KIMbia’s Charity Project: Change a Life For Only $ 500

By Jörg Wenig
Paul Koech in front of his school building in Kenya. © Victor Sailer
Paul Koech in front of his school building in Kenya. © Victor Sailer

KIMbia Athletics Management has started its charity project. KIMbia is raising funds to pay the secondary school fees for select teen runners in Kenya. One year’s fees typically range between US $300 and $500. KIMbia hopes to give promising young athletes the chance to develop educationally and athletically so that they will have more opportunities available to them. In Kenya, there is a great drop-off in attendance from primary school (the equivalent of grades 1-8 in the U.S.) to secondary school (the equivalent of U.S. high school). After coming to power a few years ago, the Kibaki government instituted universal free primary education. Secondary school, however, continues to require annual fees that average US $500 per year, or roughly half of Kenya’s per capital annual income. As a result, less than 25 percent of eligible students attend secondary school. Those who don’t progress beyond primary school can count on few life options other than the traditional existence of subsistence farming.

KIMbia’s Paul Koech with schoolchildren in Kenya. © Victor Sailer
KIMbia’s Paul Koech with schoolchildren in Kenya. © Victor Sailer

Over the past couple of decades, running has been one of the few ways for Kenyans to achieve a brighter future. Indeed, in the Western Highlands, where many of the country’s elite runners come from, money earned overseas by runners and reinvested in their homeland is one of the primary economic drivers, and a leading job creator. None of this is lost on Kenya’s young runners, who are highly motivated to reach their athletic potential. Few runners, of course, will become world beaters. Many Kenyans, however, have the natural ability and work ethic to earn a scholarship to an American university, obtain a degree, and return home to use their education to improve their country. To achieve this goal, they need time—time to develop as runners, and time to complete secondary school. That’s where KIMbia’s fundraising comes in. Because of KIMbia’s deep roots in the Kenyan running culture, KIMbia can select young runners in need with the greatest likelihood of achieving academic and athletic success. For as little as $500, you can sponsor a young runner for an entire school year, and change a life forever. KIMbia will send you a bio and photos of your sponsored athlete so that you can see just how dramatic an effect a small contribution can make. The situation in Tanzania is even more dire, where the both the per capita income and secondary school attendance rates are significantly lower than that of Kenya. Again, Tanzanians also increasing look to athletics as a way out of poverty and although not nearly as successful as East African brethren, they are slowly emerging a world athletic power. The primary objective of this project is the education of young student athletes. To donate, please contact KIMbia at or at the following address: KIMbia Athletics 100 Main St. #110 Concord, MA 01742 USA

About KIMbia: KIMbia represents some of the leading distance runners in the world, including past winners of the Boston, London and Chicago Marathons, and world and American record holders. KIMbia and its athletes are committed to giving back to our communities. We are establishing a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for our charitable projects, so your donations are tax-deductible. To learn more about KIMbia, visit: