What you need to know:
- This comes with gifts for the less fortunate and those admitted at the Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital which he helped construct at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
- This year, he wants to raise enough funds for the construction of a 152-bed children’s cancer hospital to be known as “The Shoe4Africa Juli Anne Perry Children’s Cancer Hospital.”
Annually, philanthropist Toby Tanser, the founder of the charity Shoe4Africa Foundation, visits Kenya to celebrate Christmas in a special way together with his wife Chelimo Saina Tanser.
This comes with gifts for the less fortunate and those admitted at the Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital which he helped construct at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
This year, he wants to raise enough funds for the construction of a 152-bed children’s cancer hospital to be known as “The Shoe4Africa Juli Anne Perry Children’s Cancer Hospital.”
On Friday, he organised an 80-kilometre run to help raise funds for the facility that will cost about Sh400 million. Tanser also supports education projects and has helped build schools, especially in the Rift Valley.
On Christmas Day, Tanser, accompanied by former world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe, brought gifts to the Kapchemoiywo in Nandi County where the Shoe4Africa All4Running Kapchorwa Secondary School has been constructed under the patronage of former world 800 metres champion Janeth Jepkosgei.
The day started with parents and students featuring in 400 metres races in turns before they settled to be gifted by Radcliffe.
According to Tanser sports and education are one of the major pillars of Shoe4Africa Foundation, and it is not about winning but the values one gains from taking part.
“Handing out shoes and sports equipment was used as an incentive to help people to make the first step. Discipline, dedication and determination are three attributes you learn through sports, and they are paralleled over to education."
“We also look for athletes who excelled in sports and education, and we build a school to honour their success and inspire the children to know that these heroes started life just like them, without special privilege or help,” said Tanser.
He also said that an educated world is a place where people are able to be independent and stand on their own and education is key to life something he has been promoting since 1995.
“Today we have funded six public free to attend schools which we have gifted to the community. Shoe4Africa Martin Lel Primary School, Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei Primary School, Shoe4Africa Moses Kiptanui Primary School, Shoe4Africa Sally Kipyego Primary School, Shoe4Africa Mary Keitany Secondary School, and the Shoe4Africa All4Running Kapchorua Secondary School."
“So today up to 2,000 kids are waking up each day to go to our schools, and that makes me very happy,” he added.
Radcliffe, who is in Kenya with her family, on the other hand said that Shoe4Africa plays a supremely important role in Sport and Education for Children in Kenya.
She added that it is so powerful to see the warmth and love for the children and the existing hospital and to see the number and caliber of champion athletes who came out to raise awareness for the new pediatrics cancer hospital (many of whom had their first pairs of shoes from Toby Tanser and Shoe4Africa)!
“As a parent it is painful and heartbreaking to learn how unfair the world is in terms of the reversal of odds of survival when fighting children’s illnesses, in particular cancer. This new hospital is so long overdue and needed. Every child deserves the best chance of good health and support and a happy life.
“I am so happy to have had the chance to come and to have seen the support with the Great Equator Relay, a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who came and who donated also from abroad through Families On Track,” she said.
Former 800m world champion Janeth Jepkosgei said that she was happy for the support from the Shoe4Africa Foundation which will aid many students realise their dreams.