Thanks for staying with us! It was a great two months over in Kenya of working to make a change that you can see in Africa. We completed a number of projects and made more in-roads into the success of our mission. See below for what we are up to...
Discovered in Nairobi: She was first noticed on the streets of Nairobi, and since jumping to stardom IMAN is, and always has been, giving back.
Since 2011 IMAN has partnered with Shoe4Africa.
Now in its third edition the Shoe4Africa Make-Up Makeover project goes to the Kibera Slums and works with a women's support group. Taking along World Champion record holder Daniel Komen, Former Miss Kenya, Esther, and Siamanda, a former Kenyan model now model citizen with an orphans home & empowerment project, the group spoke and inspired the ladies at the same time as implementing the make-over, giving out free MAKE-UP kits donated by IMAN and really bringing a smile to an otherwise uneventful morning in July!
Honoring Kimani Maruge: The story of Maruge is amazing, in fact he was last year immortilized on the silver screen, The First Grader, and this is the second year we brought school kids together for our annual sports day with a sublime peace message. Growing from last year we had four schools compete this year and so many kids came up to us and said they had been waiting all year for this event as it was the highlight of their summer - food for thought in a country where summer camps, holiday vacations are all but non-existant.
Pushing to get diggings started: The latest designs from this summer are here! We are working hard to get to a ground breaking date. The new plans look superb. We are now lookign at implenting Solar Designs before we sign off on the start of the building!
MORE NEWS COMING.... Please keep tuned to Shoe4Africa through either Facebook or our web page. In September we have an exciting announcement to make, definitely a major, major happening in the history of Shoe4Africa, we have announcements for our 5th school (won't be started until 3 & 4 are finished but we have secured the funds thanks to the generosity of our Board Chair), and many other things that promise to make the Fall of 2012 something special from a project that started with just one pair of Shoes!
Furthermore if you want to climb Kilimanjaro please visit our shoe4africafacebook page as S4A marathon runner David Noyes is leading a charge, and on that note a special thanks to the 52 runners of this year's ING NYC Marathon team raising funds for us!
Proudly on Schools 3 & 4: Sally Kipyego's school is starting slowly, hallmarked for an opening date early 2013. Sally got involved in Shoe4Africa when she was a medical student in America - hence we are very proud that she has now moved on to become one of the best athletes in the world, proving as much with a Silver medal in the 10,000m at this past summer's Olympics.
The Moses Kiptanui school, see pic below, is racing along and is sure to be the best school yet in the Marakwet district. Moses, also a Silver Olympian, is a long time Shoe4Africa Ambassador.
Coincidentally other Shoe4Africa Ambassadors to medal at the Olympics include... Mo Farah, double Gold, Ezekiel Kemboi, Gold, PrischaJeptoo Marathon Silver, Abel Kirui Marathon Silver! Congrats!
Hal & Stacey Kelly Feeding program:The village of Ndalu, Kenya was in for a triple shock:
The Virgin London Marathon (VLM) brought GREAT LONDON to Kenya during the 2012 Olympics. In a generous gesture never seen by the Kenyan county the organizers of the VLM facilitated a handout, to an entire village of around 3,500, that they should receive waterproof VLM rain jackets. The people reached, the rural folk of Ndalu village, Kitale district, Kenya, are those living in dire poverty. For the outstanding majority this gift was the first rain jacket they had ever received in their life. The district has a rainfall equal to the midlands of Great Britain (it even rained on the day of the hand out!) hence they gifts were extremely useful.
Thanks also to our board member & great supporter Stacey. We hosted our third Hal & Stacey KellyFeeding program; getting food to the needy. Giving out nearly 5,000 kgs of food to Orphans, the disabled community, widows, widowers, and school kids. How timely was this? The food was dropped to an orphanage who invited the food carriers in and showing bare cupboards, “We have absolutely no food for this evening’s meal for the orphans – look, the house is empty. In fact we were just praying at this very moment, wondering where the food was going to come from…”
It was a historic day for the village. Three schools have now adopted the VLM jacket as school uniform. The disabled were extremely happy that the jacket was not only waterproof but also warm! (The Rift Valley is at altitude thus it is cold here too!) Being a Shoe4Africa event we also delivered sacks of running shoes!
“On behalf of the whole community of Ndalu thank you for breathing new life in Ndalu”. Elijah Agevi, Area Chief.
“In Kenya nobody remembers the widows. In my life I never seen a function help the widows. Thank you London marathon, this is a marathon that must have the heart of God.” Joyce (Widow representative).
“A blessing that comes once in a life time. This is unique, may god bless the marathon people, how is it they can remember us when even our own don’t? I have never seen a happening like this. The whole village is now happy, the whole village is now red.” The local pastor.
Footnote: Driving home in the evening through a village of dirt roads with no street lights, no street markings and a high rate of road deaths there was a surprising bonus to this day. On 11 May 2011, the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched in more than 100 countries, with one goal: to prevent five million road traffic deaths globally by 2020. Personally I have seen no action this past year in Kenya, yet I was startled that the whole village was now highly visible as they walked by the side of dirt roads, their reflective jackets making cars swing wide instead of zooming close by and causing fatalities as it so often the case in Kenya.