I have been running and cycling to raise funds since 2016 to sustain Lifesong KENYA‘s vision of empowering boys in juvenile prison. I have collected 7 medals so far. However, it is usually not an easy walk in the park. I always have to think about the boys I keep meeting in prison to pull me through every individual event.
This year, I am planning to run and cycle a total of 3,000 km to raise more funding. Just thinking about it, scares the heck out of me. Sometimes I wish I had not shared with a few people that I’m thinking of doing this. I spend each day seeking courage, inspiration and one more reason why I should continue walking down this path.
Much as I am running, cycling and engaging in strength training, I know it is not going to be easy. There is no single event I have taken part in and felt I am adequately prepared. I always feel I am not ready. This being so, I usually ask myself lots of questions such as why am I doing this?
Planning to Run and Cycle 3000 KM in 2018
That is why I thought of touching base with the first 100+ boys I begun mentoring during 2012 – 2014. The names – especially boys whose families we met – bring vivid memories of pain, joy and satisfaction bearing in mind the difficulties I was facing – and still do – in my work with juvenile prisoners.
Much as I have been meaning to call I have been afraid of the unknown. The fact that I have been unable to reconnect with Diamond and his mom (their phone has been switched off since Diamond regained his freedom last year), has made things worse.
I managed to make 10 calls today. A couple were happy to report that their son went back to school and is now operating a successful business. I remember the day Patricia ‘precious’ Akinyi and her friend accompanied me to Kayole where we spent 11 hours talking to high school students, meeting parents and asking them to write a letter to their son.
A mom was happy to report the same thing and shared her son’s phone number. Two phone numbers were switched off while two more had changed hands and become wrong numbers! Two of the moms broke the sad news that their sons got killed last year, leaving two widows and orphaned children behind.
“It would be a good thing if you visit and say hi to us,” they added, as I tried to come to terms with the news.
The last mom had this to say: “My son hasn’t changed much but has an expectant wife. Why don’t you come and visit us? Meeting my son again may inspire him to become more responsible!”
About the 3000 km run and cycle 2018
I am planning to take part in a number of half marathons and two long distance bike rides to raise funding for Lifesong Kenya. The runs start in February and end in December while the rides will be in June (Nairobi – Kisumu) and December (Nairobi – Mombasa). Preparing and taking part in the events is estimated to amount to 3000 km for the whole year. I hope to raise a total of Kshs. 2.5 million to enable us facilitate the prison program and rent/buy a half way centre for boys leaving prison.