Relay helps fight poverty in Ethiopia

The Great Big Run for Africa hopes to raise $25,000 for Partners in the Horn of Africa

Runners from the Okanagan-Shuswap will be taking to the streets Sunday for the 10th anniversary relay from West Kelowna to Enderby. And this is all to raise support for a local charity’s poverty fighting work in Ethiopia.

The Great Big Run for Africa hopes to raise $25,000 for Partners in the Horn of Africa, as well as better awareness of the organization’s work among Okanagan-Shuswap residents.

Over the past 10 years, the run has raised more than $150,000 and has changed thousands of lives in Ethiopia through projects providing small business start-up financing and training, clean water supply, safe schools and quality education, and critical support to orphans and vulnerable children.

The Great Big Run for Africa is a 100-kilometre relay from West Kelowna to Partners’ office in Enderby, along highways 97 and 97A.

Last year, 30 runners raised more than $20,000 for microfinance programs helping Ethiopian women create viable small businesses.

“We cannot believe that we are in our 10th year,” said Stephanie Moore, chairperson of the event.

“The day is great coming together with a committed group of people who want to make a real difference in the lives of others.”

Running is a huge deal in Ethiopia with the region producing some of the world’s best endurance athletes.

For A Great Big Run for Africa, runners of all levels can participate in the event but must sign-up in advance.

“We have limited spaces for runners on the highway so anyone interested in running must contact us in advance,” said Crystal Flaman, one of the organizers.

Funds raised go to help impoverished Ethiopian women’s programs that provide micro-financing, literacy, numeracy and skills training so they may have a better chance of lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.

Runners collect pledges and donations – just $70 is all it takes to help one impoverished woman start her own small business in Ethiopia.

“To participate, please contact myself or Partners in the Horn of Africa’s office in advance so we may slot you into the day as it is a relay format and we have limited space for participants,” said Moore, who can be reached by e-mail at

Or contact Raffaele Teodonno at 250-838-2111 or or visit