3715 Jocelyn St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20015
We are a volunteer organization that raises money to buy athletic shoes for Ethiopian girls who are training to become professional runners in order to stay in school, avoid early marriage, and gain personal independence. In Ethiopia, getting an education is a true marathon. Girls’ enrollment is among the lowest in the world and women and girls are more likely to die in childbirth than reach sixth grade. Ethiopia also has the highest rate of vaginal fistulas in the world and one of the largest caseloads of AIDS, forcing many girls to quit school to care for sick or widowed relatives. However, because seven of the 10 top-earning athletes in Ethiopia are women, some girls and their parents have begun to see careers as professional runners as viable options in a country where girls as young as 12 can be sold as brides by parents desperate for dowry payments. Getting athletic shoes, however, because they are so expensive, is very difficult. Girls Gotta Run was founded to fill that gap.