Saturday, April 9, 2011

One last push...

Tomorrow I leave for the UK.  I am a little nervous that this event has crept on me so fast...not to mention I have a serious head cold right now!  But it is time for one last 'push' and recap why I am running. 

When I look back at the start of this journey-I knew it was going to be a great experience-running with purpose.  What I don't think I realized was how it would motivate me to push me to train the hardest I ever have-and how gratifying it is to run for something other than yourself.  I want to share with you some CLP/WASH stories and what program managers, Joni Byker and Taya Riane are planning to do with the money raised through the marathon...

WASH:
Taya has shared with me many stories from our WASH projects-countless stories of families who no longer suffer from diarrhea and how it has changed their lives.  One lady who had received a BSF stated: "I was always carrying my children to the clinic-but we don't get diarrhea anymore".  Here are some photos of Taya and her staff in action!

Installing a BioSand Water Filter...

Taya and her WASH team showing off a SP latrine

Tay getting down and dirty into a well!

I recently asked Taya how she would like to use the money raised by my running the marathon.  Here's a summary of what she had to say:  "I am really excited about this year, because more than ever we are doing community WASH projects that will engage the community and as a result the project will have a longer impact."  "Through our community development programs-communities are identifying their WASH needs and then communicating these WASH needs with our WASH staff.  Our WASH staff then facilitates discussions with the community on why they have chosen a particular WASH intervention and a plan is put together.  This year we have received 6 applications from communities who have requested latrines-and I would like to use the money raised to help these communities meet their sanitation needs."

Me and Taya...

CLP:
I have loved learning more about the Women's Literacy and Livelihood program in the last few months-I have been so inspired by these women who are so eager to learn!  Here is a short story from Joni about Massa Johnson in the CLP program:

Before attending CLP, Massa was involved in a business with her husband, but since she didn't have any experience or knowledge in business, he cheated her in many ways.  But now with the basic business skills that CLP has given Massa, she now knows how to perform with successful results.  “Actually, I am a farmer. But if I don’t make a farm I am still able to sustain my family through my business.  I have been tremendously changed by the word of God and the education I have received. I can read and write for the first time in my life.”


Massa writing her name...

Joni informed me that the money raised will be used to assist women to start their own businesses.  In new classes that are being formed in Foya and the Belleh jungle, a new aspect of the livelihood part of the CLP program will be micro-finance.  Joni is very excited: "this gives us at SP the opportunity to meet these women at the business level where they are at right now and help increase that. It gives them the opportunity to go to the 'next' level in supporting themselves and their families."  Here is a link to the SP CLP video that was the SP broadcast team did on Joni and her program-she's a natural in front of the camera too!!!  http://www.samaritanspurse.org/InVideo/?bclid=814432300001 

Here is a CLP highlight-I mentioned in one of my past posts that I had the opportunity to play soccer with the CLP ladies at Sorlumba...Here is a special video-but I must put a disclaimer on this...remember my age-and no comments on my belt hanging out!


 video


I have been pushed by all of these ladies to run harder and further knowing that these ladies are all working so hard to make a better life for themselves and their families.  They have been through so much-surviving a civil war, struggling to feed their families, sickness-and so much more.  I know there will be times during the marathon that I will need to push-through pain and exhaustion-but all of the people I have met in these programs will be on the forefront of my mind and give me strength to give one last push...

Again-THEY are why I run...

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/spuk

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