I ran and raised funds for WEEMA for the first time in the summer of 2018. Fortunately, I raised enough funds to win the grand prize of a roundtrip ticket to Ethiopia, awarded to the highest non-staff individual fundraiser! The ticket allowed me to make my first visit to the old continent in February of this year. I spent most of my 5-week journey in Ethiopia before hopping over to Uganda to visit old friends from my days studying in Cambridge, UK, and Tanzania to trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro! However, it was my experience in ETHIOPIA with WEEMA that really prompted me to want to raise funds to support them again.
During my time there, I got to:
- help WEEMA and The Himalayan Cataract Project treat nearly a thousand patients in less than a week in their joint annual cataract campaign;
- visit WEEMA’s various amazing project sites in southern Ethiopia and meet members of some the communities that they serve;
- spend quality time, bonding with over 70 of WEEMA’s field and head office staff at their annual retreat in Ziway;
- visit one of Africa’s most sacred Christian sites in Lalibela;
- enjoy the richness of local cuisine in amazing restaurants and private homes;
- run in the forest near where Ethiopia’s elite runners train;
- be delightfully surpised by the many similarities between Ethiopia and my home country of Viet Nam; and
- last but not least, develop profound new friendships with WEEMA's head-office staff members.
Mere words cannot convey fully the richness and depth of what I experienced in Ethiopia with WEEMA. I am truly inspired by their work and the commitment of their team there. It is also why I am running in this year's Falmouth run to raise money to help WEEMA continue its empowering mission for Ethiopians.
Last year, I was lucky enough to finish this 7-mile course in 53:15 (averaging 7:37 per mile) to place 26th out of 481 males in my age group and 895th overall, out of 11,063 runners. I hope to improve on this time and placement in this year's run!!
Please give whatever you can and keep in mind that...
"No amount is too small and none too big" - every bit adds up!!
Thanks to the generosity of my donors, my initial goal of $2000 was reached on 8/11. Since donations will still be accepted until the END of August, even after the race, I have increased my GOAL to match what I raised last year! I hope you will help me reach it again!!