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High profile athletes to run for change in South Africa

by Press Release
Tuesday 11th February 2014
Tags  Mimi Anderson   |   Samantha Gash   |   Freedom Trail   |   Freedom Runners

Charity news: Two women running 2350km across the Freedom Trail to support young South African women

On the 26h of September, ultra runners Mimi Anderson and Samantha Gash will begin their 32 day crossing of the unforgiving Freedom Trail in South Africa, to raise £30,500 (R560, 000) to establish a social business that will provide menstruation products and education for school girls and women. Using running as a vehicle for social change, every step of the women’s 80km per day journey will leave a trail of awareness, courage, inspiration and support for their project that aims to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of SA’s young women, improve their education, which in turn leads to healthier relationships, families, communities, and ultimately, a healthier and more economical South Africa.

In SA, did you know?

  • 30% of girls miss school during menstruation – some missing school for over three months each year
  • 60% of females don’t have access to traditional sanitary products
  • 31% of people live on less than $1 (R11) a day – the cheapest pads cost twice this $2 (R22) for a pack of 10

Two women running 2350km across the Freedom Trail to support young South African women

Photo: The magnificent and unrelenting ‘Freedom Trail’ South Africa stretches 2350km from Pietermaritzburg to Durban © Nikon / Andrew King

The Project

Gash and Anderson jumped into action after learning that around two thirds of women and girls in SA do not have access to sanitary products, while a third of girls are too ashamed to attend school during menstruation because of the lack of access and social stigmas. Anderson and Gash, whose epic run aims to improve the community through sustainable solutions, have joined forces with the global NGO Save the Children in an effort to raise funds ($50,000/R560,000) to begin addressing this problem in affected communities.

A social enterprise business will be established to employ and train a dozen South African women to manufacture reusable feminine hygiene products which will then be distributed to the community’s women and girls at an affordable cost whilst also providing a sustainable income to those involved.

Even though the funds raised only provide sufficient company running costs for a year, it is believed that this project will not only impact on the lives of over 1,500 women and girls, it will become self-sustainable. In addition, by generating awareness, the project aims to contribute to the naturalization of topics such as menstruation, puberty and sexual health in communities, by removing the attached shame and social stigma and thereby impacting on education; health; livelihood and economic growth.

Both Anderson and Gash are experienced ultra-marathon competitors, with numerous titles and affiliations to charitable causes who have once again set out to use their talent and passion to champion social causes.

Two women running 2350km across the Freedom Trail to support young South African women

Photos: Mimi and Samantha

For more information visit www.freedomrunners.org


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