The day was Sunday October 5th, 2014. And the place to be was Machakos Town, a city of 170,000 people located in the SE part of Kenya. As early as 7:00 am, one could hear the familiar sounds of Kenyan music blaring through the giant loud speakers at the Kenyatta Stadium located right in the heart of the city. The event? The Mulleys Road Race.
The Mulleys Road Race is an annual half marathon that attracts hundreds upon hundreds of Kenyans every fall. Each year, the race has grown in popularity and participation. Three years ago, we entered a partnership with the The Mulleys Supermarket Group, one of the fastest-growing market chains in Kenya, to make the race a fund raising event benefitting Tumaini International. That was one of the happiest days of my life since we began our ministry thirteen years ago! Since then, the proceeds from the event have been used to sponsor AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children through Tumaini International.
This year’s event was very special for two reasons. One, it was the first time ever where a US team traveled to Kenya to join Kenyans and do a major fund raising event together, including one team member (Justin Rudd) who trained for a year and ran in the half marathon!. The friendships and bonds made by our strong team of five (Susan, Vasti, Lois, Dean and Justin) with hundreds of marathoners, sponsored children, field staff and community members is invaluable. The second reason is that a couple weeks prior to the race, The Mulleys Supermarket Group announced that this year they would double the number of sponsored children! In the previous two years, they had sponsored five orphaned children each year, with the criteria being that the children were high-school age with a desire to achieve academically despite their circumstances. The children’s school fees, uniforms, and more would be provided by The Mulleys Supermarket Group for the kids’ full four-year high school career as a result of proceeds from the Road Race. It has been a solid investment in these bright children’s lives, and as such it is a solid investment in the future of Kenya.
I am overjoyed to see able Kenyans joining the cause of Tumaini to bring hope to AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children. The Mulleys Supermarket Group have set an example that other corporate bodies, churches and individuals in Kenya can follow in fighting HIV/AIDS and other economic challenges that millions of Kenyans and people from other developing countries face every day.
I can’t wait to see what is in store for the future as the partnership between Tumaini International and The Mulleys Supermarket Group grows stronger with each passing year. Let’s enjoy the ride and thank God who ultimately deserves all the glory! ~Stanley
PHOTO CREDITS: JUSTIN RUDD!