GREAT ETHIOPIA RUN 2008
Last November, I was part of the team who participated in the Great Ethiopia Run in Addis Ababa on 23rd November in aid of HOPE International. There were 9 of us in the team (Dan & Maggie Cawthorn, Chris & Georgie Haywood, Chaz Hickman, Andy Pettit, Clarissa Poulson, Kirstie Sobue and myself) and we are thrilled that together we helped to raise £30,000 to fund HOPE's work in Ethiopia. Thank you to all those who sponsored us and helped us achieve this amazing figure.
Money that we raised as part of the Great Ethiopia Run trip 2008 has helped to fund a water project in Aykateko village where residents worked over a six-month period to pipe water down from a spring whose source lies 18km away, in the hills above their village. The photograph (left) shows the HOPE UK team at the spring source, which has now been covered in concrete to keep animals away and maintain the purity of the water. We were also able to make a significant donation to a local school, Bussa Killa, to build and stock a school library in memory of James Cawthorn. The library will give the 700 students (7-17 years old) access to text books and reference books for the first time.
WHAT IT MEANT TO ME
The 2008 trip was an amazing chance for me to challenge myself, see more of a stunning country and most importantly to meet the inspirational HOPE staff workers and see first-hand the invaluable work they are doing in Ethiopia. I'd never done a 10km race before, so to run at high altitude in the heat needed some dedicated training(!) but the carnival, celebratory atmosphere of the Race made it all worth it. Thinking of the generosity of our supporters definitely kept me going and it was a huge sense of achievement as we crossed the finish line.
The rest of the trip gave us a chance to visit a variety of projects, from community projects supporting children living with the affects of HIV/AIDS to water and micro-finance projects. Most of these ventures were based in rural communities far from tourist routes and it was a huge privilege to meet and talk with local people who could explain the positive difference to their lives as a result of HOPE's support. It was also both reassuring and inspiring to realise how committed HOPE's staff workers are to working together with local communities to improve access to sanitation, water and education.
GIVE IT A GO!
HOPE UK is planning to take a team of 25 people to Ethiopia in November 2009 to participate in the Great Ethiopia Run 2009, get involved in some volunteer activities in the city and experience some of this extraordinary country's unique culture whilst raising money for HOPE. This is your chance to experience what I can promise will truly be the trip of a lifetime! If you're interested in hearing more, get in touch with HOPE UK's Director, Kirstie Sobue: firstname.lastname@example.org