Saturday, 25th September was a big day for Tina Francis, 38 women, and one very supportive man from Relate Church in Surrey, BC, Canada. It was the day they would step outside their comfort zone and run a half marathon to raise funds for Watoto’s Living Hope programme that aims to restore hope and dignity to vulnerable women in Africa.
Tina, a writer for She Loves Magazine, heard Watoto Co-Founder Marilyn Skinner describe the unthinkable atrocities committed against many women in northern Uganda, especially during the 20-year-old senseless civil war.
Inspired by the work being done in Uganda, Tina, with the support of friend Idelette McVicker, challenged women to join them in a half marathon and hopefully raise $CAN20,000 for the Living Hope programme. Tina expected some support from friends and family, but what she did not expect was the magnitude of support they would receive.
Donations came pouring in along with words of encouragement and a lot of prayer. On the day of the big race, these self-professed "non-athletes" were able to reap the fruit of their labour.
As the team members crossed the finish line and received their honorary medals, many were crying, laughing and hugging one another.
"Today, we’ve supported and suffered on behalf of our sisters in northern Uganda,” Tina said. The runners have well surpassed their $CAN20,000 goal, and donations are still coming in.
“For more information about how you can change the story of a child, baby and mother at Watoto or the ladies in the Living Hope programme, please visit www.watoto.com.