Luanda Links, an organisation run by University of York alumni, have unveiled their new RACE2EDUCATE fundraising initiative.
Aiming to raise £2,500 to further the education of girls in West Kenya, the initiative will see 15 runners braving the Wimbledon Half Marathon on 12 October 2014 to raise money for the charity.
The charity was the brainchild of Esther Cameron and Stephie Hines.
Founded in January 2013 when the two were second-year students, the charity exists to raise money for secondary school education for girls in western Kenya.
Lunada Links has currently funded five girls through their first year of secondary school education and board at St Bakhita’s High School, and the aim of RACE2EDUCATE is to raise the money to fund their second year at school, including all associated costs such as uniform and textbooks.
The chairty’s first fundraising event in November 2013 brought in £600, and since then the charity has continued to expand, recruiting four other York alumni since.
The University of York Travel Bursary allowed Hines and Cameron to travel to Luanda in person in September 2013 to set up the infrastructure, meaning the project works in collaboration with local communities.
Providing education for girls in Africa is “not only about educating the girl child but also a challenge to a culture of oppression or discrimination,” according to Father Innocent, Luanda’s Parish priest and on-the-ground project facilitator.
The sponsored girls send the charity regular updates on their progress. Beyond merely providing an education, Luanda Links aim to encourage the girls to shape their own development and fulfill their aspirations.