In 2016, I embarked on a trip of a life-time, heading to Kenya to visit the inspiring charity So They Can and to take part in the Maasai Mara Marathon, a challenge which formed the pinnacle of my and my team mates’ fundraising efforts for So They Can.
The trip to Kenya and our year-long relationship with So They Can had a profound impact on us. We returned from Kenya enriched, but also conscious that there was much more we could do to support So They Can’s work.
So They Can’s mission is to work together with communities in Africa to educate and empower, so they can break the poverty cycle, realise their own potential and meet their own needs.
The rights of the child and gender equality are cross cutting issues across all of So They Can’s projects. Every child has the right not to live in poverty so So They Can designs and delivers projects to ensure real, tangible and lasting improvements to the lives of children. While inequality can impact on both genders, it is generally women and girls who are disadvantaged. Therefore So They Can’s projects have a strong emphasis on building the power of girls and women aiming to advance their rights and overcome deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability.
Whilst in Kenya we had the privilege of meeting many wonderful people – the staff and children at the Aberdare Ranges Primary School, a school established and run by So They Can; the children and house mothers at Miti Mingi Village, a children’s home for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in the wider Nakuru area; the ladies working and training through the Sew Women Can initiative; and the many families living in New Canaan Village (previously an internally displaced persons camp). Each of them benefits from the projects So They Can operates and is on a path to an empowered life where they may escape the poverty cycle.
One person who inspired us was Ken, the cook at the Aberdare Ranges Primary School. Ken is integral to the school’s feeding program – ensuring that each child receives 2 nutritious meals a day. However, the contribution that Ken makes to the So They Can community extends far beyond his cooking. Last year he set up a run club to share his passion for running with the kids at Aberdare Ranges. The ‘So Kids Run’ program currently has 40 kids enrolled and provides a lively and fun extra-curricular activity for the children So They Can supports.
In 2017, Heidi, Hope, and Karen, and some of our friends and colleagues, Mylinh and Tom, will take part in the Australian Outback Marathon festival, pushing ourselves to new limits. We’re doing this to raise $10,000 for So They Can. Approximately a quarter of that target will support and develop ‘So Kids Run’ and the Aberdare Ranges Primary School Sports program. The rest of the money we raise will support So They Can’s projects in Kenya.
We would love for you to support us and our fundraising efforts for So They Can through our fundraising page – https://give.everydayhero.com/au/from-africa-to-the-outback-running-so-they-can
Having been on the ground with So They Can in Kenya we have seen first hand the impact So They Can is having. The fact that we continue to champion this cause should demonstrate our belief in the work they are doing. Any donation you can make, big or small, to support So They Can’s work will have a long lasting impact on this community.
You can read about our trip to Kenya and our experience with So They Can here – http://www.wottonkearney.com.au/community-footprint/sotheycan
Thank you for your support.