Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Marathon runners support children’s health

In 2012, seven incredible ChildFund supporters set themselves a dual challenge – to run an international marathon and raise significant amounts of money to support health programs in Timor-Leste.

Some runners chose the Paris Marathon in April, while others opted for Dublin’s ‘friendly marathon’ in October. Although divided in geography, they were united in their fundraising efforts to improve healthcare in a country where children die far too often from preventable illnesses. All up, they managed to raise over $62,000 – no small feat – to help educate community health volunteers to spread essential healthcare messages.

With the money raised, 538 community volunteers in the district of Cova Lima have been provided with healthcare training relating to malaria, diarrhoea, dengue, nutrition and malnutrition. Such knowledge is vital in poor, rural communities where access to health services is limited and families may not otherwise know how to identify, prevent or manage disease.

These hard-working volunteers have already started to share what they have learned with their communities. Over 43,000 people have attended outreach sessions in their villages, while another 16,000 have benefited from home visits.

ChildFund has also distributed over 4,000 anti-malaria bed nets to support the work of the volunteers, helping them to educate families about the importance of malaria prevention.

ChildFund Australia and ChildFund Timor-Leste would like to send a heartfelt message of thanks to our 2012 marathon runners for making this work possible. Hayley, Terry and Tom, thank you for running the Paris Marathon. Anjelique, Deni, James and Karly, thank you for running the Dublin Marathon. Your hard work and endless fundraising events are paying off right now for families and communities in Cova Lima, Timor-Leste.

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