Girls Gotta Run Foundation

Girls Gotta Run envisions a world that empowers and invests in the exceptional initiative of young women who are working to establish their place in the world as competitive runners and leaders in their communities, who are finding strength, courage and power in their pursuit of excellence, and who are achieving their fullest potential in running and society.

Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) provides support for impoverished Ethiopian girls who are training to be professional runners. GGRF supports their female athletes by providing coaching, running shoes, training clothes, food, and other training-related expenses. GGRF also advises local and partnering organizations on gender sensitive issues and advocates for gender equity in all running programs and organizations.  Around since 2006, GGRF has trained 50 female athletes, funded the establishment of four running teams and developed a community of partners working to support female runners in Ethiopia.

The story of Girls Gotta Run Foundation is much the same as the community it serves – a story of tenacious women and men coming together to overcome barriers and empower a new generation of female leaders and runners.

In 2005, Dr. Patricia E. Ortman, a retired women’s studies professor and lifelong feminist, sat down to read the Washington Post and found an article that would send her on an unlikely journey: transforming the lives of young female runners she had never met, in a country across the globe. The article was, “Facing Servitude, Ethiopian Girls Run for a Better Life,”  by Emily Wax, and its message spoke clearly to Pat: courageous but impoverished Ethiopian female runners are struggling to make a life for themselves and are asking for support to overcome the obstacles they face.

Pat had never been a runner nor had she ever been to Ethiopia, but she was drawn to the authentic need for assistance expressed by the female runners and she saw her capacity to organize the resources needed to support and foster their profound initiative.

From the very beginning, the work of Girls Gotta Run Foundation was achieved through the efforts of an international group of dedicated volunteers and supporters. Girls Gotta Run Foundation also sought to work closely with local actors in Ethiopia who provided the experience and knowledge needed to create effective programming.

Today, Girls Gotta Run Foundation looks forward to expanding its impact and capacity to empower young women in Ethiopia through the work of our driven volunteers, continued collaboration with key international and local organisations and generous support of individuals like you.

More on the Girls Gotta Run Foundation and how you can help or become involved can be viewed on their website here.

Photographs - Girls Gotta Run Foundation.