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Local runners take part in Sun Run to help Kenya Education Endowment Fund

Chase Crisfield and Nicki Gabers

Students in Kenya benefit from Kenya Education Endowment Fund.

Chase Crisfield and Nicki Gabers, both from Prince George, are adding to their already busy lives by taking part in April’s Virtual Vancouver Sun Run to help raise funds for secondary students in Kenya, where high school is not free.

They are part of a 79-member volunteer force across Canada and in Kenya who will walk or run the 10K event to raise donations to fund life skills workshops for 130 secondary school scholarship holders in Kenya  – bright youth from very poor families.  KEEF – The Kenya Education Endowment Fund (www.kenyaeducation.org) offers the workshops, as well as funding secondary and post-secondary scholarships. Topics such as assertiveness, first aid, teamwork, and entrepreneurial skills help prepare the students for the world of work after graduation or for success in post-secondary education, if they are able to qualify for further assistance to enter Kenyan universities or technical colleges.

Nicki and Chase are part of Team Brenda’s Run for KEEF – with five other volunteers scattered across B.C. towns and one in Ottawa. Four other KEEF teams are in BC, Ontario (with a Quebec and two B.C. members), and in western Kenya, where KEEF works. As well, six individual Sun Run participants live in B.C. and Alberta. KEEF Run volunteers range in age from early 20s to early 80s. They have been training in snow, hot sun and rain – depending on their location.

At the multi-day life skills workshop, some of the students – who have developed a good business plan during the sessions – will receive a low-interest micro-loan to start a small business during school vacation, one their family can continue after they return to class.

Raising a goat, buying chickens to sell the eggs in the local market, growing extra vegetables to sell and to improve the family diet, selling groundnuts in the local market are examples. When the micro-loan and small interest are repaid the next year, another student can be added to the loan scheme. Funding these Life Skills workshops is the goal of team members of Brenda’s Run for KEEF, including locals Nicki and Chase. Because the Run is virtual this year, due to the pandemic, many more participants outside the Lower Mainland of BC are able to take part. This unique opportunity and effort mean` a brighter future for KEEF’s Kenyan students.

For information about KEEF’s work or the volunteer teams and individuals in Canada and Kenya involved in the 2021 Virtual Vancouver Sun Run, contact shelaghag@shaw.ca.

Follow the Kenya Education Endowment Fund on Facebook and Instagram. To support Chase and Nicki’s efforts, please donate at www.kenyaeducation.org, where you will find details of giving by cheque, e-transfer, or on-line. Please specify if your gift is for Team Brenda’s Run for KEEF or for the Sun Run volunteers in general.


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