Living in one of our program countries, distance-running legend Haile Gebrselassie brings a unique understanding to Right To Play. A role model to children in Ethiopia, the two-time Olympic gold medalist helped launch a monthly football league for orphaned and vulnerable children in 2007 and served as special guest at a Play Day for 1,000 kids from six orphanages at the Addis Ababa Stadium. Haile led the children on a “fun run” around the stadium before sharing his life experiences with the group. His presence served as special inspiration to these youth, many of whom were HIV positive or had lost parents from the disease. Internationally, Haile attended a Right To Play event during the New York City Marathon, and in 2013, he spoke in a short video clip to help promote our involvement at the Jungfrau Marathon.
"We are all equally responsible for the lives of these children; they are all our children. Government and non-governmental organizations need to work towards creating a brighter and safer world for children that live in unsafe circumstances."