Bekoji | Ethiopia
January 7-12th, 2019
This year I will be helping with the 100-mile ultra relay run organized by and for the GGRF Athletic Scholars in Bekoji, Ethiopia. As a female-organized, female-executed event, the GGRF relay features girls from the GGRF Program in Bekoji and international athletes (like me). On this trip I'll have the unique opportunity to experience Bekoji through the eyes of the GGRF Athletic Scholars. I will meet the girls, families, and coaches that make Bekoji the running Mecca of Ethiopia.
In conjuntion with the trip my sponsor Saucony will be providing over $1500 in running gear for the women of Bekoji, but I still need your help! Please help me raise money to travel to Ethiopia, as well as to provide scholarships for GGRF Athletic Scholars, and invest in the future prosperity of these amazing young women!
Saucony has agreed to match the first $1000 in fundraising, so ANY AMOUNT HELPS! All proceeds go to an amazing cause, so please help me be a part of this trip to empower female runners!
Our Mission: Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) invests in girls who use running and education to empower themselves and their communities. GGRF is the only non-profit organization in Ethiopia using the national sport of running as an innovative approach to creating safe spaces, ending child marriage and expanding access to secondary school for vulnerable girls.
Bekoji: The village of Bekoji, in the highlands of Ethiopia at 2,810m elevation, has produced long-distance runners that have won 16 Olympic medals in 20 years. In Ethiopia, where the gross national income per capita is $400 and nearly 40% of the population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day, running offers a means of building a life outside of cyclical poverty and having the honor of contributing to the Ethiopian national identity. GGRF has worked in Bekoji, Ethiopia since 2014 and is the only non-profit organization supporting female athletes in Bekoji.
The GGRF Relay: This 100 Mile ultra relay is the first of its kind in Ethiopia. A female organized and executed event, the GGRF relay features girls from the GGRF Program in Bekoji and international athletes. The athletes will run from the peaks of the Bale Mountains through the agricultural heartland of Oromia Region and end in the iconic running town of Bekoji. GGRF and international athletes will travel this distance in smaller teams, making their way to Bekoji in a relay. The ultra relay will be facilitated with the expert guidance and oversight of the Ragnar Relay operations team. Upon completing this relay, the teams will celebrate with the running community in Bekoji. Every dollar donated goes to the GGRF Athletic Scholars and their families in Bekoji, Ethiopia.
GGRF Athletic Scholarship Program: GGRF programs focus on four key investment strategies for girls and their mothers: education, running, life skills, and savings and entrepreneurship.
The GGRF Athletic Scholarship is a grassroots program that integrates education, life skills, safe spaces, athletics, savings groups and entrepreneurship to holistically address the diverse challenges facing adolescent girls ages 11 to 18 and their families in Ethiopia.
Over a three-year period, GGRF helps Athletic Scholars move from primary to secondary school by addressing and providing solutions for the diverse challenges girls face in moving into higher levels of education. Upon completing this three-year intensive investment period, GGRF provides program alumni with academic support to complete their education up to grade 10, the academic year in which they can formally enter the job market in Ethiopia.
In addition, GGRF invests in the girl’s future and that of her family by including her mother in entrepreneurship and savings group programming. For more information about this program and GGRF's work in Ethiopia visit www.girlsgottarun.org