The Inspiration that Sparked
Creation of Friends of Eldoret Kenya
Shoe4Africa Led the Way
The Children Inspired our Mission
Toby Tanser, the founder of Shoe4Africa and the children he helps, inspired us to start our charity, Friends of Eldoret Kenya. Seeing the incredible work Toby has accomplished, we knew that we wanted to help too! For Toby, it all started with the gift of one pair of dusty running shoes...for Vincent, it was an old soccer ball... and for me, Harrison, it started with a pair of swim fins. Each of us has been touched and humbled by how a simple act of kindness can change a life.
Your donation, no matter how small, can help us to save and empower the lives of children in Eldoret, Kenya.
The First Pair of Shoes and Shoe4Africa
Toby spent nearly seven months running and living with the Kenyans between 1995 and 1996. When he left to return home to Sweden, he took off the pair of dusty running shoes he planed to fly home in. Toby gave them to the needy taxi driver who wanted to start running to change his life. Once back in snow-covered Sweden, barefoot, Toby was met with the kindness and generosity of a woman who drove him home. She too took off her shoes so Toby could send them back to Kenya for someone who needed them more than she did. And so Shoe4Africa was born. Today, Shoe4Africa is so much more. Since it’s founding, Toby has now built the first children’s public teaching hospital in Sub Saharan Africa, Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital.
We Wanted to Bring Change to Eldoret Too
Inspired to follow in his footsteps, Harrison Piré, Vincent Gioannini, and Camillo Guarducci, students at Lycée Français de New York, founded Friends of Eldoret Kenya, a non-profit organization. The objective: to build on Toby’s mission to “Save and Empower African Kids’ Lives.” While Shoe4Africa’s advanced pediatric care will help ensure the future of a healthy East Africa, our non-profit, Friends of Eldoret Kenya has ‘adopted’ a vacant plot of land adjacent to the hospital where we hope to build a soccer pitch and swimming pool. Once all of the funds for the soccer pitch are fully secured, Friends of Eldoret Kenya will center its efforts on construction of a swimming pool.
We want the children of Eldoret and surrounding communities to have a safe place to play. We believe in empowerment and healing through sports. Providing the children with opportunities for fun and physical activity in a safe environment will have a strong, direct, and positive impact on their lives. Certain studies have shown that children's health improves significantly when they play sports. Studies have also illustrated that school violence declines in communities where facilities for play and sports are available. The sports we are working to bring to Eldoret, soccer and swimming, deliver powerful lessons, such as goal setting and how to work as a team. Building spaces for play will also help the children feel more comfortable at the hospital and, in turn, will make much-needed healthcare more accessible to them. Ultimately, we hope to raise enough funds over time to build a cancer treatment an immunization center to guarantee the long-term healthcare that these children need.