Running the Grand to Grand to Help END NTDs
Apr 26, 2016
By: James Porter, Associate Director, External Relations
As a runner training for my first marathon
in November, I find the idea of running 26.2 miles (42.2 km) daunting. The longest distance I have run to-date has been a half marathon, which also was no small feat.
However, when I heard that David Barnard, Vice President: Africa at TechSoup
was going to be running the equivalent of almost six and a half marathons over seven days on behalf of the END Fund, I was equally impressed and humbled.
I’m proud to introduce David and look forward to hearing more about his journey to raise funds and awareness for NTDs, as he trains for the Grand to Grand Ultra Marathon
By: David Barnard
, Vice President: Africa at TechSoup, and Advisory Board Member of the ONE Campaign in Africa
I have been participating in multi-stage desert foot races
in some of the most remote parts of the world since 2010 – from the Kalahari, Namib and Sahara Deserts in Africa, to the Gobi Desert in China, from the Atacama Desert in Chile to the most extreme of them all, The Last Desert Race
in 2014 in Antarctica.
I enter these events not only for the physical challenge associated with running self-supported through the deserts of the world, but also to raise money and awareness for organizations at the forefront of responding to many key development challenges facing Africa. In the recent past, I have used my desert runs to support the work of the ONE Campaign
in Africa, Greenpeace Africa
and The Sunflower Fund
, an organization helping people suffering from leukaemia in South Africa.
Supporting these organizations is not only a personal commitment linked to my passion for desert running, but it also relates closely to my work with TechSoup
, equipping organizations in Africa and beyond with the technology required to maximize their development impact.
My next desert race is the 273km Grand to Grand Ultra
this September in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon in the US, for which I am dedicating my participation to the END Fund's work in Africa.
After meeting END Fund CEO, Ellen Agler
, and COO, Sarah Marchal Murray
, at an event in October 2015 in Rwanda, I was immediately impressed by their ambitious agenda, commitment, and achievements to date, and decided to support their cause with this run. Without the work of the END Fund, and other like-minded organizations, NTDs will continue to have an impact on people’s quality of life and ability to achieve their full potential.
I will use the period before, during and immediately after the Grand to Grand Ultra to raise awareness and money for the work of the END Fund, and contribute to increased public understanding of NTDs and their devastating impact, especially in Africa.
Please support my fundraising campaign
and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.
Together, we can END NTDs!
Follow updates about my preparations for the race and work in support of the END Fund on Facebook
, and via the END Fund’s various online platforms, including future updates here on Engaging Noteworthy Dialogue