Frontline World

KENYA - Run, Lornah, Run, March 2004

Related Features THE STORY
Synopsis of "Run, Lornah, Run"

Kenyan Women Run the Distance

High-Altitude Women

Training for Change

Economy, Running, Women's Rights

Background on Running in Kenya, Gender Issues




Links and Resources

• General Background
• Running in Kenya
• Women and Human Rights in Kenya
• Media Resources

General Background

BBC News Country Profile
The BBC country profile of Kenya offers information on the country's political landscape, media resources and a timeline of key events that have shaped the country, which has been called the cradle of human civilization.

Kenya Tourist Board
This is the official Web site of the nation's tourism board. Despite terrorist attacks in 2002 and 1998 and travel advisories issued against the nation, tourists continue to flock to Kenya on luxury safaris. Find out more about tourism in Kenya and upcoming events in the country.

Kenya Government Online
Visit the official Web site of the Republic of Kenya for information about various government ministries and their functions and a profile of Kenya's third president, Mwai Kibaki, voted into power in December 2002. The lyrics of Kenya's national anthem can also be found here, printed in the two main languages spoken in Kenya, English and Kiswahili.

"Little to Celebrate As Kenya Turns 40"
This 2003 BBC News Online article presents a stark account of Kenya's myriad problems and obstacles as it prepared to celebrate 40 years of independence from British rule. Reporter Gray Phombeah describes a Kenya of rampant poverty, "mass unemployment," fraying infrastructure and ethnic conflict.
Online since 1996, Kenyaweb is a private Internet service provider operating in Kenya that offers detailed information on the country's geography, history, people, culture, economy, education system, sports and government. The site also includes the latest news reports on Kenyan politics and sports, as well as information relating to the trade, agriculture and tourism industries.

African Studies Center
The University of Pennsylvania's African Studies Center has been around since 1993. Its Kenya page offers an audio sample of Kenya's national anthem and a wide range of links to Kenyan culture and politics -- from a link to the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, D.C., to a link to a senior thesis on the hip-hop culture of Nairobi's youth.

All compiles stories from African news organizations. It claims to be the largest online source of African news presented in English and French.

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Running in Kenya

Lornah Kiplagat and the High Altitude Training Center
Since 1997, when she won the Los Angeles Marathon, Kenya's Lornah Kiplagat has set records on the international long distance running circuit. From 2000 to 2002, Kiplagat won the Peachtree 10,000m and the Falmouth Road Race, holding the course records for both races. In November 2000, Kiplagat and her husband, Pieter Langerhorst, opened the High Altitude Training Center in Iten, Kenya, for female runners.

Pew International Journalism Program, Fellows' Stories: "Flash Forward"
In fall 2001, Lori Shontz, a sports writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a Pew International Journalism Fellow, reported on female long distance runners in Kenya. In her series, "Flash Forward," Shontz writes that until recently, Kenya's patriarchal society has prevented women from pursuing and excelling internationally in long distance events.

"Kenya's Running Tribe"
This article by John Manners examines the running prowess of the male long distance runners of the Kalenjin tribe in Kenya. Manners claims that the Kalenjin, who make up 10 percent of Kenya's population, have taken 75 percent of Kenya's top international running awards. The article examines various theories and reasons for the tribe's particular athletic talent, including their protein and starch diet as well as the high altitudes at which they live.

"Runaway Success in Kenya, Land of the Fleet Elite"
This April 2001 article appeared in the Christian Science Monitor on the eve of the Boston Marathon, which Kenyan men have won every year since 1991. Writer Mark Crawley notes that most of Kenya's top runners are from Eldoret, a region in Kenya that lies 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,133 to 2,438 m) above sea level.

Kenyan Marathon Training Camp
Camp Marafiki (Kiswahili for "friends") is located in Farmington, New Mexico, in the Four Corners region that includes Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The camp offers weeklong training sessions at which participants have an opportunity to train with such renowned Kenyan marathon runners as Veronica Kanga and Jonathan Ndambuki, at altitudes between 5,000 and 9,000 feet (1,524 to 2,743 m).

"Keino to Probe Kenya Failure"
At the 2003 World Championships in Paris, Kenya suffered surprising defeat and scandal as its athletes lost the 3,000m steeplechase for the first time in 12 years. Bernard Lagat, 1,500m Olympic bronze medalist, withdrew after testing positive for the banned substance erythropoietin.

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Women and Human Rights in Kenya

The Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya (FIDA Kenya)
FIDA Kenya is a nonprofit NGO started in 1985 in the wake of the third U.N. Conference on Women, held in Nairobi. The organization's membership, currently 300, is made up of female lawyers and female law students who work to increase gender parity in Kenyan society through legal aid services, advocacy, monitoring and funding initiatives.

Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)
The FAWE was created in Nairobi in 1992 to increase access to education and improve the caliber of schooling for young women. The NGO now boasts 33 national chapters, making it pan-African in scope, and its Web site includes archived newsletters about FAWE's recent achievements as well as links to past publications.

Human Rights Watch's Kenya Page
The New York City-based Human Rights Watch is one of the oldest and most respected international human rights monitoring and advocacy organizations in the world. Its Kenya page offers an overview of human rights issues in Kenya, including extensive information about property rights violations against women.

Family Health International: HIV and Women's Rights
Established in 1971, Family Health International provides family health services through research and field work in 70 countries. "HIV Prevention and Women's Rights: Working for One Means Working for Both" is a policy paper by Jane Kiragu, a Kenyan lawyer and council member of the International Federation of Women Lawyers. Kiragu cites statistics on the high rate of HIV infection in Kenya and how culturally ingrained practices, such as wife beating and rape, can increase the likelihood that a woman will contract HIV or other STDs.

Female Genital Mutilation in Africa: Information by Country
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a widespread practice throughout much of Africa despite the activity of NGOs and even the presence of legislation in some nations to ban it. FGM is a traditional rite that entails removing parts of a woman's genitalia. It can result in death from hemorrhaging and infection. This Web page by Amnesty International shows the incidence of FGM throughout Africa, what proportion of women in each country undergo FGM and what laws, if any, are in place to curb the practice.

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Media Resources

East African Standard
Based in Nairobi, the East African Standard is an English-language daily and is Kenya's oldest newspaper. The site also features an online edition of its business weekly, Financial Standard.

Daily Nation
The online edition of the English-language weekly Daily Nation contains national headlines, a weekend arts and culture magazine, and links to other media resources, including to Uganda's The Monitor.

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC)
The state-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation has been in existence since 1961. Today the KBC boasts three television channels and three FM stations -- Coro FM Radio, Metro FM Radio and Pwani FM Radio. A program guide for its English radio service is also available on the site.

Kameme FM
Kameme 101.1 FM -- "a contemporary community radio station" -- has been operating since 2000. It primarily serves Kikuyu-speaking populations in Nairobi and outlying areas. Visitors to its Web site can listen to live radio broadcasts and read local and music news in Kikuyu or English.

East FM
Operating out of Nairobi, East FM Channel 106 is a 24-hour radio station catering to the large South Asian community in Kenya and abroad.

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