Why (Makeni) Sierra Leone?
Sierra Leone might not be the first country that comes to mind to win the 2017 “Best International Event” in the Running Awards—supported by over 150,000 votes from the international running community. More tied to images of violent conflict and Ebola than award-winning sporting events, Sierra Leone once welcomed hundreds of thousands of tourists a year before its destructive, decade-long civil war that ended in 2002. Sierra Leone is now making a loud comeback after being declared Ebola-free in 2016. Adventurous travelers are making their way back to the country, drawn by its sprawling beaches, rich “sweet salone” food culture, and warmth.
Why Street Child?
The Sierra Leone Marathon was founded to bring runners back into the country and unite them to fundraise for Street Child—a UK based charity currently supporting over 22,000 children in Sierra Leone. By providing psycho-social support and education centers, Street Child gives children the opportunity to thrive at school and at home.
Since 2008, Street Child has built or repaired over 400 schools, supported over 15,000 families to set up small sustainable businesses, and have helped provide education for over 120,000 children. Their results speak for themselves: Over 92% of children supported by Street Child remain in schools and 90% of businesses are sustained for at least a year after all support has ceased.
Join me on this journey to bring Sierra Leone back on the travel map, in support of Street Child’s mission to help the world’s poorest children go to school and reach for a brighter future.