I have received this question numerous times by curious friends. I reply with a muddled “no,” explaining that I am not diminishing the girl’s running abilities, but explain that is not the aim of the Yaya Girls Program.
The goal of the Yaya Girls Program is not to make olympians, but instead to focus on fostering the development of these young women in numerous other arenas. Let me describe the greater Ethiopian running culture in order to full explain why this is:
Before coming to Ethiopia, I did not realize how many people in Ethiopia are trying to pursue professional running. After a few morning runs in the forest, where I would typically see at least 300 hundred runners in a span of 45 minutes, it became clear to me that thousands of Ethiopian runners are striving to win races.
Running in Ethiopia is seen…
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