World beating athletes teamed up with Shoe4Africa group in giving gifts to sick children at Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
The athletes, who included Berlin Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge, Cherangany MP and 2012 Boston Marathon winner, Wesley Korir, and two-time world marathon champion, Abel Kirui, spent the better part of the Christmas Day morning with the children while they prayed for them.
Eliud Kipchoge and Abel Kirui said it was a moment for them to meet the children who watch and cheer them up while they compete abroad.
“We are here to give them hope. We are happy that these are our children who watch us on television while we compete abroad. We must show love and encourage them in life,” said Kipchoge.
Kirui asked the hospital’s management to make it an annual event to appreciate the life of children.
“These are the future of this nation and I am asking Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to make the event an annual one.
“We will devote our time and come here for prayers every Christmas Day. I am sure we have some world champions in their midst,” said Kirui.
They were flanked by MTRH Acting Director Dr Wilson Arwasa and they donated food stuffs, drinks and toys to the sick children.
Excitement splashed on the faces of the sick children, parents and guardians as Eliud Kipchoge, the Shoe4Africa ambassador, led in the slicing of the cake to mark Christmas celebrations.
Toby Tanser, the shoe4Africa CEO, said the Christmas event will be marked annually.
“This is a very good way to appreciate the sick children. It’s good we have this event held annually. I am sure it contributes largely to their healing,” said Tanser.
Tanser, a former American athlete and author, said he was grateful the sick children could enjoy a Merry Christmas.
“I am also grateful to my friends from Asia, USA and Europe who travelled to grace this occasion,” said Tanser.
The Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital was built with donations from well-wishers including celebrities in New York.