In the spirit of worldwide competition, we wanted to share this great story from one of our Giving Partners in Kenya, Carolina for Kibera . This past summer, TOMS made a commitment to produce 1/3 of all of TOMS Giving Shoes in the regions where we give. Carolina for Kibera’s jump rope team tested new Giving Shoes produced locally by our first manufacturer in Kenya. The CFK Sprinters, comprised of children from the Kenyan slum of Kibera, tested locally made shoes while training to compete in jump rope tournaments in towns around Kenya, Tanzania and even the United States.
We couldn’t be more proud of their dynamic display of teamwork, talent and grace. But before we get into the play-by-play coverage, we wanted to let you in on a little secret to their success: The CFK Sprinters’ practice and compete in a locally produced TOMS Giving Shoe from Kenya. How cool is that?
The jump rope team is one of Carolina for Kibera’s newest sports initiatives. Originally established as an answer for children needing something to keep busy after school, the program became an instant hit, welcoming more than 200 jumpers within its first few months of launching back in February 2010.
The CFK’s Sports Association is just one part of our Giving Partner’s compelling programming.Driven by local needs, CFK’s collaborative programs are focused on investing in the youth of Nairobi. With programs in education, healthcare and economic empowerment, children have better access to resources and opportunities that motivate them to have a voice in their future. Their youth-led programs foster leadership development and challenge the root causes of poverty that the Kibera slum community faces every day.
Innocent — one of CFK’s Jump Rope trainers — says the program has opened his own eyes to all of the possibilities that participating in the Jump Rope team has for children. “They are aiming higher to become somebody. It’s giving kids the opportunity to change their life.”
New, locally produced TOMS Shoes are given to children on the Jump Rope team to support the vision of CFK’s Sports Association. It is through these programs that children learn the value of healthy lifestyle choices, teamwork and gender equality.
With every member on the team outfitted in TOMS Shoes, each child’s feet are protected from blisters. CFK also provides a uniform for the Sprinters; now they not only jump like a team, but look like a team.
Thirteen-year-old Beryl has competed with the CFK Sprinters for two years. She is very grateful for her new TOMS Shoes, sharing, “They are great for jumping because they are flexible and comfortable.”
In December 2013, Carolina for Kibera proudly served as the co-host of partner organization One World One Rope’s 4th Annual East Africa Jump Rope Competition & Camp in Nairobi. The CFK Sprinters gave an admirable performance, sweeping the competition in both individual and team events. They even took home 58 out of the 61 medals awarded!
Now that’s quite a victory for the CFK Sprinters and TOMS local manufacturing!