Street Child of Sierra Leone is an inspirational charity whose aim is to get children off the streets and back into school. I came across Street Child through organising the travel arrangements for one of the runners and have been bowled over by the commitment and enthusiasm of every person I’ve come into contact with. Rainbow Tours was one of the Post Race Event sponsors and this is just the beginning of our involvement. The marathon raised over £400,000 and we’re already thinking about how we can be involved next year. Lewis Aldridge is a volunteer for Street Child and sent in this report and photos of this year’s Kiln Sierra Leone Marathon.
“I’ve just come back from a wonderful and inspiring trip to Sierra Leone and wanted to tell everyone at Rainbow Tours about it. I’m in love with Africa and spend as many of my holidays there as possible, but up until now I hadn’t been anywhere over in the West. I also love running. So when I heard there was a charity organising the first ever marathon to be run in Sierra Leone, it was something that I just had to get involved with.
We flew direct from London to Freetown and transferred straight to Makeni where the run was to be held and where the charity, Street Child of Sierra Leone, works tirelessly to get children off the streets and back into school. The marathon day itself was phenomenal. I’ve run about a dozen marathons and it was the best one by far. The scenery was sublime and the atmosphere was electric, but perhaps above all I think it was the 170 or so international runners all running for the same cause which made it really special.
After leaving Makeni I decided to rest my tired legs by spending a few days down by the sea. The beaches in Sierra Leone are some of the best in the world. I spent one night on the delightful Banana Island followed by two nights on the wonderful Tokey Beach. And on the last day I went to see the Sierra Leone national football team play in the national stadium in Freetown. I recommend it all. I love Sierra Leone. It’s safe, friendly and practically devoid of tourists. I can’t wait to go back for next years race!”
If you’d like to donate to Street Child, get in touch with Rainbow Tours or go to the Sierra Leone Street Child’s web page on Virgin Giving here. Regular giving really helps the charity to plan ahead and they say monthly donations are key to Street Child’s stability and growth – here’s a reminder of what just £10, £20, £40 or £100 a month can do.
£10 a month – Pays school fees, uniform, materials for 3 children.
£20 a month – Funds a child’s journey from the streets to family and school.
£40 a month – Trains a community primary school teacher and pay them a basic wage.
£100 a month – Pays a social worker’s salary: who supports 50-100 street children.