Member since
Country of Origin
South Sudan
Kalobeyei, Kenya
Running, Yoga, Volleyball
Smiling Run Girls

In the Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement in Kenya every Thursday you hear peals of girls’ laughter and the rhythmic pounding of feet on the ground. Meet Nyagoa and her girls’ running club, and discover what the sport does for the girls she has gathered.

  • On Running Trio
    Photography by Jean Marie, Kalobeyei Clubhouse Manager
  • Girls Run Club big group
  • On Girl Runners Diagonal
  • On Running group

A gaggle of brightly coloured shirts stand in a circle, the girls wearing them slowly stretching their limbs, following the leader as she bends to touch the dusty ground.

This group is the brainchild of 25 year old South Sudanese Nyagoa, who took it upon herself to start the girls’ running club in the Kalobeyei settlement, the first of its kind, after spotting the talent of some refugee girls that she wanted to do more with. To build a sense of belonging, to empower confidence and self-esteem via their feet.
Nyagoa Portrait
"Let them run, and they can do better in their life. It is an instance of self-care and self-love. Running with the group keeps you motivated."

Nyagoa on her runners

Girls Mobiliser, Kalobeyei Spirit

On Shoes Line
Hugging Runners

Nyagoa takes her group out on a run together, her curls bouncing brightly, and the feet of the girls tripping lightly along with her, as they do every week. Everyone is enjoying the freedom of their run, taking a moment away from the harsh realities of refugee life.

As a manager at KLABU’s Kalobeyei Spirit clubhouse, with the goal to involve more girls in sports, Nyagoa has found great purpose and drive. And through this, she and her girls of the running club have formed a strong community that has found more enjoyment and positivity in sport together - Nyagoa in fact offers a diverse programme of sports and has extended it with yoga trainings on the weekend.
Hands In Runners

A period of sickness kept Nyagoa from her work, but a sign of her powerful impact can be clearly seen - the girls kept running every single week in her absence. And now she's back they run freer than ever.

It has become something that is these girls’ right, a space they carve out. This ‘Right To Run’ is of crucial importance to On, a partner in Kalobeyei, who just like KLABU want to break down the barriers that prevent people from enjoying the freedom and benefits that movement brings.
Through On’s Right To Run programme and a partnership that helps provide funding towards our work, they have generously donated running shoes to the girls of Kalobeyei for their regular runs, and also for others from the settlement who wish to try out running through the KLABU sport equipment lending system.
On Kalobeyei Runner
KLABU Sportswear
KLABU Sportswear
KLABU Sportswear

A privilege that many of us take for granted, the lacing up of fresh sneakers donated by our partner On was a moment of great excitement for girls who normally run in their daywear of sandals or bare feet.

And the pulling on of a bright, Kalobeyei Spirit KLABU shirt also brings a smile to the faces of these strong, resilient girls, who through running can only get stronger. As they reunite to run with Nyagoa, their leader, she will doubtless be very proud indeed of how far they have come and will go.

"What a man can do, a woman can do. You can’t exclude them, they have the power to do what men can do in sports. They can do their best in anything."

Nyagoa on sporting equality

Girl Carry
Girls Huddle

A big thank you to On for the fantastic partnership and support through the Right To Run programme.

Whole Girls Group


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