By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Africell on Thursday, 15 May, 2014, announced they will partner with other renowned organizations to provide necessary support for the successful hosting of the third Sierra Leone Marathon, which is scheduled to hold in Makeni, north of the country.
According to the company’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Joe Abass Bangura, the reason for their support was because of the objective of the event, which is to raise funds to help rescue vulnerable children from the streets and placed them into homes and schools.
He stated that the company is well-known for its support to grassroots and needy Sierra Leoneans, adding, “We feel elated at the chance to once again make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children whom the company believes have potentials irrespective of their backgrounds.”
Mr. Bangura disclosed that the company would pay for the cost of the public address facilities, stage, billboards, printing of publicity materials, publicity in the print and electronic media, free Close User Group (CUG) facilities, transportation and cash, all amounting to US $25,000.
He reiterated that Africell is the dominant supporter of most of the sporting disciplines in the country, including football, volleyball, squash, lawn tennis, table tennis, basketball and marathons.
“Jogging is high on the list of activities essential for healthy living with the prospect of also being able to raise funds to help these vulnerable children. Let me commend Street Child Sierra Leone for spearheading the event and other sponsors for their generous support,” he said.
Also speaking, Street Child Sierra Leone Marathon Director, Greg Harris, noted that last year’s marathon brought together 200 international competitors alongside an estimated 600 Sierra Leoneans and that collectively in the past two years, the runners have succeeded in raising more than $500,000 for the welfare of street children throughout the country.
“This year, we hope to raise more funds by allowing competitors to experience Sierra Leonean hospitality and help to offer vulnerable children across the country the opportunity to seek a more positive way of life,” he said.
He explained that the event will combine the challenge of a marathon, half-marathon, 10 km or 5 km race and it is open to runners of all abilities at the cost of Le 40,000, Le 30,000 and Le 25, 000 respectively to participate.
Representatives from other sponsors, including Gambia Bird and Sierra WiFi assured of their fullest support to ensure this year’s event in Makeni is a success.