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Why the Lornah Kiplagat Foundation?

 

 

Unlike the western world, participation in (primary) education is not a given in Kenya. Particularly girls are not always given the opportunities that are rightfully theirs. The large setup of most families means that parents often cannot afford to send all of their children to school.

As a result, usually only the boys are sent to school and the girls lose out. A missed opportunity according to Lornah Kiplagat. I feel that the immense problems in Kenya can only be tackled through education. Education is the key to the solution. And in this respect, the participation of girls is essential. The more girls study, the more independent they become.

It is my hope that these girls move on to get good jobs and in so doing can give something back to their community. Informing about AIDS, still a subject of taboo in Kenya (among teachers as well as lecturers), naturally falls within the scope of education.

At present, there are 400 million people infected with HIV worldwide. Of these 40 million people, 36 million live in developing countries, 29 million of them in Africa, south of the Sahara. One of the countries where the problem is greatest is Kenya, where over 2 million have developed the disease. There the victims are mainly girls and women. AIDS is a devastating disease for which there is no cure available yet

There are indeed medications available that can somewhat palliate the worst stage of the disease, the so-called HIV inhibitors. But in Kenya, as in all developing countries, these medications are unaffordable. Currently some 800 people die of AIDS every day in Kenya. This means that by 2010 there will be some 4 million orphans in that country. By providing sex education and distributing contraceptives (condoms), the Lornah Kiplagat Foundation hopes to make a modest contribution to the battle against HIV/AIDS in Kenya. This approach constitutes part of the other - sports and social - objectives of the Foundation.

 

What is the objective of the Lornah Kiplagat Foundation?

The foundation has two important primary cornerstones and one secondary objective. 

 

1. The first and main objective is to set up a boarding school for 300 female students in Iten, Kenya. 

 

2. The second objective is to provide talented Kenyan female students with the opportunity to study in the United States of America or Europe. They can then pass on and/or capitalize on their knowledge back in Kenya later. 

 

3. The third and secondary objective is to provide the girls and/or women on the boarding school with information about hiv/aids by holding sexual health lessons.