It’s a funny thing about being down here in Africa with Imagine Scholar. Even though I get a chance to interact with the kids almost every day, I still find myself wanting to do more for them. They are simply amazing young people and they deserve every advantage in life. However, they need some help to overcome the circumstances in this area, which are not very nice.The statistics are alarming:

  • over 80 percent unemployment
  • nearly 50 percent HIV/AIDS
  • an abysmal university graduation rate of around 3 percent

Simply put, hope is in short supply down here, although you’d never know it from the way the kids act. With that in mind, I thought I’d do my part by training for the 2012 Seattle Marathon, my first ever. I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me with my fundraising to give two of these high school students a chance to succeed. 

The purpose of the marathon is to raise funds for two of our younger students, Elaine and Mandisa. Elaine was recently elected Grade 9 president while Mandisa earned the first Student of the Term award. Suffice it to say, they are both quality individuals and you can see both of them in this video here.

It costs $80 so sponsor Mandisa for one month — this pays for transport, healthy food in class, school supplies, and many other things. For Elaine, it’s $78. Lump those two together and you get $156/month. Multiply that out my 12 months and you get a very achievable fundraising goal: $1,896. I’ve set up a Crowdrise page:

Back to the running! The good thing is that weeks 1 is in the books. Thanks to a one-day-at-a-time mindset, I managed to successfully complete four runs of 30-50 minutes in length without keeling over or even walking. If it takes 30 days to make a habit — 7 down, 23 to go.

Weekly Statistics:  

Miles run: 14.33 (14.33 total)

Average speed this week: a blazing 5.7 MPH

Calories burned: 2,189 (2,189 total)