The Accra International Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10k, 5k, & Team Relay
AIMing to care for our children 25 June 2017
The Association of Ghana’s Elders (AGE) was our most successful AIMing Charity Partner last year. They raised Five Thousand Cedis from their supporters and earned a matching donation of another Five Thousand Cedis from AIM and the Longevity Project.
Our fundraising focus this year is on child or youth-centered charities, and we’re happy to shine the spotlight on Cape Coast School for the Deaf/Blind or Cape Deaf, as it’s locally known. The School AIMs to provide quality education for the visually and hearing impaired and to support them to realize their full potential as productive members of society.
One of our longest serving volunteers, Mamud Seidu, first brought Cape Deaf to our attention many years ago when he sponsored one of their students, Salim, who is deaf, to run in the 5k distance of the AIM. Salim did well, finishing in the top 10 of his age group right along with the non-hearing impaired. More importantly than his finishing time, though, was the great feeling of achievement that was clearly evident in his joyful smile as he crossed the Finish Line.
Salim has AIMed several times since then, progressing up to the 10K distance and always finishing in the top 10 of his age group. When he couldn’t run himself one year, he enthusiastically cheered others on from the sidelines. Salim’s achievements provide some evidence of the School’s motto, “Disability Not Inability.”
It’s a disgraceful fact of life in Ghana that there is still, in this day and age, a stigma attached to visually and hearing impaired children like Salim, so much so that some parents abandon such children, and the School becomes their only source of sustenance of any kind. Mamud, though not wealthy, has been generously supporting the school with provisions whenever he can do so. But the needs of the growing number of children at the School far outstrip what Mamud and a few kind individuals can provide. We are therefore happy to welcome the School on board as one of our Charity Partners this year. We’re very proud of Mamud and are ready to add more grease to his elbows as he AIMs his relay team, The Oguaa Champs, to raise funds for the School. Oguaa is the local and original name of Cape Coast.
We’re excited and encouraged by the fact that the School has developed well-planned strategies for becoming largely self-sustaining in the coming years. There’s the large marshy area that they have determined can be used for the production of fish to feed the students and earn some income as well. The School’s Agric Club has won the National Best Farmers Award, Basic School Category, twice in the past and needs funds to restore the farm that it lost from the 2015 flooding disaster. Cape Deaf has put together a sound proposal for poultry production that should yield steady income for the upkeep of their wards and satisfaction for the kind-hearted people and caring companies we’re seeking to champion their cause.
The carpentry department trains students in furniture production, products that can be sold to generate operating funds. But some of the equipment, donated over 15 years ago for this purpose, need replacement while others are overdue for serious repair.
Last but not least, Cape Deaf boasts of a cultural troupe that for festive occasions puts on lively dance and music productions to delight audiences. As they put it, “The blind drum for the deaf to dance.” Christian Morgan, second prizewinner of TV3’s Talented Kids competition this year, is a blind student of the School. We’re looking forward to showcasing several of Cape Deaf’s talented student performers at the AIM Finish Line venue this year, and we hope you’ll be on hand to give them a hand of applause.
In the meantime, you can champion our vulnerable children by:
- Putting together a relay team to participate in the Challenge4Charity Relay (C4CR);
- Joining in as a solo runner or walker. (Whichever option you choose, we will provide incentives to your donors that will help you with raising funds and enjoying the process.)
- Donating to the C4CR team or individual that is raising funds for them.