Photography by Soeren Malmose Image by: Photography by Soeren Malmose
The response: Girls Gotta Run (GGR) was founded in 2006 by Patricia Ortman, a former women's studies prof who read a newspaper article about the plight—and potential—of Ethiopia's young women runners. "My thoughts were: 'Those girls are trying so hard,' and 'There must be a way,'" says the Washington, D.C.-based Ortman. By December 2007, GGR was able to sponsor two dozen girls. Last year, GGR sponsored 60 young women, supplying running shoes, clothing, training and other support.
Globe and Mail running columnist Margaret Webb, who visited a GGR-funded project in Ethiopia and raised more than $1,100 for the organization via her 2012 Boston Marathon run, says that its impact is profound. "GGR isn't about 'Let's turn all these women into professional runners,'" says Webb. "They know not all of them can be. But through running, the girls learn discipline and goal setting, and they get the mentorship they so rarely receive. All that is very powerful."
Help the girls of Ethiopia chase their dreams by visiting GirlsGottaRun.org.
To learn more about International Women's Day, check out our State of the Sisterhood project.
|This story was originally titled "Grassroots Group" in the March 2014 issue.|
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