As if it wasn’t enough to be a two-time Olympic gold medalist and greatest marathoner ever, Eliud Kipchoge is now looking to establish himself as one of the greatest humans ever, as he announced today the launch of the Eliud Kipchoge Foundation.
A vision that began in 2015 to provide Kenyan communities with a healthy environment and a fertile ground for learning, the Foundation will place an emphasis on two pillars that are close to Kipchoge’s heart: education and the environment. The overarching goal is to raise awareness and raise finances to build libraries, schools, and forests in Kenya (and eventually beyond).
“My mission is to give all children in the world access to knowledge and education,” says Kipchoge. “I want those children to grow up into healthy adults in a green and breathing world where forests keep our people safe.
On the education front, the objective of the Eliud Kipchoge Foundation will be to sponsor school fees and give more children access to education. Additionally, it will build libraries throughout Kenya with the goal of inspiring children and local communities through the importance of education and the power of books.
“I was lucky in my life to have access to books and knowledge from a young age. It taught me to value life,” said Kipchoge.
The first library built by the Foundation will accommodate 500 students and serve the community as well. It will also include a museum dedicated to the life and career of Kipchoge, to further inspire children in the pursuit of sport. Eventually, the goal is to build a library in every school in Kenya and establish a kindergarten curriculum in order to establish an earlier baseline of education for children.
“Running is a talent, but we use education to propel talent. If you have enough education, your talent actually can be propelled in a positive way,” said Kipchoge. “I have a small education, but that has propelled me to a certain level.”
In terms of the environment, the Foundation seeks to provide a healthy world for future generations. In doing so, the Foundation will help to preserve standing forests, plant new ones, and make full use of farms by planting trees and generating produce. As a result, the efforts will help to conserve the environment for the next generation.
“As a farmer myself, I know about the importance of a good environment, of trees, of using the land in a sustainable way, so people can grow healthy food and plants, also for the next generations,” said Kipchoge, who maintains a farm in Kenya. “I believe together we can make dry land green again, which has a huge impact on biodiversity, water availability, and healthy food.”
The goals of the Eliud Kipchoge Foundation go beyond one library or one forest, and even beyond its own country’s borders. Over the next five years, the Foundation hopes to establish forests and libraries in all 47 counties of Kenya, before transcending its own boundaries into neighboring countries.
In true Kipchoge fashion, there seems to be no limit to the vision of the Foundation.
“My slogan always is ‘no human is limited,’ and building a library and a kindergarten is showing the students: this is the way to get knowledge. By getting knowledge, you can go places. And on the other hand, ‘no human is limited’ can get that kid to believe in himself or herself and actually set his or her own goals, to go for it and see what they can achieve.”
To learn more about the Foundation, or to make a donation, please visit www.eliudkipchogefoundation.org. For further updates on their various projects please follow them on Instagram at @eliudkipchogefoundation.
Believe in the Run is honored to be one of the donors to the Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, donating $1,000 from the proceeds of our Believe Kipchoge t-shirt sold earlier this year. Thank you to all who purchased a shirt.
Robbe is the Senior Editor/Review Manager for BITR. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons and runs with the Faster Bastards. When he’s not running in weird places or getting injured in odd ways, he can be found hiking, camping, bikepacking, or hanging with friends.