Quest for a Tractor

Matungen school

Abraham’s school in the village of Matungen, Kenya

Abraham Kosgei, co-founder of Global Running Culture, grew up in the rural Kenyan village of Matungen, on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. In 1966, 10 years before he was born, his Mother Margaret saw a need for early childhood education and did something about it. She started a school for children ages 4-7 to prepare them for the elementary school located 6 miles away. Margaret taught 75 students in the school’s single classroom for the next 40 years, and since her retirement, her daughter Emily has continued her legacy. Abraham’s education and Margaret’s urging that he “run for me” propelled him to race around the world, be named to the Kenyan Olympic team, and 10 years ago settle in the Pueblo of Pojoaque, New Mexico just outside of Santa Fe where he teaches fitness classes to young people and elders at the Pojoaque Pueblo Wellness Center.

GRC’s mission is to provide children in Matungen, northern New Mexico and Arizona, and Copper Canyon, Mexico with the same opportunities that Abraham had through the powers of sport and education. The need in Matungen is clear: because Margaret had received a donation of land for the school, it was outside the official school system, and therefore never received financial support from the government. She taught in exchange for donations of food from student’s families, as Emily does today.

Lights

Students at the school testing out the solar lights Abraham and Joseph brought on their visit

Abraham realized the need to buy land and build a new school, which will facilitate the receipt of government funding for operations. GRC raised funds and bought 4 acres of land perched on the edge of the Rift, not far from the existing school. Former Steeplechase World Record holder and Olympic Silver medalist Peter Koech, who has constructed many buildings in Kenya, helped design the school, prepare a budget, source materials and prepare the construction plan. GRC is in communications with Elgeyo Marakwet County Governor Alex Tolgos, who has known Margaret since he was a young boy and who enthusiastically supports the project.

The next step is acquiring a +/- 25 year old Ford or Massey-Ferguson tractor, 85+ horsepower, that will be shipped to Kenya. Using our own tractor to build the school will enable us to avoid the expense, delays and loss of control inherent in renting a tractor and hiring an owner-selected operator. Once the school is constructed, the tractor will provide an ongoing source of income for the school through a rental program, including funding of the meal program that is critical to maintaining high attendance. Spare parts are readily available in Kenya for this vintage and brand of tractor. We have the arrangements in place to ship the tractor from Houston to Mombasa and from there via rail to Eldoret, in the vicinity of Matungen. We hope to ship the tractor by the end of October for arrival in February of 2017.

GRC seeks a donation of the tractor. Any such donation is tax deductible to the full extent of the law. If you have, or know someone who has, an old +/- 100 hp Ford or Massey-Ferguson tractor out in the “back 40” that has been replaced by a more modern tractor, we would love to hear about it! We will consider any offer and are prepared to offer appropriate recognition in the U.S. and Kenya if the donor desires, and of course our eternal thanks. Please email us at info@santafethunder.com if you or anyone you know would like to discuss donating.

GRC also seeks donation of funds to pay for shipping of the tractor, and construction of the school. We are hoping to construct the school in the Spring of 2017. Here is a link to our Crowdrise Fundraising site – Global Footprints Project Kenya.

The growing team of GRC volunteers is passionate about our mission of bettering the lives of youth through the powers of sport and education and are compelled to achieve our dreams, and fulfill our destinies. Thank you for reading this and for any support you are able to provide. More details about the Global Footprints – Project Kenya fundraising program will be forthcoming.

Asante Sana! (Thank you very much)

Abraham, Joseph, Carolyn, and all the Global Running Culture volunteers

 

Students on their marks for a race during Abraham and Joseph’s visit