[2nd December 2015]

CULTURAL DIPLOMACY: EMBASSY STAFF PARTICIPATE IN THE SOTOKOTO MARATHON AT ARIAKE, TOKYO

Above: Registered participants warm up before the start of the marathon

On 21st November, 2015 the Kenya Embassy Tokyo had the opportunity to join hundreds of Tokyo residents as they joyfully participated in the Sotokoto Running Festival 2015. The event which took place at Ariake, in Tokyo was organized by the Smile Africa Project Executive Committee (Kirakusha Corporation / SOTOKOTO) in collaboration with DREAM AS ONE which is sponsored by the Mitsubishi Corporation

On this November Morning, the weather was thankfully sunny which was perfectly suitable for running and about 200 participants sweated in the heat of the exercise. The Kenya Embassy team also enjoyed the fun in the running.

The aim of Smile Africa Project is reducing child mortality in Africa from tetanus related complications. They do this annually by distributing shoes that are usually donated by patrons of this project and by encouraging every child to look forward to the future. This festival is therefore held to raise awareness of this project and promote popular participation in the noble project.

H.E. Amb. S. K. Maina praised the contributions of Athletics Champions, Ms. Naoko Takahashi and Mr. Douglas Wakiihuri during his closing speech.

During the closing ceremony His Excellency Ambassador Solomon K. Maina celebrated this successful event and expressed the deepest gratitude for the contributions of various organizations in Japan towards social development in Kenya.

The leading participants and supporters of this event included Ms. Naoko Takahashi the Japanese Gold medalist during the Sydney Olympic and Kenyan Athlete Mr. Douglas Wakiihuri who was the silver medalist of the Seoul Olympics. They reported the various activities of the Smile Africa Project and announced that so far about 60 thousand pairs of shoes have been distributed to children in Africa.

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