Accra International Marathon
28 October 2013
For the countless forgotten children living, homeless, on the streets of Accra and elsewhere in Ghana, exposure to danger is their daily reality—danger of hunger and malnutrition; certainty that they will be uneducated and ill-prepared to overcome the many struggles of life; the probability that they will fall prey to two-legged predators who exploit vulnerable children.Life is a struggle— Ɔbra yɛ ko, as the Akans say—is a familiar truism, a fact of life daunting even for adults living with relative privilege. But a day in the life of a child living on the streets of Accra is harrowing: in inclement weather, they cower; with no assurance of adequate, nutritious food, their physical and mental growth is stunted; with little or no education, their development and future prospects are diminished; with scant protection from life’s many assaults, many perish.Without intervention from caring communities, chances are these children will continue living in danger.
The start line for the full marathon (26.2 miles) is near the Central University front gate in the lovely beach resort town of Prampram while that of the half-marathon starts at the GHAPOHA buildings, near the harbor entrance in Tema.
One such caring community resource is Chance for Children (CFC), a local charity dedicated to ensuring that, in the words of co-founder Amon Kotey, “Accra’s street children experience love and security” and receive sound educational and vocational training.Every month, CFC supports hundreds of these at-risk kids in many ways. There is the drop-in center, where non-residential kids can eat, bathe, and enjoy at least temporary respite from street life. There are also secure, residential marathoners running in the rain facilities, where over 60 children are boarded under caring adult supervision and are able to complete schooling in relative safety. There are opportunities to undergo vocational training or further studies to enable these children to take control of their lives and become productive members of their communities. Where appropriate, Chance for Children also supports numerous youths in their family settings and reaches out to administer to hundreds of children on the streets.Once again, the Accra International Marathon (AIM) is AIMing to Care for our Children by supporting CFC as one of this year’s Charity Partners. Chance for Children offers at-risk street children the opportunity to be safe, loved, well fed, and better equipped to increase their chances of developing their potential and achieving happiness.The AIM Charity Partner matching funds program supports those who help themselves by matching funds raised by the Partners. Charity Champions champion the cause in various ways. This year, you can AIM to Care as a Charity Champion simply by registering a relay team or teams to participate in AIM, scheduled for October. You will be supported to achieve your victory, and you will enjoy the accolades and celebration that is the due of every champion.