Your contribution is extremely valuable! Thanks so much to all who have contributed, and if you haven’t please contribute here and share the link in your networks:
Thanks for all the help with donations, spreading the word, sending positive energies, etc.!
And thanks to UNESCO and Peace and Sport for their ongoing support!
The amount raised so far allows funding one and a half Sport for Life Youth Leadership Camps, which means empowering 30-50 youth to become multiplier facilitators, who will provide kids in their communities opportunities they would never have. Our fundraising target is 4x the current level, and we trust that with your help we can still get there. Even if we don’t, in our “just do it” mindset, our projects will always go forward with a strong commitment to maximize impact – we need to be more creative reducing required resources, or finding alternatives.
To give you a flavour of what these young facilitators can do: yesterday I took part in the Desportu ba Moris (Sport for Life) event in Lenuk Hun, a small village in the Camea suku, Cristo Rei sub-municipality, in the Dili municipality. On a straight line, this is just 4.2 km away from my home in Dili (I can actually see the event location from my door!), but it took over 1 hour just to walk up the mountain (see location on Google Maps). And despite this being still part of the Dili (capital) municipality, living standards are extremely basic – often subsistence agriculture, needing to walk down and up the mountain to attend school, fetch water or access healthcare… I am a marathon runner and was tired walking up the mountain once… despite not carrying the litres of water I saw several women carrying! Respect.
The event was relatively small, with around 30 kids participating, and 12 co-organizers (as expected, since it was in a rural area with a small community). The co-organizers were youth from the Lenuk Hun village, who during the week were trained by youth from nearby Camea village, who 2 weeks ago had been trained by a facilitator who graduated from the first Youth Leadership Camp in July, which was mainly facilitated by SportImpact’s Head Facilitator, Virginia da Graça.
This is the multiplier pyramid effect! Youth engaging in Sport for Life know that they are learning to apply and to teach others, not just to “learn”. And it was extremely inspiring and energizing to see that happening so vividly on the top of the mountain yesterday morning. Our vision is to have these empowering dynamics replicated all around Timor-Leste, through this movement of volunteer youth facilitators who train other youth who train other youth, and so on. It is happening. And it is a marathon, not a sprint – we’ll keep working hard and make it reality.
By the way, the budget for the workshop and event was $10, which was how much the ten participants in the Lenuk Hun workshop paid to register ($1 each – basically spent to print a color certificate). Which means that these activities run on the most powerful renewable fuel ever invented: human energy.
My mental, emotional and spiritual shapes are awesome! My physical shape is good, although my left foot has not recovered 100% from a plantar fasciitis after the Bali Marathon. The foot and the heat create some uncertainty, but I trust a time close to the one in Bali (2h58’56”) is feasible. Depending on competitors, that could mean a top-10 place. There is (too) generous prize money for the first 10 in the Dili Marathon and I pledge to donate to SportImpact projects any prize I may get from the race.
If you are in Dili, come run as well (7k, 21k or 42k) or at least cheer runners! If you’re not here, send positive telepathic vibes!
Thanks so much!