Former World record holder Wilson Kipsang wants established athletes to give back to the society as a way of appreciating the support they have received during their development.
The world’s third fastest athlete, who is eyeing to reclaim the world record status at the Berlin Marathon later this month, has been putting smiles on the faces of the less fortunate in the society.
Through Gathimba Edward Foundation, Kipsang has been building permanent houses, paying school fees and establishing income generating activities for poor families.
On Sunday, Isaac Kangogo and Gladys Chebem of Muskut village got a new home, courtesy of Gathimba Edward Foundation, after 15 years of living in abject poverty.
The family was grappling with lack of basic necessities and lived in a dilapidated structure.
However, through Kipsang’s efforts, they have now have a new home, completely furnished with sofa sets, beddings, solar panel among other items.
Their children have also had thier one-year school fees paid.
“I came with my friends from other countries and the foundation and we spent a night in a structure without walls. It was only roofed with iron sheets. In the midnight it rained and I can tell you life was very difficult. We wanted to feel what they usually undergo,” Kipsang said. “We have also identified many more needy families and we will continue assisting them. I want to urge other athletes to get involved in such a worthy courses,” Kipsang said.
Gideon Gathimba, one of the Foundation founders, said the foundation is focused on giving children a chance in life and they do it by ensuring that they have shelter and food as well as access to education.
“Our target is to make children live a good life. When we pay schools fees and they have no food or home to live in, it will not make sense. That is why we build houses, help them with income generating activities in order to fend for themselves. I am very appreciative of Kipsang for this initiative,” said Gathimba, a former Africa 1500m silver medallist.
Chebem said God spoke through Kipsang in order to restore their dignity.
“I am very delighted that God works miracles. I never knew I would one day live in such a house. Our hopes have now been raised again,” she said.