A long-time supporter has just announced that all gifts to the SCI’s 2017 London Marathon campaign (at www.bit.ly/go-together) will be matched, up to £13.1k.
The SCI works to improve the health and development of some of the world’s poorest populations by supporting mass-treatment programmes against schistosomiasis and intestinal worms. This year’s London Marathon campaign goal is £26.2k – £1,000 for each mile of the race and enough money to treat 78,600 people suffering from schistosomiasis and other diseases carried by soil-transmitted helminths.
“We are grateful to everyone who has supported this campaign so far,” said Professor Alan Fenwick OBE, founder of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. “This match ensures that we can actually bring a higher quality of life to twice as many people.”
Schistosomiasis affects more than 250 million people world-wide, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. The infections are caused by parasites which enter the body through contaminated water in areas of poor sanitation. Left untreated, the infections can lead to the development of life-threatening conditions such as bladder cancer, and liver damage.
Last year, the SCI’s London Marathon campaign raised more than £63,000 from 221 donors, winning the annual award for most money raised per runner. Dr Michael French, who ran the race for SCI in 2016, said, “Running the Marathon felt like a wonderful way to highlight the work that the SCI is doing to tackle this and encourage people to support us.”
This year, the SCI is proud to have two staff members running the London Marathon on its behalf. For Jane Whitton, programme manager for Uganda and Malawi, and Liz Hollenberg, programme managerfor Zambia and Zimbabwe, the race is not only a chance to get in shape but also a way to contribute more to a cause they both believe in.
“I think we all believe in the work that we do,” said Jane. “And to be able to do that extra thing to make sure the work goes on – that’s why I’m running.”
Jane and Liz have launched a blog where they record their progress and talk about their work for SCI, called Go Far, Go Together (at https://wwwf.imperial.ac.uk/blog/go-far-go-together/). To support their run and ensure your gift is matched, visit their Virgin Money Giving fundraising page at www.bit.ly/go-together.
As Liz said, “I know it’s a big deal when people choose to give their money to a charity. It means a lot to me personally that they believe in what we’re doing and hope to accomplish. I want to make them proud, both with my running and with my work for SCI. There are a lot of charities running the 26 miles this year, and I hope you’ll choose to support ours!”