the last couple of years i’ve been inspired, continually, as i’m introduced to the lives of people who are changing the world. i believe in the power within any ONE of us & that it can truly change & impact lives, hearing the stories of these courageous brave souls continues to leave a mark on my heart & a desire in my soul to do something, anything, myself.
claire diaz-ortez is one of those very people. an early employee of twitter, with a handle of @claire, where she currently leads social innovation, claire has an amazing story. not the least of which is how she co-found Hope Runs, non-profit organization operating in AIDS orphanages in Kenya. goodness, is the girl even 30?
after visiting an orphanage in kenya, claire decided she wanted to make a difference. in her words~ “we wanted to find a way to contribute something that further strengthened this community, and that supported the commitment to health and well-being that the Tumaini Children’s Center had so prioritized. We were also committed to strengthening the ties to developed nations and funding that had kept this orphanage thriving, as it faced a period of financial struggle, while also helping the home to find more lasting means of self-support.
We had both just become serious runners – Claire training for a second marathon and Lara her first – and it had brought us considerable freedom and joy in the past few years. We felt it could be just the right thing for the kids. In its first year, 22 Tumaini marathoners trained for 4 months and then competed in the Mt. Kenya marathon. The entire orphanage also held its first annual Hope Runs 5K and 10K race and fun run with over 150 participants–running seemed to be a great fit.”
“There are an estimated 53 million orphans living in sub-Saharan Africa. This means that one in every eight children has lost parents to poverty, disease, or conflict. All of these children are at high risk of reaching adulthood without the preparation they need to one day uplift and transform the struggling economies of their continent. In short, we are losing a generation of future leaders.
Hope Runs works to equip orphaned and vulnerable children with the tools to escape cycles of poverty and conflict to become productive and empowered adults.”
i loved this part of her story! it’s the story of how god uses us right where we are to change the world & the lives of others…even in the most unexpected ways! it’s the story of how a young orphan in kenya rocks the world of a sassy young american and how they run big & boldly! you’ll fall in love with sammy & claire, i promise!
a new release by Revell, a Baker Publishing Group