On 30 August thousands of people will descend on Perth’s CBD to take part in the annual City2Surf running festival. Among the participants will be 11-year-old Jacob and his parents, Simon and Mel.
This will be the first time Jacob (pictured above with his mum) has ever done any long-distance running. In fact, it was actually a school project that spurred this Grade 6 student from Joondalup into action. “We were doing a speech at school about poverty and people, who are less fortunate than us, and we were researching it and I just decided I want to do something – a 12km run,” says a chuckling Jacob.
Each week Jacob heads down to the local park or jumps onto the treadmill with his trusty training partners, his parents, whom he says “are trying to keep up with me!” Jacob is well on his way to achieving his goal of 12km by August, having already ticked 5km and 6km off his list, which “were hard but not too hard”.
“I like to listen to my music while I run and I like to see how far I can go,” he says. “It feels like an achievement for me – 7km is coming next.”
Jacob is taking on this mighty challenge to help children and their families in Nepal whose lives have been devastated by two powerful earthquakes that struck the small Himalayan country only two weeks apart children like Ayush who, while the same age as Jacob, now has neither a home nor a school.
Jacob may never meet Ayush but he knows that the funds his friends and family are donating towards his cause will help “kids around the world that don’t have it as good as I do”.
“It makes me feel really good to know I`m helping to save people’s lives in Nepal,” he adds.
At the beginning of June, Jacob set himself a fundraising target of $200, which he has smashed in just three weeks! He now says he wants to reach $1,000: “I am getting close. I’m already at $700!”
Jacob’s story is truly coming full circle. From an idea that was born in his classroom here in Australia, to a challenge that will see him help other children some 8,000km away return to school. Amazing effort, Jacob!
ChildFund Australia would like to thank Jacob for taking on this mighty challenge to help children who’ve lost homes and schools in Nepal’s earthquake-affected villages.