Transcending Sport

Girls Gotta Run in Ethiopia

girls gotta run foundation

The Girls Gotta Run Foundation is providing unique opportunities to empower girls in Ethiopia to overcome poverty and disadvantage through running

Transcending Sport is hosted by Chris Stafford

Podcast length: 29′ 09″

Kayla Nolan is the executive director of Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that invests in girls who use running and education to empower themselves and their communities. Its purpose is to create a brighter future for Ethiopian women by empowering women to overcome poverty and disadvantages. By being engaged with thought leaders in the field of international sport, Girls Gotta Run envisions a world that empowers and invests in the exceptional initiative of young women who are working to establish their place in the world as competitive runners and leaders in their communities, who are finding strength, courage and power in their pursuit of excellence, and who are achieving their fullest potential in running and society. Inspired by Dr. Patricia E. Ortman, a retired women’s studies professor and lifelong feminist, Girls Gotta Run Foundation, Inc., was established in 2006 as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization with the mission of providing support for impoverished Ethiopian girls who are training to be professional runners. Since then, Girls Gotta Run Foundation has provided tools and resources for over 210 women and girls, funded the establishment of seven running teams and developed a community of partners working to support female runners in Ethiopia. Chris Stafford spoke with Kayla Nolan the foundation’s executive director about their work and plans for the future.

The story of Girls Gotta Run Foundation is much the same as the community it serves – a story of tenacious women and men coming together to overcome barriers and empower a new generation of female leaders and runners.

In 2005, Dr. Patricia E. Ortman, a retired women’s studies professor and lifelong feminist, sat down to read the Washington Post and found an article that would send her on an unlikely journey: transforming the lives of young female runners she had never met, in a country across the globe. The article was, “Facing Servitude, Ethiopian Girls Run for a Better Life,”  by Emily Wax, and its message spoke clearly to Pat: courageous but impoverished Ethiopian female runners are struggling to make a life for themselves and are asking for support to overcome the obstacles they face. Pat had never been a runner nor had she ever been to Ethiopia, but she was drawn to the authentic need for assistance expressed by the female runners and she saw her capacity to organize the resources needed to support and foster their profound initiative.

In 2006 Girls Gotta Run Foundation, Inc., was established as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization with the mission of providing support for impoverished Ethiopian girls who are training to be professional runners. Since then, Girls Gotta Run Foundation has provided tools and resources for over 210 women and girls, funded the establishment of seven running teams and developed a community of partners working to support female runners in Ethiopia.

From the very beginning, the work of Girls Gotta Run Foundation was achieved through the efforts of an international group of dedicated volunteers and supporters. Girls Gotta Run Foundation also sought to work closely with local actors in Ethiopia who provided the experience and knowledge needed to create effective programming.

Today, Girls Gotta Run Foundation looks forward to expanding its impact and capacity to empower young women in Ethiopia through the work of our driven volunteers, continued collaboration with key international and local organizations and generous support of individuals like you.

Visit Girls Gotta Run online here

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Catch up with other episodes of Transcending Sport here

 

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