We were delighted to recently hear back from Kat Cacavas and Karyn Johns with an update on the work with the orphans in Sierra Leone. The plans for 2020 have obviously been impacted due to COVID-19 but Kat and her team have many plans for 2021 and beyond.
Many children in Sierra Leone are orphaned due to war and/or disease and Kat supports these children to attend the Sierra Leone marathon.
They train as a running group within their local villages and then travel to the city for the marathon. This support, alongside the running group, provides a sense of belonging to a ‘family’ for these children and is huge positive for their mental health. They absolutely adore running, keeping up the training, even when Kat and her team are back in Australia. Kat’s project also supports the education of these orphans in their local villages, preparing them for life after they leave the orphanages.
The short term goals for 2020 are to provide education and running support packages for 15 children with uniforms, books, shoes and stationery for $100 – total of $1,500 followed by a shipping container departing in February, 2021 for Sierra Leone full of running gear (shoes and clothing), bags, hats, sports equipment and medical supplies at a shipping cost of approx. US$2,200. They are also hoping for donations to fill the container.
In the medium term, Kat and her team hope to establish the project as a charitable foundation to pave the way for future efforts, including a planned trip to Sierra Leone in 2022 to partner with local educational centres and of course to attend the annual marathon event with a group of the orphaned children.
The Rotary Club of Coomera Valley, alongside Rotary International, are committed to supporting this worthy cause and establishing ongoing, sustainable connections with the local community in Sierra Leone. Please contact us if you wish to assist Kat and her team with this awesome project.
Watch this space for future updates from Kat.
(The pictures show the children training with their running groups and at the marathon in 2019)