"International sports community and professional athletes have enormous influence. The athletes are role models who have a great opportunity to shape opinions and thus move the world in to a better direction,” says Mr Atte Palomäki, Executive Vice President of Communications & Branding at Wärtsilä, when declaring the first Philanthropy in Sports Award to a person who, after her successful athletes career, has dedicated her life in building peace and making better circumstances for children in Africa.
On 14 January 2014 Tegla Loroupe, a three-time world half-marathon champion, a two-time world marathon record holder and the founder of Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation, was awarded with a Philanthropy in Sports Award at Suomen Urheilugaala, the annual Finnish Sports Gala for awarding the best athletes. The Philanthropy Award was donated by Wärtsilä, and given together with the non-governmental organisation Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). With respect to Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation's wishes, the donation will be used on supporting an orphanage in Kenya:
“Every child has a right to be protected and given a safe and secure environment to grow into a responsible citizen. It is very important to give this opportunity for children that have lost their parents, have been abandoned or come from impoverished families,” says Loroupe.
Loroupe highly appreciates the donation that supports the orphanage in Kenya. Loroupe states that there is so much demand for orphanages and schools but so little resources:
“At times we get overwhelmed by the needs. It is very hard to prioritize our support. For example a school accommodates about 390 students when total 1000 students would need the place. You can imagine the challenge we have to face in choosing only 1/3 of the eligible students. Donations like these will give children a chance to grow in safe and secure environment where they can learn, interact and share their experiences.”
Palomäki emphasized Wärtsilä’s commitment to corporate citizenship as a key part of the company culture: “In our business we build basic elements of a sound society by making clean and affordable energy possible. To provide even more value we want to support activities aimed at improving stability and peace. We are very proud to play a part in the work of Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation.”
Read more about Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation.
In the photo Mr Atte Palomäki, Executive Vice President of Communications & Branding handing over the Philanthropy Award to Ms Tegla Loroupe. Photo: Pekka Salonen / EMG