We’d like to congratulate Liz Odera of Sadili Oval and the Malezi Foundation for receiving the French Order of Youth and Sports Medal from the French Government for her work in the development of youth sports in Kenya, and her commitment to excellence in education. Liz has three great projects on GlobalGiving: Train 3000 Kibera youth in sport & life skills, The African Child Sport & Education Fund Needs You, Provide Kibera Slum Children with 1500 Solar Lamps . I met Liz in the spring of 2007 when I traveled to Nairobi for a Sport for Social Change Network meeting where Nike was one of the sponsors. I was there to talk about online giving at GlobalGiving and to get a few projects up and running on our website. Over time, I have gotten to know Liz and she is one of the kindest, most dedicated persons I know. Kenya is so lucky to have Liz and I feel incredibly lucky to have met and befriended her. She has several times invited me to visit again and I certainly hope I will be able to do so soon. “I really do hope to have you in Kenya one day in the near future. Do let me know whenever you wish to come. We have a guest house with very simple setup, nothing like what you have in the USA, but you are always welcome to come with Arshad and stay there at no cost. I remember that you had really difficulty finding food that you could eat when we were at the workshop, you will be able to cook for yourselves, or eat out at some of our many restaurants in the city.”
Besides Liz just being a wonderful awesome person she has many amazing accomplishments:
- Liz is an international tennis player
- Through initial support by the IOC (through the Kenyan National Olympic Committee) and Professional Tennis Registry, she initiated the Tennis Africa Cup, which is now the single largest network of junior players.
- Her work in establishing East Africa’s first performance academy programs has seen the national rugby 7s and 15s grow to high world rankings.
- She has taken Kenya’s tennis juniors, Rahab Mbugua and Maurice Wamukowa, to play Division I University Tennis and attain full scholarships in the USA.
- Under her active encouragement, the Sadili Flames Basketball team was the first junior team ever to break through the Division I to enter the Kenyan National Classic League in 2004, and many of the team members went on to play top college and league basketball in Kenya, USA and Australia.
- She successfully piloted the Nature and Sports Camps together with UNEP and GSA, a children’s sport and environmental leadership initiative that is expected to roll out to other underprivileged communities in the world.
- Liz holds degree qualifications in sports sciences, immunology, parasitology and education.
Again, congratulations Liz!