Somaliland Marathon and Education

I'm Rachel Jones, the author of the Djibouti Jones blog. My husband and I have lived in the Horn of Africa since 2003, focused on education and development. From launching a K-12 school to starting Djibouti's first and only all-girls running team , running and education is what we do.

The Somaliland Marathon brings together these focuses in a beautiful and challenging way.

Help me run Somaliland's first ever marathon and fund a university student's entire four-year degree program!

A Somali proverb says that knowledge is light. You can help bring light to the Horn of Africa.

The Somaliland Marathon is partnering with the Darlington Gacmadheere Foundation to provide university students in Somaliland with the funds they need to complete their degree programs.

Your donation will:

*provide a student with the money they need to earn their university degree
*fund my travel, security, translation, and safe housing as I race for education

Am I sure women are allowed and welcome?

Yup. This is the first ever full marathon in Somaliland and the directors are explicitly encouraging females to run.

Will there be many?

I have no idea. There is also a 10k, so I assume there will be women in that race, too. But a few or many, no problem. I’m used to running alone. I’m used to being the only female I see running and I’m even used to coming in absolute last place.

Will it be safe?

I have asked the director several questions about security. They are doing their best. Somaliland is stable and has been for years. There are never any guarantees. It will be hard, that's one guarantee.

Why do it?

I really want the t-shirt.

Also? What are some of the things I love most? Living in the Horn of Africa. Check. Running. Check. Education development. Check.

Education what?

The race doubles as a fundraiser. Each international participant is challenged to raise enough money to fund a full scholarship for an entire 4-year degree program for a Somaliland university student. This, along with completing the marathon, is my goal and you can help!
  • Abdirahman Kahin 
    • $150 
    • 51 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 52 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $290 
    • 52 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 52 mos
  • Lyla Taddei 
    • $20 
    • 52 mos
See all


Rachel 'Pieh' Jones 
St. Paul, MN