THE HISTORY OF SHOE4AFRICA
Shoe4Africa started in November 1995 whilst the founder was in Kenya for almost seven months on a running trip. Returning to Stockholm, Sweden, shoes started to be collected and a ‘project’ was formed. It was named Shoe4Africa later on the last day of the millennium, on a rooftop in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In 2006 becoming an officially registered Not-for-profit with a 501 (c)(3) ruling, in New York City.
23 runners toed the line at the United NYC half to raise funds for Shoe4Africa- Claire, Clif, Tehilah, Susan, Alex, Debra, Arvind, Yumiko, Vicky, Lisa, Alexis, Coach Jon, Ambassador Lou of the Wooly, Dina, Valerie, Fernanda, Britney, David, Susan, Jessica and Sue – you are our heroes!!
Shoe4Africa had a celebration day at the hospital when the kids got a big surprise as our friends and long time supporters Frank Bollen and Manuela Soccol brought over a big bag of shoes for most of our little patients! Teddy Bears came from Loredana, and Nasser Moosawi helped four families out with hardship grants! Dr. Neasa Coll also came to help, contribute and play with the kids! We had a great day.
Manuela helps fit a little patient with shoes she and Frank brought from Belgium.
Another scholarship procured for a student from the Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei School – meet Nebby Chepchumba, and thank you to Claudio Berardelli who continues to bring in funds for the scholarship ever since the school was first built in 2011
Our ambassador, and the lady the school is named for, Janeth Jepkosgei, presents the cheque to Nebby
10th – The Shoe4Africa Kamariny Secondary School ground breaking consisted of dancing, spears, tribal rituals and lots of fun. The fast growing town of Iten currently has one public mixed secondary school and it is way too over-crowded. Right beside the world famous Kamariny Stadium we are building what we are sure will be the best school in the district!
7th -Shoe4Africa Playrooms ground breaking
Here we are about to smash and knock down some old buildings… and from the dust we will build up, with the great support of Shoe4Africa Sweden, the Musical Therapy House. Plus we are entertaining the idea of doing the other building too for the Shoe4Africa Kids Playcenter!
At the Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei we continued our trend of giving out books to the kids… especially as they have recently become the best public school in the area. Next up the school is building a computer room!
Happy New Year and a huge thank you to everyone who supported us in 2016.
We ended the year opening ‘Sig’s Walkway’. At Christmas of 2013 Siegfried Kohl came to Kenya. The following year he was diagnosed with Cancer. He passed in April of 2016 and wanted to leave something for the Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital so we built this walkway, between the main hospital and the eat + run kitchens. Sig would have been smiling as all the patients and parents came out to end the year with a hearty meal kindly sponsored by Harish Menon who represented us in the TCS New York City Marathon this year.
We held our second annual Christmas Party, again ‘starring’ our ambassador Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic Gold Marathon Medalist, who was joined by World Champions Janeth Jepkosgei, Ben Limo,and Olympian Charlie Grice as over 150 gifts, toys, food, drinks, cakes and more were given out at our hospital on Christmas Eve!
So grateful for our team at the TCS New York City Marathon who laced up their shoes to run to make change over in Kenya. We had over 50-runners, wonderful stories… it has been an honor getting to know these fine people, meeting at our Breakfast Run (thanks Urban Athletics), at our Pasta Party (thanks Woolworth Tower Kitchen), on the race day, and at our Post race party (thanks Spiked Seltzer). Check out our album of heroes on facebook!
One of our heroes – Emma Edis of Team Shoe4Africa
Construction started on the Sig Kohl walkway. Sig visited Kenya at the end of 2013 and by 2014 discovered he was suffering from cancer. In his last months he called on the phone and said he wanted to help the hospital and the kids (“That was what mattered most”). With his donation we’re constructing a walkway that will be used to transport all the foodstuff from the Kitchens to the main hospital. Thanks Sig. Construction started
On Oct. 21st and we hired another female contractor to support the gender equality drive in Kenya. Pictured right: Sig Kohl. RIP 2016. We have awarded the contract to start building the walkway that will run from the Shoe4Africa eat & run Kitchens to the main hospital. In line with our women’s empowerment program the contractor is a lady, plus the head administrator of the new kitchens is a lady too – we are always happy to be adding jobs to the community.
Thanks to Sarah Weil (Blue) of OrangeTheory Fitness for holding a great fund raiser in her gym and drumming up around $4,000 for us… she got on the treadmill over in Seattle, got her friends, clients and supporters to back her and she rocked it – doing her alst long run in the gym! Good luck in the NYC marathon. (update: Sarah rocked it, $5k and a fast 3:26 marathon!)
On the 8th we held the New York City Shoe4Africa 5k in Riverside Park.
We kicked off our Women’s Empowerment Dairy/Farm project on August 03rd, 2016. Many thanks to Michael Chambers and MCJ Amelior for their major (kind) support, and also to Don Favre.
We still have a way to go with the Dairy part but you can see that the “Chicken project” (women here bringing a chicken to the event!) is well on the way. Our VIP guest was Mr. Masika, who has had a long life as a cook, today he enjoys a life of retirement, and was surprised to find himself catapulted into the limelight as the day’s star.(photo album)
Thanks to the super organizer Chelimo who pulled together the 45-strong women’s group, and also to our visiting group of Germans led by Oliver ‘Marakwet‘ Hoffman and Herbert Steffny (who took the professional looking photos here and was also a world class runner).
Thanks to Mike Wilesmith, who has fund raised for us in the past, for lining up to run the Guernsey Marathon! He’s already at the GBR 1200 mark. And he WON the race!
Welcoming the Shoe4Africa eat+run kitchens (opened July 21st 2016) at the Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital in Eldoret with many thanks to GrandlSchule for helping making this happen. 35% of the Kids admitted to our hospital are coming afflicted with malnutrition problems. If we can address nutrition and give these kids a boost we are really helping them to heal. When a child is weak the medicines have a lesser effect. Michael Kugler came and ran for Shoe4Africa in 2013 and opened his heart to the cause, he started a German chapter. Along with his wife and Urban Bettag they powered along and partnered with a school from Munich, the Grandl, and held an event that saw the kids run to make change in Africa – Dankeshon.
The superb new kitchens, you see here, are a great step forward for Kenya (which other hospital has showers and changing rooms for the staff members?). So we will see the change and we hope to start making a great positive change to the diets of the kids. Thanks to the CEO of the MTRH, Dr. Wilson Aruasa, and World Champion Ben Limo, for opening the building. We had a nice party with the kids from the Hospital who were our VIP’s.
Noreen Ryckman, a 2nd grade teacher at Parkside Elementary, Tenino, WA does a Shoe4Africa -Kenya school project to teach the kids about the healthcare situation, Shoe4Africa, and Kenya. We asked her to work this into a package we can offer up to other schools to teach the ‘next’ generation.
Alexander Sweeney holds a basketball fundraiser at Pacific Palisades district of Los Angeles to raise awareness and funds for us. “Everyone had a good feeling inside as we were doing something to help others.” Sixty people came to the event and they raised $1,200 from school friends, the basket ball club, and parents.
Our first ‘virtual’ race will be on June 19th! You choose the distance, you chose your start time, you choose your pace – we send you your race kit, Shoe4Africa T shirt, and your medal. This race is hosted by www.runningonthewall.com Check them out, and enter to make a difference in Africa.
Thanks to Shoe4Africa Germany for hosting the 2nd Shoe4Africa Germany 5k in Munich. The race was won by Lornah Kiplagat who has been very involved in Shoe4Africa for many, many years. Full report coming soon.
Thanks to Shoe4Africa Germany for hosting the 2nd Shoe4Africa Germany 5k in Munich. The race was won by World Champion Lornah Kiplagat who has been very involved in Shoe4Africa for many, many years. Full report coming soon.
Aces for Africa was our first journey into the Tennis world. An indoor (sold out) tournament at CityView, NYC Tennis hall was the venue for this electric event. It was a nail bitter as Whitney Tilson & Harel Srugo defeated Ron Sussman & Jonas Mouly in a hard fought final. The standard of tennis, throughout the rounds, was unbelievable with many quality matches.
Winners Harel Srugo, who has been on the Israeli Davis Cup team, and Whitney Tilson (who once trained three days before running his first marathon & attacks mud runs on a weekly basis) who upped their games to take the title. Billie Jean King was kind enough to donate some of the first place prizes.
The Shoe4Africa Cup was played at Kamariny Stadium in May; here Kamariny Primary and Kiptingo Primary fight in the finals, with Kiptabus ready to face the winners
It was Shoe4Africa Albino day as we were able to bring more pairs of quality eyewear to help these kids whose eyes really suffer under the scorching of the too hot Equatorial sun. Ambassador World Champion Moses Kiptanui came along to encourage the kids as we came back to the Albino Eldoret School at Illula.
We form a partnership with Running on the Wall – an online running store out West in Arizona trying to reach a broader audience. Alex & Melianna used to run in NYC and the friendship has been long. They will host their first virtual race to support Shoe4Africa on Mother’s day.
Alex Green, one of 23- Shoe4Africa Runners who raised funds for us running the United NYC half team on March 20th!
It was a Shoe-healing day at our hospital as Frank, Manuela, Dorien, and Ruben from Belgium brought loads of brand new shoes to gift to our patients. They say Happiness Heals (heels?) and from the looks on the faces of the delighted kids it is true.
Another Shoe4Africa Scholarship athlete, graduating the Shoe4Africa School and off to high school – Good luck Roda! (below)
Our Italiano ‘diretore‘ Claudio Berardelli continues to do something to help the kids at the Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei school. Bringing books and scholarships from him and his team of Italians that come and train in Kenya. A big thank you for your continued support on the ground.
Our year kicked off on a high note with ground breaking on January 7th with the Shoe4Africa Eat & Run Kitchens. Many thanks for the great fund raising efforts of Shoe4Africa Germany who are making this come to… fruition! These kitchens will replace the kitchens that we are currently sharing by using the MTRH kitchens. Approximately 30% of our patients are admitted with malnutritional issues according to the acting director Dr. Wilson Aruasa who spoke at the ground breaking ceremony. The kitchens are 20-meters behind the Shoe4Africa Kids hospital.
Here are the designs of the said kitchens
Older history can be found here – link