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 the entity became an officially registered Not-for-profit with a 501 (c)(3) ruling, in New York City; recognized by the UN as international NGO.
Thanks to Manuela Soccol and Frank Bollen, two super fast runners, we are seeing a Shoe4Africa Run in Belgium on Feb 7th, raising funds too!
Event organizer, and 2016 Olympian Manuela Soccol
Calvin Jepkogei had a tough month, losing her father, but she was uplifted when the day later she found out she got a four year scholarship to enroll in a secondary school in the district after she has now graduated from her junior years at our (free) school. Thanks to Claudio and his Italian team, and our ambassador Janeth Jepkosgei of the Janeth Jepkosgei Shoe4Africa School for helping her on her journey into the future.
Janeth, far left, outside the school, with Miss Jepkoegi after she graduates from our school.
We started building the SHOE4AFRICA Mary Keitany Secondary School! We are building this to honor one of our ambassadors and a good friend for a decade, Mary Keitany. Since running a Shoe4Africa race back in 2006, her first senior event, she has gone on to win three London Marathons and three New York’s too… of course the odd world championships too! Let school begin.
Celebrating laying the foundation stones in Baringo county for the Shoe4Africa Mary Keitany School
We are really happy that Alyssa O’Connor has launched a Ruby in the Rift project at the Shoe4Africa Martin Lel secondary school – read about it here on her blog LINK
Alyssa and her boyfriend, Andrew Arnold, talk to the form four students at the Shoe4Africa Martin Lel School.
Almost thirty world class athletes, including world champions, come to the hospital to meet the children and give gifts to our patients. (see full list of names here). On this day we had a staggering 281-patients. The visits continued as we had a Brass band from One Heart Foundation, Santa Claus from ChildLife, carols, and days of gift giving.
On December the 24th we had our 3rd annual Christmas Party with Hospital Ambassadors Eliud Kipchoge and Mary Keitany. We were joined by Olympic Gold medalist Matthew Birir, Olympic medalist Sally Kipyego, and elite runner Charles Koech giving out over 400 gifts!
Almost 60 Shoe4Africa heroes took the roads to run the TCS NYC marathon on the traditional first Sunday in November. We had some great events – team breakfast run, we had at Pasta Party at the Wooly (in the Woolworth Tower Building), and a post race party at Michael’s fab Prince St apartment. Thanks to World Record holder and 4x world champ Lornah Kiplagat for coming along to inspire our team.
In November our partnership with the Hong Kong Harbour school kicked off thanks to Ashley, Christine, Dan, and Tasha who came to Kenya this past summer to plan the project. The idea is to build a learning center at the rear of the hospital. So that hospitalized kids don’t fall further behind.
*An interesting note about the New York City Marathon: We had posted on the Internet about how three of the four elite Kenyans had a “Shoe4Africa connection – this Mary Keitany, the defending NYC champ, who had started at a Shoe4Africa race, Edna Kiplagat who had run Shoe4Africa races, Betsy Saina who had volunteered to help at Shoe4Africa races. However we did not know Aliphine Tuliamuk (who had recently gained a US citizenship)…. Yest, she too, back in 2006 ran in one of our Shoe4Africa races to Give girls/women a chance to run! (PS on the subject we should note that Wilson Kipsang in the men’s field has also volunteered helping at our events, and his wife has run the women’s only races).
Harpal Sudle’s rally car, supporting Team Shoe4Africa, on its way to the Safari Rally! Being shipped from England to Mombasa! See our logo on the back door (Smiles)…. they would finish in a fantastic 15th place.
The New York 5k
Some of the kids at the Shoe4Africa Kids mile at our 5th annual 5km in Manhattan on Sept. 7th.
We began the avocado stage one project for the women’s empowerment group with Wendy & Ben M.! Also thanks to Kurt D. we got a fresh water machine to be sitting in the lobby of the children’s hospital. We are asking all mothers/parents to please bring a cup so we don’t waste plastic*, then you will get free clean fresh drinking water! Thanks also to the Raquel Landin group from Spain who came bearing gifts of toys and $$ for support! (On Aug 28th plastic bags are now banned in Kenya! Cups next!)
We had a great month opening more buildings (two) in the Hospital campus, getting some drone footage of the hospital (yeah), accepting a donation of new wheelchairs for the hospital, and furthermore starting a new project with our ace ambassador Mary Keitany!
Dr Wilson Aruasa, board member of Shoe4Africa and CEO of MTRH, with Deputy Governor Chemno, open one of the two buildings in the grounds of Shoe4Africa.
Check out the amazing DRONE camera footage showing the hospital filmed by John Elliott.
Thanks to our German chapter who held their third edition awareness race in Munich on June 25th. For those of you who can read Gwerman; Shoe4Africa 6.3 km Spendenlauf und 700m Juniorlauf- Start/Ziel Schloss Blutenburg, München
Durch die Teilnahme finanzieren werden wichtige Hilfs-Projekte, die den Kindern des Shoe4Africa Krankenhauses zu Gute kommen und somit beiträgt, die Kindersterblichkeit in der Region nachhaltig zu reduzieren.
We are proud to welcome a new partner – FEETYWEETY as they launch an exciting web-store onto the market that, we believe, will become the #1 place for everything about the feet. So it is fitting that we align and when you make a purchase (as I hope you will) you will be supporting the kids of East Africa and putting a smile on the faces of the little kids. Do check them out on the link here. thank you FEETWEETY for caring!
The Second Annual Aces for Africa was a super success. At the Second Annual Shoe4Africa ACES for AFRICA: Ron Sussman and Jonas Mouly, a former pro player from France took revenge winning the title after being he 2016 runners up, beating Steve Sussman and Robert Jendelund, a former pro player from Sweden.
The event, the brainchild of Zeynep Inanli and Dave Siegel, was held at the City View Courts in NYC. Billie Jean King, a long time supporter of Shoe4Africa, again donated the Player of the Match awards; this year to Ron Sussman. Last year’s player of the match, Whitney Tilson, was knocked out in a tight semi-final as he and Harel Srugo, an Israeli Davis Cup team member, were defeated by the champions Sussman and Mouly. Global Brands Group CEO, former Davis Cup player, Bruce Rockowitz, came to spectate and hopes to play in the 2018 edition of Aces for Africa.
Swedish former pros Robert Jendelund, Fredrik Jonsson, and French former pro’s Julien Morel, and Mouly, along with Alex Lacroix, Dennis Druzhinsky were some of the top ranked players.
Jonas Mouly, Ron Sussman, winners with Steve Sussman and Robert Jendelund, runners-up
Thanks to Kevin ‘Bling’ Thompson the Kids of the Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital enjoyed a Photo day that we hope will turn into an annual event. Kevin, a regular visitor to Kenya, brought a snappy camera and a laminating machine to take pictures of all kids to give them and parents a lifetime memory.. and the kids loved it! Thanks Kev!
Kevin Thomson, left, laminates all the kids pictures with Pierrick Pints.
Like father, like son. Carter Nevill helped fund raise for Shoe4Africa and now his son… Dear Toby, “My name is Hugh. For school i had to do a service project. Because my dad ran for you, i decided to raise money for the Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital. My friend and i put on a family fun night at our school. We had a whiffle ball and a four square tournament and sold pizza and hot dogs. I raised $350 that i hope you can use for the musical instruments for the kids. My dad will mail you the check this week. What address should we mail it to? Sincerely, Hugh
Creating Opportunities: We were happy we were able to facilitate in a great opportunity for young Dorothy Kiplagat. Jenn & Wayne’s daughter Fleur has a new friend – check out the video!
MILESTONE — we are now averaging treating over 300 patients a day at our hospital!
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
A new road is lain outside the hospital. Now both exits are tarmacked, instead of only the main one. Plus we have speed bumps!
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
A brand new Ambulance arrives at the hospital! A fully loaded vehicle that now stays 24/7 at our hospital (unless out on call!)
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