Runners from the Okanagan-Shuswap will be taking to the streets on Oct. 19 for the 10th anniversary relay from West Kelowna to Enderby, all to raise support for a local charity’s poverty fighting work in Ethiopia.
The Great BIG Run for Africa hopes to raise $25,000 for Partners in the Horn of Africa, as well as better awareness of the organization’s work among Okanagan-Shuswap residents.
Over the past 10 years, the run has raised more than $150,000 and has changed thousands of lives in Ethiopia through projects providing small business start-up financing and training, clean water supply, safe schools and quality education, and critical support to orphans and vulnerable children.
A Great BIG Run for Africa is a 100 km relay from West Kelowna to the Partners in the Horn of Africa office in Enderby, along Highway 97 North.
Last year, 30 runners raised $25,000 for microfinance programs helping Ethiopian women create viable small businesses.
Stephanie Moore, chair of the event this year, says: “We cannot believe that we are in our 10th year. The day is great coming together with a committed group of people who want to make a real difference in the lives of others.”
Running is a huge deal in Ethiopia with the region producing some of the world’s best endurance athletes. For A Great BIG Run for Africa, runners of all levels can participate in the event but must sign-up in advance.
Crystal Flaman, one of the organizers, says: “We have limited spaces for runners on the highway so anyone interested in running must contact us in advance.”
The funded programs provide micro-financing, literacy, numeracy and skills training for Ethiopian women so they may have a better chance of lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.
Runners collect pledges and donations—just $70 is all it takes to help one impoverished woman start her own small business in Ethiopia.
Moore adds, “To participate, please contact myself or Partners in the Horn of Africa’s office in advance so we may slot you into the day as it is a relay format and we have limited space for participants.”
For more information and to join the run, email firstname.lastname@example.org.