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1 Nov 2018
My Run From Poverty Experience – Tom Miers
About a month ago I returned from Kenya where I was involved with the Run From Poverty Experience. Every year ADP Consulting sponsors a member of the team to participate and this year I was lucky enough to be selected. To provide some background, the Run From Poverty Experience has been established as one of the main fundraising avenues of the One Heart Foundation, a not-for-profit established by Melbourne based Architect Dean Landy. In just 10 years, Dean with the assistance of the incredible One Heart Team, has established a village with a school that provides around 200 children with a high-quality education. 75 of these children were orphaned or abandoned and now call the One Heart Village home. Here, they live in a safe and secure environment and are loved and looked after by One Heart parents; Jane and Tim, Jacquie and Chris.
To try to capture the whole trip in words would be futile, instead I will attempt to capture the spirit of the Run from Poverty Experience with three of my own experiences from the trip that have made immeasurable impressions on me.
As mentioned previously the Run From Poverty Experience draws in a lot of funds for the One Heart Foundation. This is owing to the commitment that every participant will raise $10,000 in the build up to the event. This is can be a very daunting target to reach. I certainly had my doubts that I’d be able to raise that much before heading off. I was fortunate enough to have immense support from family, friends and colleagues that meant we were able to exceed our target and raise $12,000. What sets this apart from any fundraising experience I have ever been involved with is the opportunity to see the impact that funds you raise have. The trip enables you to see first hand how the money is used and how meaningful it is to the One Heart Village. While we were there, footings for the new home were being excavated before our very eyes. This home will enable One Heart to take on 26 new children that have been orphaned and abandoned to change their life forever.
Meeting my Sponsor Child
It is easily the best thing I have ever done in my life. Doing the marathon with my sponsor child is impossible to describe but here is my attempt. Prior to meeting my sponsor child, Rahab, I was quite anxious about meeting her. I was worried about how we would get along and If I would live up to the expectation that she had of me. When we finally met I could tell she was caught completely off guard, she had not expected me to be on this trip. Rahab is an incredibly shy child, so conversation was not easy to start with but the more we chatted the more she came out of her shell. I presented her with a collage I had made for her of a picture of her and a picture of my family with an inscription of your “Your Aussie Family”. The image of her face lighting up when she saw these pictures will stay with me forever. I then discovered that Rahab and some of her friends were planning to do the full marathon. I asked them to run with me and just like that I had found myself a running team. The run had taken on a whole new shape. I had previously been concerned with what time I would get maintaining a good pace for as long as I could. All of that drifted away and the only thing that mattered was finishing the marathon with my team; Rahab and Brenda. They were nothing short of inspirational. They were cramping up, their shoes didn’t fit properly and they were utterly exhausted by the end of it, but at no stage did they look like they wanted to stop. Sharing that with them has made me feel so deeply connected with Rahab and the One Heart Village. I feel so incredibly lucky and privileged to be able to play a part in Rahab’s bright future. I implore anyone and everyone to start sponsoring a child at the One Heart Village and partake in the Run From Poverty Experience. It will be the best decision you ever make!
Sponsor a child: http://www.oneheartchallenge.org/sponsor-a-child/
Run From Poverty 2019: http://oneheart.foundation/run-from-poverty/
This Wednesday the 12/9/18 is the Run From Poverty Info Night click the link to register!
I want to share a little about the Run From Poverty 2018 team. I didn’t really know any of the other members of the team before leaving for Africa. By the end of the trip I felt like we all knew each other so incredibly well. In the personal development sessions led by Dean, we shared with each other honestly about our aspirations, the impact we wanted to have, who and what inspires and more importantly we were honest about what we felt were our limitations. This drew the group so much closer together. By the end of it, we had laughed so hard that it hurt together, worked on the village together, cried as we left the One Heart Village together, ran the marathon together and enjoyed the Masai Mara safari together.
I’d like to finish by thanking the team for making such an incredible experience: Dean Landy, Jordan Hill, Paula Hearnden, Gareth Hearnden, Sindy Kwok, Gaston Nogues, Tony Gilham, Dylan Gilbert, Catriona Goodey, Shady Gendy, Andrew Welsh and Neville Waterman.