poor and was soon to start college. 4th place actually received $500. We gave out 800-pairs of shoes (taking over three hours!) and it was delightful to see that we had over five days 80-years plus in the field.
Sylvia Kibet (2x World Silver medalist) gives a Iten resident her running shoes.
We had planned to hold a 5k race in Manhattan to raise funds for the hospital ground breaking. Then the worst storm in history wrecked the coast line of New York as Hurricane Sandy hit our shores. I thought Shoe4Africa as an Organization should get involved in the recovery beyond our personal efforts. Thus the focus of the race became a fund raiser to buy gifts for the children affected by the storm. Many of which were left without any possessions. The idea was embraced by our board member Stacey Kelly who took the plan a stage further and started a Holiday Gift Drive to coincide wit the race. Within days we had over $75,000 and this great site up where people could also select gifts... we feel we did the right thing by changing the focus of the race! November became our gift drive month.
We we fortunate to 'bag' a rather impressive sponsor for our 2012 ING NYC Marathon team. PepsiCo came on board to support our running team, host a special breakfast for us at a snappy NYC restaurant and host a booth at the marathon expo. Until the event this graphic shows what it will look like. We are honored and grateful for the support!
Here is a video that Pepsico produced for us and posted on their youtube channel. However due to the cancelation of the marathon the video never got promoted. [link to video]
The 2nd Annual Maruge Memorial Peace Day was on August the 14th when four schools came together to play a day of sports together, bond and generally hang on. Livingstone Academy finished on top, with Chege Orphans, Salaba Academy next, and this year the hosts Kapkenduiywo left off the podium. MC Moses Kiptanui kept things rolling and the legacy of the world's oldest school pupil was kept alive in a spirited fashion. FACEBOOK ALBUM
The Shoe4Africa Maruge memorial Sportsday
Great to see the school rising in education levels! The old school of Kapsumbeiyo moved premises on Jan 3rd into our newly built school, was renamed and We revisited the Janeth Jepkosgei Shoe4Africa School to hand out 20-backpacks to the best achievers, kindly donated by Marco Lui given by 領峰戶外用品(HIGHLANDER OUTDOOR) .
Janeth Jepkosgei hands out the rucksacks to the top students
The amazing ladies of Binti Pamoja! This is the Shoe4Africa IMAN cosmetics event where we get donated make up from NYC (thanks IMAN) and we give the kits to the ladies with a special make-over. Daniel Komen, the world record holder and world champion came to talk to the ladies, along with former Miss Kenya [Esther Muthee] & a former NYC model Siamanda Chege.
Thanks to Shoe4Africa ambassador Becky Lyne! She sent us funds to buy books for three schools in Iten. Here are the teachers coming with a few kids to pick up the books
Ground breaking on our Fourth school. We are building this school to honor Sally Kipyego at the place where she went to Primary - Kaptiony. The school will be called the Shoe4Africa Sally Kipyego School.
We hosted a triple event at Ndalu, a village twenty kilometers from Kitale town. Thanks to a most generous donation of thousands of VIRGIN London Marathon waterproof jackets we were able to hand out these items to the whole of the village! The villagers were shocked and words of thanks flowed all the way back to London - it was our LONDON marathon Olympics celebration.
Thanks to another generous couple, Hal & Stacey Kelly, we bought 4500kgs of food to give out to the disabled community, all the widows & widowers, and school kids! Plus of course we donated shoes. A nice wrap for the month of July. PHOTO LINK HERE
Welcome Lilian Kiambui Kamithi, when we held our Peace Kimani Maruge event we wanted to sponsor a child who deserved a special scholarship. That was in August last year, and we finally have found our honoree - Lilian is our latest to join the 'Shoe4Africa' team; she gets a four year scholarship to Wareng High School.
Lillian and her mother meet her new headmaster at Wareng High School
It was also very pleasing to see William Ekai, a young man Shoe4Africa helped through Medical School now out on the rounds at the Moi Referral Teaching Hospital.
Spurred on my the inspiring thought of building school #3, see below, we are quick to act to start the next; school #4. the Shoe4Africa Sally Kipyego School. Sally has been a friend to Shoe4Africa, and not only that she took the initiative to call up and offer to help back when she was studying nursing. Last Spring she called up again and wanted to get involved in our education program. The school will be based in the small village of Kaptiony, Marakwet, Kenya.
For the second year we had a team in the New York Half Marathon, twenty two runners supporting Shoe4Africa, we even had a celebrity performance run by Tom Cavanagh, Thanks Tom for supporting Shoe4Africa!
From the local Pastor, "I have about 500-kids here with no school to go to. The two closest schools away, about 4-miles to each direction, are already packed to their fullest, with close to 1,000 in one and over in the other. What can the 500-kids do? Wait? Don't they get a chance too?"
For years, no. But now... Yes, we are starting to build school #3 to give an education to those kids.
A great way to start the "Olympic Year" is by beginning the building of School #3 - The Shoe4Africa Moses Kiptanui public primary school. Ground breaking should begin this month. The area is where Moses was born, between the villages of Chesubet & Kamoi up in the amazingly beautiful area of the Marakwet people. Moses has been with us for the whole road so it is very fitting we honor this great legend with a school. Google him!
We had a couple of sacks of Soccer boots also to give out, one bag went to Iten United, and the other was given to World Marathon Champion Abel Kirui to hand out at the Little Joy Primary School, just outside of Eldoret town.
Abel collecting the soccer boots, and talking about future projects with S4A
How exciting to host the very first New York City Shoe4Africa 5K in Manhattan. We sold out in just two weeks; and the feedback on the day was great -
" Really nice, well run 5K this morning in NYC. I hope it was as successful for your organization is it was for the participants"! (David Isaac). Liz Hines "What a wonderful race. So nice to get to meet so many great people before and after the race. The coffee hit the spot." Matthew Schwark, "Fantastic race today, I had a great time! Thank you putting on such a nice event! Congrats to everyone who ran and thanks to all who came out to support the runners." Laurel Wassner (our winner!) "Thank you for putting on a great race! Such a treat to run in Riverside Park and I am honored to have my first win in New York City be at the inaugural Shoe4Africa 5k." Bernd Erpenbeck, "Great race today. Lots of fun on a gorgeous morning. And who could not like donuts and coffee afterwards!"
The feedback went on, and what was touching was many of the runners, like Bernd, went home and made a donation to Shoe4Africa! How about that? Even Jo Ann Mannino who worked all day as the Head of Volunteers went home and donated! The spirit was great, and the event is already on the calendar for December 2nd 2012!
Also in December we had our Second Kibera Make-Over project and with a special appearance by supermodel AJUMA and products donated by IMAN cosmetics. See below for the great youtube IMAN Cosmetics put together after the event.
We also had our third annual Christmas Hal & Stacey Kelly Feeding Program in Kapsowar, Marakwet district. Children from a very poor area received large bags of rice and sugar.
The kids line up in the Marakwet district for our annual feeding program
We opened our second school, The Janeth Jepkosgei Shoe4Africa Public Primary in Kapsumbeiyo, Nandi district. Watch the news clip from the Kenyan television here [link]
And...We held our seventh annual Shoe4Africa Women's 5k with over 1100 women aged from six years to way over 70 completing a rigorous course. Watch the news clip from the Kenyan television here
An exciting month with Shoe4Africa as we got a permit to hold a running race in Manhattan, NYC. The first annual Shoe4Africa 5km will take place less than three weeks after we got the news [typical S4A fashion]. Bank of America has agreed to be a sponsor, we have a national anthem singer and it is looking like Sunday Dec. 4th will be a fabulous day for our first ever race outside of Africa.
Furthermore UCAN have stepped up to offer their exceptional nutritional formula to us; so we are going to take the product and give it to the kids of the Patrick Chege Orphans home. This is the step of us working with education, helping the kids to better concentrate in schools, work with health (the obvious giving the kids much needed protein to their diets), and hopefully start off more exciting projects that we already have planned out.
Planning ahead to this December we very fortunate that IMAN Cosmetics have agreed to come in as partners for our Make-Over program in Kibera for the lipstick jungle ladies. There is no bigger name in Make Up for ladies of color; this is the Rolls Royce! The brand is ideal for the project and we are looking forward to making it happen later this year. So Thank you thank you thank you IMAN Cosmetics for remembering the people in the world who will get an amazing life from getting a bag of your products!
Back to PEACE RESOLUTION, especially important in the communities where we work in Kenya as next year the elections are coming up and during the last elections Kenya had it worst ever problems since independence with 600,000 people being displaced and well over 1,000 killed. The theme we had was simple; Kimani Maruge fought for Kenya's independence against the British and was a war hero for the country, so how come he ended up in a refugee camp driven in their by his fellow countrymen? Then there is Maruge's story - watch the excellent film, the First Grader, to learn more about this 84-year old School 'boy'... but anyway, In August we held the First annual Maruge Cup -- watch the video to lean more.
The ladies from Kibera called it the lipstick Jungle Kibera project. On July 31st, armed with 10-piece high-end Kevin Aucoin make up kits, we went to the Olympic district of Kibera and had a MAKE-UP MAKEOVER. Former model, Siamanda Chege, gave the lecture and showed the ladies the tricks of the trade.
Siamanda teaches the ladies the art of application.
Here's a brief glimpse of a few photos on a SLIDE SHOW -- CLICK TO WATCH
Ajuma Nasenyana & husband Gustav sign up to run for Team Shoe4Africa. quote: made modeling history on the night of January 20th 2004 when she became the first black model EVER to win a modeling contract in an International modeling competition (that was not specifically for women of colour).
In May we launched our concept of getting kids back to school quicker with a pilot program. The problem is in the Rift Valley you must return to the new school year with a pencil and a notebook. After Christmas many kids can't get the needed money. Hence, with a select circle of schools we want to distribute these supplies at Christmas time so kids will be straight back to school on opening day instead of waiting for their parents to find the needed monies towards the end of the month of January. Sally Kipyego will be our ambassador in this department. It is such a simple concept but will, on average, add a 50% attendance to school kids for the first month of school - Voila!
On a trip to Kenya I was honored to meet some of Kenya's best in the medical world, Doctors Sam Thenya & Cleo Mailu, CEO's of Nairobi Women's & Nairobi Hospital, and also Dr. Manu Chandaria OBE - the stalwart of Kenyan philanthropy.
We also got the chance to give out a couple of laptop computers to help students at the university level. Here is Sandar Mwangi of Kenyatta University getting his!
I also got the chance to meet the full board of the Teaching Moi Referral Hospital.
The progress of school number two looked great too as we saw Janeth help lay the bricks! Our Shoe4Africa 'Directore' Claudio Berardelli brought it to my attention the wonderful work that Janeth is doing for her community. She had paid money to help the church be built, and was also paying for the salaries of three teachers in the local public school (quite rare in Kenya as I have found most athletes only support private schooling where personal interests often play a part). Thus she made a great candidate to honor with our second school. As we visited she was also giving bonuses to all the top kids from the area for academic excellence.
World Champion & Olympic Silver medalist Janeth Jepkosgei making things happen
SHOE4AFRICA gets on CNN [link] - interview by the world renowned Dr. Sanjay Gupta!
In March the Shoe4Africa half marathon team took to the streets. Back in November, at a fund raiser, I met Hugh Jackman and asked him if he would run what would be his first ever Half Marathon -- he said Yes! Two days before the race Hugh was leg pressing 320-lbs, not the ideal warm up, but on a cold NYC morning he finished in great form!
Tom Cavanagh ("ed"), James Legros ("mercy"), and our 'Dr. Mark Greene' - Tony Edwards made it quite the actors team! And at the front end of the race Ambassador Mo Farah won the whole event! Mo was holding the finishing line tape at our last event in Kenya.
The Half Marathon team, ready for action!
Angus Wall, who won an Oscar two months earlier for his part in the Social Network film, "I am running the LA marathon and, after looking for a great cause, landed on shoe 4 africa. please donate what you can!" Thanks Angus, he raised over $5000 for us!
A highlight of February had to be the start of School number two! We officially started building the Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei public primary school. Janeth has been a great Shoe4Africa ambassador helping at many events we have held and we can think of nobody better for school number two.
The Site of School Number Two
On the 15th, in Kimn'geru (Nandi district) we had the honor of opening the first ever SHOE4AFRICA public primary school in Kimn'geru village. This project was started in May 2010 but had been a long time dream of the people in the district. Furthermore, with kind donations, we were also able to outfit the school with a dozen laptops and a shipment of text books. The function was attended by many of Kenya's top runners.
Watch the video of the Opening [LINK HERE]
Find the school on google maps [LINK HERE]
PS... Here is a photo I wanted to post for quite some time! From the bank account! A milestone!
Finally we hit One Million dollars!!! (See the picture in January 2011's page as I could not access the bank account when I was over in Kenya).
The Shoe4Africa Women's 5km was a great success: [TV CLIP] We had three ladies over the age of 80-years compete which was especially pleasing to see--it is a very tough course too. Race winner, and former World Champ, Rose Kosgei, missed breaking Helena Kirop's course record by one second, and the second place finisher Alice Timbilil a week later won the year's biggest Dec 31st race over in Brazil showing that this race is one of the toughest on the calendar--see you Dec 24th 2011
The women of Iten, being joined by Tania Farah, in the final kilometer
The Christmas Feeding program held in conjunction with the Small Voices Foundation was held in Turkana, at the central town of Lodwar. An immense success with over 4,000 kids getting maize, bread and sodas. We took John Kelai who two months earlier had won the Commonwealth Games Marathon as a celebrity to inspire the youth (as he comes from this region), and we plan to do more in Turkana -- watch this space!
Turkana kids line up waiting for Christmas food parcels thanks to Small Voices Foundation!
Also Daniel Komen announces his intent to race for the Shoe4Africa team in the ING NYC marathon 2011!
I was musing in June 2008 when I was thinking of a way to get $15-million dollars and came up with the wall and the idea to go for micro donations--the bricks in the wall, click for a brick. My cunning plan to email 15-millionaires and drop a hint had fallen flat on its face; either that or my hints were not big even. I emailed seven friends (my lucky number), two of which were Chris Bilsky (my first donor way back when I started) and Marty Levine, another amazing friend, I figured if six people responded we'd have enough bricks for a first layer. As it turned out the three of us formed the first layer... things took off, but it was that 'grass roots'. So I am proud to announce that by November we had hit $920,000!
In the New York Marathon we have a team of 46-runners including former winners German Silva, and Liz McColgan.
Liz McColgan comes to the finish line...
Coincidentally the race was won by long time Shoe4Africa supporter and Ambassador (and long time friend), a lady that has ran in nearly all our events, Edna Kiplagat
A big personal thanks also to the legendary German Silva who won the NYC Marathon twice,
in 1994 & 95 coming to run for Shoe4Africa -- German and I ran together!
German is our first Ambassador from South America and I highly recommend if you can read
Spanish that you buy his book on running co-authored with a great Dutch writer,
whom I once met in Kenya, by the name of Kees Kooman.
[pic to the right is when we were passing through the borough of Brooklyn].
SEA TO THE STARS
So on November 21st, at exactly 6:25 a.m. I set off on the attempted run from Mombasa, Kenya, to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. As far as I know it has never been done before, to run from the absolute sea level of Africa to its upmost ceiling (and indeed the world's highest free standing mountain). So this was my record attempt -- the plan was to do it with one support vehicle (thanks Mohammed) and to run all the way, by foot. I would run about 35-40 miles per day and sleep at night, then get up the mountain as fast as I could (no acclimatization). I had to get a special guide for the mountain as the minimum 'climb' you are allowed to do is 5-days, I intended to do the whole run from one Sunday and finish on the next... I employed the services of Simon Mtuy who used to hold the record for the fastest ascend/descent of the mountain (and still holds the unaided record)... I am going to build a site [www.seatostars.com] for the full story!
Sunday November 28th @ 1pm -- Done it!
We hit a huge milestone - $800,000 in the bank, plus a school built. Now for a big charity this is nothing, they probably make this much in a month. But when this project was started to build a hospital it was decided that there would not be a paid staff, offices, fund raisers... we would do it bit by bit - and this is the way it is happening.
As S4A grows so does our outreach and I was never so proud when I received an email from Bruce Tulloh, a man who has been a legend in the running world, saying he wants to help. This month he is running in the 2500-year old Athens original Marathon race and representing us! Here's to you Bruce!
Bruce Tulloh, European Champion, coach, author, philanthropist and S4A Ambassador
For the last two editions of the Commonwealth Games Shoe4Africa has had a marathon winner -- this year we are proud that John Kelai kept that tradition running; winning the 2010 Commonwealth Marathon for Kenya, and of course for Shoe4Africa -- I told John in July, "Please win for us to keep our streak going..." he said, "okay!" and boom - we are so happy to see him a champion! Thanks Ambassador John!
John Kelai, Shoe4Africa Ambassador and Commonwealth Marathon Champion.
AUGUST 2010 Mercy Kiprop joins the Shoe4Africa team winning a four year scholarship.
Mercy Kiprop, still with another year to go in primary school, wins an U20-years XC in Kenya & her secondary school fees paid
We give shoes to a group of 50-Pokwot Poachers being rehabilitated by Kuki Gallman (I dreamed of Africa) into a life of sports. Our shoes go in all directions, including the yearly group of KenSAP students about to go to America for studies at the Ivy League Schools. Azali becomes our third Chairperson (and our first woman!)
"More Fire!" The KenSap students.
Dropping off the sack of Shoes for Kuki's Pokwot Poachers brilliant program
JULY 2010 We launch the Sea to the Stars at Rodney Cutler’s Cutler Salon -- a great party, and the night before the Sea to the Stars team (Dean Holcombe, Mike Martinez, Rodney, myself, and Azali Kassum meet at Rodney’s house in the sticks and run 21-miles back into NYC to get the project rolling! We’re off and running in Esquire Magazine and Rachel Ray’s Blog. Our first sponsor is REDKEN.
JUNE 2010 we hit $700,000 with no staff, barely a business plan, and whilst maintaining all our other projects -- two years ago? ZERO! World Middle Weight Former #1 contender Michael Olajide releases a fitness DVD with Shoe4Africa featured.
MAY 2010 Top NYC designer THUY launches her Shoe4Africa RUNNING TO RUNWAY program designed to give us a percentage of sales from Designer shoes, this headscarf etc -- thanks THUY. Two years later: The intent was great although to date we have not yet received anything monetary wise.... c'est la vie!
The Shoe4Africa Headscarf-Thuy designed!
A previous fashion project we collaborated on was with the men's underwear company CIN2U where, after a production run and saw sales in the far east, the charity angle was to be worked on...
APRIL 2010 We start building the SHOE4AFRICA Kimn'geru primary school, Nandi district Kenya!
The first stones arrive for the school!
MARCH 2010 We announce we are going to build a Primary School this Summer in Kenya! A promise that was made in 2007 to a community is going to happen as we reach the funding goal.
German Silva - a New York City Marathon legend announces he is going to run with Shoe4Africa Marathon team 2010. Alex Vero’s documentary, Running to the limits donates $2 per DVD to Shoe4Africa.
FEBRUARY 2010; It is Official Double World Champion, Olympic Silver, winner of the London, Tokyo and the New York City Marathon, the great Liz McColgan is running for SHOE4AFRICA’s marathon team 2010.
JANUARY 2010 What a way to start the new year; “Shoe4Africa has become a powerful agent for change.” Kenyan National Television Station. thank you so much!
Wendy Ng helps us to financially support our first medical student sponsoring maybe the first Doctor who will work in our hospital, a Turkana man needing school fees at Kisumu Medical College - welcome William Ewai.
DECEMBER 2009 Shoe4Africa Women’s 5k; the event was centered around promoting AIDS Awareness.
World Champions Janet Jepkosgei and Mary Keitany (whose senior career begun with a shoe4africa race!), World record holder Daniel Komen, and Olympic Champion Matthew Birir were on hand to give health speeches supporting a team from the local hospital who offered testing, drugs, and counseling (all free).
Mary Keitany, back in 2006, three years before she became world famous, a world champion & record holder!
Daniel Komen, the only man to run two consec. miles under 8-minutes, World Champion Janeth Jepkosgei, Sharon Tavenga Zimbabwe national champion, Sylvia "Sleepy" Kibet world 5000 silver medalist and world champion Mary Keitany give out shoes to race participants.
(Two days later) Partnering with the Foundation for Small Voices (whose board member Stacey Kelly sits on the S4A board) Toby Tanser delivered food packages of Flour,& Sugar, Fats, and tea leaves to 2500 kids in Five different centers around the Baringo/Pokwot area of Kenya where starving children had ben eating rats. A 100% crop failure meant that luxuries, such as sugar, and chapatis, tea etc, had not been tasted all year long!
NOVEMBER 2009 Shoe4Africa team ran the NYC Marathon to raise funds, a team of about 30 including NBC actor James Legros (3:29:00), Tegla Loroupe (3:54:02), Actress Sarah Jones (3:54:02), Toby Tanser (3:54:02), and Actor Anthony Edwards (4:08:47). Said Tegla, two time champion and former world record holder, on the finishing line, “It was really hard. I didn’t feel tired but my legs were hurting. It means something special because I always run for myself. This time I think of how many children I am saving. It means something more than winning. Even the other runners said thank you for running.
Toby, Sarah Jones, and Tegla Loroupe run to the finish! (credit photorun)
In our second fund raiser of the month (rare!) Omega/Tourbillon Shoe4Africa Poker Night, down on Wall St raised just over $10,000 Thanks so much. The winner of the night was Catherine Gonzalez; beating, amongst others, Poker pro Harry Winston.
Catherine Gonzalez, left, wins the Shoe4Africa Omega Challenge
OCTOBER 2009 Proving the biblical phrase correct, the hand giveth receiveth (eh?) Mark Webber donates 1000-sterling to our cause, then a week later wins the Brazilian F1 Gran Prix. We also get a donation from Rosario Dawson, Michael Stipe of R.E.M, and Ed Norton. Natalie Portman (who also donated) was kind and gracious enough to attend our pasta party at Tony’s house. Others who have donated shoes... Elijah Wood, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ellen DeGeneres, Ashley Jensen, and Mario Batali. Shante Broadus & her husband Mr. Snoop
SEPTEMBER 2009 As we push on with our 500,000 x $10 campaign two more sponsored athletes start school & secure a four year sponsorship, at the Martin Lel Secondary School.
AUGUST 2009 The Shoe4Africa Deaf & Disabled run is held in Iten. We have 200 D& D kids running before we hand out mosquito nets instead of finishing medals, and give out new running shoes in a race to raise awareness for Malaria - the #1 killer of kids in Africa. Olympic Champion Matthew Birir talks to the kids on malaria awareness & setting life goals whilst the Deaf School headmistress does the honors with sign language. We also hold a Malaria Awareness class in Kibera using Kids as the teachers.
Revisiting the IDP camp in Eldoret where we held a peace race last May we find refugees still living in squalor, cold, and poverty, so we hold a quick clothes & food drive. On the same day Hillary Clinton is in Kenya commending the government for having successfully closed all the IDP camps! Bizarre – don’ t believe what you hear!
JULY 2009 The process to form SHOE4AFRICA as a Kenyan NGO starts. Shoe4Africa's newest board member, Dr. David Feldman and family join Toby for a tour of the hospital site, Kibera, and health centers in Kenya.
Anthony Edwards decision to run the New York marathon gets a great skitt from the Funnyordie.com crew! [LINK]
JUNE 2009 We hold a fund raiser in NYC. Billie Jean King & Ilana Kloss are the guests of honor. Sarah Jones, a Tony winning actress who is amazing, and Morley, the singer you just have to hear, make the evening unforgettable. We announce the next project; Doctor Mark Greene to run the NYC Marathon
The Great Billie Jean King, with George & David Hirsch
The Second Annual Shoe4Africa Martin Lel run marked the kickoff celebrations of the Martin Lel Secondary School at Kimngeru. A joint initiative between the village and Shoe4Africa. Lel was on hand as Shoe4Africa’s founder Toby was honored as a Nandi Elder; an award extremely seldom bestowed upon a foreigner (The next ‘Elder’ ceremony was for the Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, by the Kipsigeis, as the Nandi’s informed Toby, “It is an award we have not even given our President Kibaki”).
OLYMPIC GOLD 100m - Donovan Bailey joins Shoe4Africa as an Ambassador.
A successful day at the Orphans Home Mama Fatuma’s. Shoe4Africa works in the Eastern side of Nairobi, by the Mathare Slums.
MARCH 2009 USA Ambassador Michael Ranneberger visited the Kibera Slums to be met by a large group of women all dressed in their yellow Shoe4Africa T shirts.
JANUARY 2009 5000 shoes are split between the Kibera Primary School and the Little Rock Orphans school in Kibera. Another 600 shoes are given out to other sporting groups. Shoe4Africa's mission to give out over 10,000 pairs (12,000) to the people of Kibera is more than complete. [read link to the story: click here]
The Shoe4Africa football team Kibera was formed.
The Shoe4Africa Kibera football team won every match entered, virtually!
2009 Shoe4Africa partners with C-IN2 to work on the first official Shoe4Africa clothing item; underwear, coming soon to a store near you.
DECEMBER 2008 The Shoe4Africa Kibera 5K Peace run with 5000+ women in Africa's largest slum commemorates a year of peace in Kenya. The largest ever women's only gathering inside Kibera capped off the women playing the All Stars soccer team including 3-time London Marathon Champ Martin Lel, Boston’s 4-time winner Robert Cheruiyot, Olympic Champ Matthew Birir, World Champ Douglas Wakiihuri and more... 6400 shoes and 5800 T shirts are given out on the day. Paul Tergat, Lornah Kiplagat, and Isaiah Kiplagat (head of the Athletics Federation) are in attendance. Cristiano Ronaldo donates a signed shirt.
An article runs in the Kenyan newspaper on the HISTORY of Shoe4Africa. Click here to read the article.
NOVEMBER 2008 In an effort to empower women and give them a voice and a device of proof we distribute 45-flip cams (thanks Flip!) throughout the Kibera slums encouraging the women to use these devices to record anything and everything -- especially matters when they need to back up what was 'said/done'. [Link to TED talks on Kibera/Video 2010]
OCTOBER 2008 Anthony Edwards films his last episode of ER and donates the proceeds to Shoe4Africa. A big time Hollywood name makes a match, and also the producer of ER (John Wells) also throws in another donation – financially a great month. The book More Fire is released with the sole intent of raising awareness for Shoe4Africa. 100% of the Author Royalties go directly to Shoe4Africa's hospital campaign.
SEPTEMBER 2008 Shoe4Africa in Rally? Shoe4Africa was last seen earlier this year when Alvaro Parente was winning the GP2 in Barcelona.
Alvaro winning in Barcelona, and arally car ready to take off in Iceland. (Our logo is JUST below the Renault one)
7,000 pairs of shoes arrive in Tanzania to be distributed amongst several grass roots organizations.
Former world record holder Filbert Bayi inspects one of the boxes.
AUGUST 2008 Another Shoe4Africa Run for Peace race at the Murala Refugee Camp.
Diane Dixon, World Champion, Olympic Gold and Silver, Malaak Shabazz (Malcolm Xs youngest daughter), and Jackie Joyner-Kersee; otherwise known as the Golden Girl of USA track and Field (3x Olympic Gold) as the Shoe4Africa Angels…
S4A ambassador Sammy Wanjiru wins the Olympic gold in the marathon.
In the world juniors, Titus Mbishei, of the Shoe4Africa training camp/Kapcherop won the silver medal.
JULY 2008 Rosa Mota joins the Shoe4Africa team. We kick off the campaign to build the largest Children’s hospital in Africa on July 25th, Reykjavik Iceland. We need $15-million. By the end of July we have 1%!
JUNE 2008 David Willey writes about Shoe4Africa in the Editor page of Runner’s World.
Cristiano Ronaldo joins the Shoe4Africa team.
MAY 2008 The Shoe4Africa Martin Lel race is a big success. CNN came to film as Olympic Champion Matthew Birir holds the finishers tape with Martin Lel and Robert Cheruiyot; both of whom are headed for the Beijing Olympics. Other guests include WJR 800m holder Japheth Kimutai, The two-time world champion Moses Tanui, Commonwealth Games champion Daniel Kimaiyo... and of course many other athletes and the entire Lel family.
The Shoe4Africa Eldoret run for peace was held at Kenya’s largest IDP (refugee) camp where we marched 250 Eldoret school kids in to run with the kids from the camp. Ben Jipcho, former world record holder (a Kalenjin shot in the clashes) and Olympic Champion John Ngugi, from the Kikuyu tribe, were the guests of honor.
Shoe4Africa kicked off the hospital project after meeting with the Minister for health. Athletes Lornah Kiplagat, Moses Tanui, John Ngugi, and Magdalene Chemjor planted a ceremonious tree at the site of the proposed $15-million Shoe4Africa Children.
APRIL 2008 Packing shoes for Kibera, we work at the rate of 5,000 pairs in one day(!) Super model Cameron Alborzian with his Spanish Supermodel girlfriend, come out and box shoes for Africa.
Cameron comes to help pack shoes for us!
On March 17th, whilst drinking a cup of coffee in an Eldoret cafe, Toby was given a proposal, to build the first ever public children's hospital in East Africa, and only the second in the whole of Sub Saharan Africa. He said yes.
Exceptional gathering at Shoe4Africa Peace Run in Iten [Click here to read the IAAF.org report], Kenya. 42 International stars coming together for peace with 600 school kids.
FEBRUARY 2008 Shoe4Africa Dubai collects 6,983 pairs of shoes at the marathon, and the RAK Half Marathon. Athletics Weekly writes article on Shoe4Africa.
Sam Dobson's, our organizer, kids with Shoe4Africa fabiano Joseph in Dubai
JANUARY 2008 Anthony Edwards becomes the second Shoe4Africa board chairman.
Anthony Edwards, the film star!
S4A ambassador Mara Yamauchi wins the Osaka Marathon and sends boxes of shoes from Japan!
Over in Kenya there is terrible troubles, we stay there to help [NY TIMES LINK]
Kenneth Cole, the fashion icon, release AWEARNESS, a book highlighting the good work of philanthropists and on page 158...
DECEMBER 2007 Shoe4Africa in the United Arab Emirates. Samantha Dobson holds a shoe drive at the Dubai Half Marathon. The RAK Half Marathon, and the Dubai Marathon are planned for 2008.
The Event Poster.
Former Miss World, Linda Petursdottir, joins the Shoe4Africa team. Shoe4Africa is featured on the Montel Williams show. Montel expresses a willingness to follow the cause. Mara Yamauchi joins Shoe4Africa.
NOVEMBER 2007 Grete Waitz joins the Shoe4Africa team as an ambassador. On November 5th the group launched its Kibera Project. Standing on the street for seven hours Shoe4Africa collected nearly 10,000 pairs (a number reached by the time they had arrived at the storage unit) of shoes for the Kibera project.
Natalie Portman kindly announces our send your own idea after the shoe program grows too big for my finance
OCTOBER 2007 Shoe4Africa/Riadha win the Boston Mayor’s Cup. Hey there Delilah, the #1 song by Plain White T’s, was inspired by team member Delilah DiCrescenzo.
Hey there Delilah, thanks for running for us!
Shoe4Africa got a song, performed by an Icelandic singer Hossi and co-written.
CLICK HERE [SONG] to hear the said song.
AUGUST 2007 Cornelius Ndiwa from the Shoe4Africa Moses Kiptanui Training Camp wins the African Junior 1500m Champs 3:46.47. Beatrice Kiprop from the camp, gets the Silver in the same event.
Snoop Dog's wife sends us a big box of shoes from their home. We give Snoop's sneakers to the youth in Kibera who really appreciate them.
JULY 2007 Willy Komen, a product of the Shoe4Africa/MK training camp, wins Steeplechase Gold at the All Africa Championships. Shoe4Africa launches The Kibera Project.
JUNE 2007 Shoe4Africa releases the first HIV/AIDS awareness info leaflet translated into the Kalenjin Language (10% of Kenya, Rift Valley). A Kalenjin man immediately writes in and says, If only my parents had had this information; today they have AIDS and don’t even know what the disease is, there was nothing ever to help them. [Link to the Kalenjin text]
MAY 2007 Natalie Portman models our first T shirt. The graffiti text for Shoe4Africa credit goes to the talented Erin Boyle who has helped us many times.
Natalie photographed by world famous Inez & Vinhoodh
APRIL 2007 Another great race in Tanzania. [Click to view the pictures]
MARCH 2007 Top Gun Actor Anthony Edwards joins the Shoe4Africa Board of Directors
FEBRUARY 2007 The PK Running Store in Holland Becomes the Official Dutch Running Store to Support Shoe4Africa. The Ivy League helps Shoe4Africa at the heps.
JANUARY 2007 The Shoe4Africa & Moses Kiptanui Training Camp opens and The Shoe4Africa United Football team is formed.
Three time world champion and the first Sub 8-minute steepler in history And Shoe4Africa Ambassador Moses Kiptanui with the students
DECEMBER 2006 Farida is named Tanzanian female athlete of the year. The second Shoe4Africa race in Iten, and the third in Kenya for the year, has 2,900 participants, flagged off by Anthony Edwards who is flying round the world with his family for three hundred days. [Click here to view pictures]
In the same month we hold another event in Tanzania. [Click here to view the pictures]
NOVEMBER 2006 Leppin, an Ice alandic company, agrees to sponsor Shoe4Africa in 2007 for a two year deal. in the end it lasts a year and a half as Iceland hits the rocks.
OCTOBER 2006 Chanel Model of the year Samantha Tannehill models the new Shoe4Africa singlet. The clicks for the picture go through the roof, even ending up on the Russian Athletics Federation web site! Another Supermodel, the charming and stunning Kim Alexis, joins the Board.
JUNE 2006 Signature race series moves to Tanzania. With over 1550 runners the event is the largest women’s only event in Tanzania.
Shoe4Africa has a race in Morocco.
Shoe4Africa sponsors two school girls for a four year athletic scholarship. Two weeks later Farida Makula wins the national 1500 & 5000m title. Asia Swahele is second in the 15km.
Farida and Asia
Joy Dushey, the Vice President of S4A, holds a party in her apartment to celebrate the NGO status, with Narcisco Rodriguez as the guest of honor. Over 400-people turn up, 90% bringing at least a pair of shoes!
Fashion designer Narcisco (right, who 2-years later designed the dress Michelle Obama would wear on Inauguration night) made the perfect guest of honor - he told me that he'd recently raised a lot of funds for AIDS research on a charity walk, and had been a guest at another event a couple of nights ago championing the same cause - a hero indeed; thanks Narcisco!
MAY 2006 Shoe4Africa goes to Western Kenya and holds a race in Nyamira. Emily Chebet wins & five years later she wins the World Cross Country Championships. A grandma wins the accompanying health walk, her granddaughter watches, is inspired and starts running; a year later she is at the national championships running as an accomplished athlete!
Emily Chebet winning the Nyamira race.. 5-years before becoming a World Champion, and star!
JANUARY 2006 The first signature Shoe4Africa race is held in Kenya, it is the largest women’s only event in the country. The event, at Pieter &Lornah Kiplagat’s camp, is held on a Friday, yet it is a huge success.
One of my favorite pictures; this was the leader of the health 'walk' - she literally flew the 2km uphill walk in under seven minutes!
The organization gets Not for Profit status in New York City. The Board of Directors is formed.
NOVEMBER 2005 Pieter Langerhorst and Lornah Kiplagat get involved. Sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop in Manhattan on 57th ST (as they are prone to be doing). Pieter Langerhorst and Toby Tanser decide to take the next step, and make Shoe4Africa more directional.
Pieter "Starbucks" Langerhorst
OCTOBER 2005 Fabiano Joseph, "a direct product" of Shoe4Africa wins the World Championships in Canada! Christopher Isgwe wins a World Championships Marathon silver, where did he get his first training shoes?
Fabiano Joseph wins the World Half Marathon Championships.
Perhaps it is 'in the name' but Shoe4Africa has always helped wherever it can - Russia, Sri Lanka, America - all over the place. Here a shipment of over 1000 pairs of New balance running shoes goes to the Achilles Organization. Achilles founder Dick Traum finds his office a bit overcrowded to say the least!
AUGUST 2004 Ezekiel Kemboi, Shoe4Africa ambassador wins Kenya's only Olympic Gold at the Summer's Olympic Games
Ezekiel Kemboi, the most 'medalled' steeplechaser in African history!
Sponsorship of the Mt. Hanang race, Tanzania
Phil Minshull comes to the NYC Marathon and tells that he has an African student needing to come to America so he could study. Before Phil had a chance to fly back to Spain Shoe4Africa has a whip round and raises $1500; enough to bring Obed Mutanya to America for a scholarship
AUGUST 2002 Francis Naali wins the Commonwealth Games Marathon.
JANUARY 2001 Shoes given to a young boy, named Fabiano Joseph by Max Iranqhe who distributes for us in Tanzania.
DECEMBER 1999 The Shoe4Africa name comes about as the founder Toby Tanser loses a shoe in Africa in a near death experience.
JULY 1999 Shoe4Africa moves into Promoting Aids Awareness through Sports
Designed by our ace designer Erin Boyle
JUNE 1999 Shoe4Africa begins supporting runners in Tanzania.
Francis Robert Naali (left) and Samson Ramadhani pick up shoes at a Shoe4Africa event. Francis would go on to win the Commonwealth Games Marathon Championships in 2002 and four years later Samson would take over that title!
SEPTEMBER 1998 An athlete we support wins the Commonwealth Games gold medal on the track.
Eight big boxes of Nike running shoes, tracksuits, shorts and singlets arrive in Eldoret sent from my apartment in Sweden to me in Kenya. When giving out the last box I bump into Moses Tanui, who becomes the first helper (Moses at this time was a 10,000m world champion & world road champion).
DECEMBER 1995 Shoe4Africa starts in Eldoret, Kenya. Operating by sending over shoes to Kenyan athletes. The very first 'unknown' athlete to receive shoes in the following year goes to Europe and runs a 61-minute half marathon in Italy.