Our goal is to empower young individuals by granting them access and creating opportunities that enable them to realize their complete potential as accountable members of the community.
We firmly believe that every young person who enters our premises has the potential to achieve success. Our dedicated team of trained staff and volunteers provide invaluable support, helping these children take charge of their lives, envision promising futures, and successfully attain their goals.
In the West, the afterschool clubs play an instrumental role in youth development. In rural Kenya, the element of free character-building classes, health-based, empowerment programs, sports participation to education to vocation planning talks/support are scarce. Many children attend schools where facilities are sorely lacking, even books are in scarcity, then they return to homes without electricity, and engage as ‘helpers’ to support their parents with small scale farming jobs to fill the late afternoon and weekend hours. The development of a ‘child’ gets left behind.
Our idea: create a holistic Youth Empowerment building offering free classes, lectures, guess speakers, film nights, drama, and more but all based around a sports running curriculum to better develop and broaden the child’s outlook to prepare the youngtser for their best life.
“Regular participation in a high-quality after school program can lead to significant gains in academic achievement, improved work habits, and more opportunities.” The Armory Foundation, New York City.
We begin in 2023 with FREE RUNNING/SPORTS CLASSES for Kids. Moving on to Free snacks, access to story books, mentor meeting and games. Arts and crafts. Film night! Coming in the fall, t-shirts and clothing giveaways to needy kids!
Classes in: Skills, the Arts and Sports, Fitness and Recreation. Character and Leadership Development, Education and Career Development, Health and Life classes.
* Girls, aged eight to fifteen. Head Coach Joanne ‘Mango’ Kosgei.
* Boys, aged eight to fifteen. Head Coach James Kwalia.
* Assistant coaches Amos Kimutai, and Ben Maiyo.
Head Coach Joanne ‘Mango’ Kosgei tried her hand at running when in school and after graduating and would place a commendable 7th at the Eldoret Discovery Cross Country races a few years ago, yet Joanne yearned for a more stable career and continued her studies to qualify to become a high school teacher. Since taking up a position at Sing’ore Girls School in 2020, she has recreated their famed running tradition that had lapsed of late and coached two girls who were selected to compete at the World Youth Championships last year.
Head Coach James Kwambai is pictured here when he won the bronze medal at the World 5000m Championships in Berlin, he also won a World Youth Bronze in the 3000m. With 12:54 5000m speed and a 7:28 3000m PR, he remains on the all-time lists of the fastest men ever. Even when competing James was coaching and today has athletes on Kenya’s national teams, but he wants to focus on the community level and has kindly volunteered to be our Boys lead giving the kids of Iten their best chance on the pathway to success. Video of James claiming that Bronze. (Link).
Girl Mentor, Chelimo Saina, now a Senior Manager at Microsoft’s home base in Redmond, USA. Chelimo was a national champion in her junior years, and narrowly missed being selected for the World Juniors in track and field.
Chelimo runs the Women’s Empowerment program of Shoe4Africa, and heads the Shoe4Africa conservation program, is on the Kenyan National Master’s team, is a Boston & NYC marathon finisher, and is married to the founder of Shoe4Africa, Toby.
Dr. Florence Jaguga is a consultant psychiatrist working at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret, Kenya.
Florence holds a master’s degree in Psychiatry and a Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery degree from Moi University School of Medicine. She is head of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse unit at MTRH. Dr. Jaguga’s expertise includes treatment and prevention of substance use disorders, implementation science research, human rights for persons with disability and mental health conditions, policy formulation, and workplace mental health.
She is a champion for staff mental wellness within MTRH and has been a member of the Employee Assistance Program committee at MTRH since 2018 and a chair of the same committee since August 2022.
Girls Mentor, Mary Keitany, is among other accolades, the women’s world record holder in the marathon, is four times New York City Marathon Winner, three times London champion, and a World Half Marathon Champion.
Recently retired, Mary gives back to her community and helps to inspire our young community members.
Mary is a recipient of a Shoe4Africa School secondary school in Torokwonin, Baringo where she grew up as a child. Mary was also our first female Hospital Ambassador at the Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital and is a regular visitor inspiring our young patients..
Girl Mentor, Janeth Jepkosgei, a former World Champion runner, Olympic Medalist, and co-founder of the 2Running Club.
Janeth leads from the front; she coaches juniors and has recently been training the ‘Refugees’ athletes based up in Kakuma, Turkana.
Janeth has retired from a stellar career making a name as of the world’s best 800m runners. Janeth is also a recipient of a Shoe4Africa School in Kapsumbeiyo, Nandi.
Youth Mentor, Lindi Tele, a student of Redmond High School acts as a peer mentor to all kids, but especially focusing on the young girls. Lindi runs track in the USA and excelled in Swimming and Gymnastics. However her main goal is graduating from school with good grades. As such, her advice and mentorship will be priceless.
Ben Maiyo brings a wealth of experience to the table. He’s competed on the track at the World Championships, African Championships, and at the Goodwill Games, collecting a Bronze and Silver medal at the latter two competitions. He won the prestigious Bay to Breakers road race, and was runners up at three major US marathons, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In 2005, he was the year’s third fastest marathoner. An old video featuring Ben’s home teaches us also about the use of spears and arrows! (video)
Amos Kimutai bio coming soon…
Our Location — About Iten.
Our site could not be more central: Right at the Iten Sports Ground, situated on the green location field.
Iten, formerly known as Hill Ten, has been awarded the title of a World Heritage Sports Site; the perfect spot for this kids running center.
Home to numerous world class athletes and a training center for droves more, Iten has become a popular ‘running’ resort and hundreds of foreigners flock to the town to train with the Kenyan champions. Luminaries such as Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah have logged miles at this high altitude venue, and with Brother Colm O’Connell, who first came to Iten in 1976, have helped place this Rift Valley site at the forefront of Kenyan Running. World record holders like David Rudisha lived and trained here when he won two Olympic Gold 800m records, and Mary Keitany lived and still lives here whilst she won four New York City and three London marathon titles to complement her Women’s World Marathon record.
Each morning, hundreds of athletes can be seen pounding the trails trying their best at mid/long distance running.
The Community requested this building as we align with Kenya’s sustainable development goals.
“The Arts and Sports Science pathway provides opportunities for self-realization and expression as well as individual development and fulfilment. Moreover, this career pathway is expected to enable the learners to participate in the economic development of the country through utilization of their own talents, thus contributing to cultural preservation, sustenance and development in arts and sports. Students graduating from this track shall join middle level colleges or universities to pursue careers in the visual or performing arts, and the sports industry. However, the teaching of the subject faces challenges including negative attitudes toward it, insufficient number of teachers, and inadequate modem facilities and equipment. Therefore, to further promote the teaching of PE in the country, suitable strategies need to be continually devised and implemented.
Education, physical activity and sport are recognized as the critical means through which to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, it makes sense that school physical education (PE) also has the potential to contribute to the visions set out by Agenda 2030. A critical question is how sustainability can be understood, framed and integrated in PE. In this explorative paper, we, therefore, performed a review regarding the distinct role of PE in the context of Agenda 2030 and its SDGs (Hardman, Murphy, Routen, Tones, 2014). Education to the young population is the single most important means by which individuals and society can improve personal endowments, build capacity levels, overcome barriers, and expand opportunities for a sustained improvement of their wellbeing. It is the pillar of national development, for it is through this that the nation obtains skilled manpower to serve in different sectors of the economy.
Sport has been recognized as an essential tool for the implementation of the SDGs by The Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. The post-2015 development agenda on sport for development shows that SDGs provide several opportunities to sport for development such as:
The sport could establish skills and toolkits that play a substantial role in independent and healthy living and contribute to earnings-generating practices and economic participation (SDG1).
Sport may encourage poverty eradication and raise funds and foster alliances for that aim (SDG 1).5
Sport may stimulate global food production, food protection, a balanced diet, and organic farming. Sporting enterprises should set a precedent by purchasing food from liable suppliers and mitigating the effects of food waste (SDG 2).
Curriculum programs focused on sports will seek to transform behavior for a sustainable society (SDG 2).6
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 would obviously assist with investment in policies to promote walking, biking, sports, outdoor recreation, and play. The physical activities policy interventions have multiplicative healthcare and socioeconomic benefits. They would lead directly to SDG3 (wellness and good health), and also other goals, including SDG2, for example (ending malnutrition in all aspects of health); SDG4 (education for quality); SDG5 (equality between men and women); SDG8 (decent job and economic development); SDG9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure); SDG10 (reduced inequality).”
Hardman, Ken; Murphy, Chris; Routen, Ash; Tones, Steve (2014): World-wide survey of school physical education: final report. Loughborough University. Report. https://hdl.handle.net/2134/27642
Right to Education Project (2014). The Right to Education in Kenya: A Brief Analysis (accessed on 20th February 2022) Available online: http://www.right-to-education.org/resources/country/
UNESCO (2015). International Charter of Physical Education and Sport. UNESCO; Paris, France. (accessed on 30 September 2020). Available online: https://en.unesco.org/themes/sport-and-anti-doping/sport-charter. [Google Scholar]
Coach James scored a big win at the 2023 World Cross Country Championships in Australia when his athlete, Brenda Chebet (left) won a Gold medal as she anchored the Mixed relay Team to an impressive victory. Other teammates were Emmanuel Wanyonyi, Mirriam Cherop, and Kyumbe Munguti as Kenya defended their title.
Feb, 2023, as the center is almost ready to be put into use, James and Amos go to meet the CEC of Sports and Culture in Iten to discuss ‘community involvement’ for our project.
Planning meeting in Iten. Amos, James, Ben, and Joanne drink the famous Kenyan tea which is 50% milk, 50% water and copious spoons of sugar!
Iten is the capital of Elgeyo Marakwet, the County of Champions
The first team meeting was in January 2023. Amos Kimutai, Joanne’s friend, and Joanne, Toby, Ben Maiyo, and James Kwalia.
Amos runs running tours in Iten.
By November we were roofing with a rather large metal framework. The structure is being constructed by the same local workmen who built our fifth school, the Shoe4Africa Mary Keitany secondary school.
Construction began in August of 2022. The plot of land had been sitting idle waiting for the construction to begin all year long.
The plans were presented by Shoe4Africa to the incoming Governor of Elgeyo Marakwet Wesley Rotich.