Kids, Kenya, toilets, running.
What could these seemingly random things have to do with one another?
The Kids for Kenya Toilet Run is an annual athletic fundraising event organized by Hamilton’s Adventure Running Kids (ARK) to support sanitation programs associated with a Hamilton charity called Connecting Countries. Local community youth come together to participate in a 1km, 2km, or 3km cross-country obstacle race.
The goal of this oddly named event is to raise money for the construction of sanitary facilities for primary schools in Kenya. Around the world, an estimated 2.4 billion people (or one-third of the world’s population) don’t have access to proper sanitation.
With the help of local Hamilton “extreme” racer and carpenter Paul Trebilcock, and Canadian Olympic Marathon Runner Reid Coolsaet, this year’s race raised upwards of $5000 to support the Latrine Building Program affiliated with Connecting Countries.
The program connects North American schools, businesses, and citizens to students in Kenya, using fundraising dollars to build latrines – over 170 since 2005. Proper latrines ensure fewer absences from school due to sanitation-related illnesses, shorter wait times for toilets so students can enjoy more class time, and improved privacy, safety and dignity for all who use them.
The Toilet Run has built itself a significant reputation since its inception in 2012. The first year hosted 61 kids. This year 2017, more than 140 young runners participated. Kids participating in the run can expect a fun, active obstacle course featuring hay bales, tunnels, and other hurdles, along with food and prizes to round the day out.
Getting local youth out to raise money for their brothers and sisters across the world on another continent is a powerful concept and they always have a lot of fun doing it at the Toilet Run. The Kids for Kenya Toilet Run is a fabulous event for a worthwhile cause and we encourage everyone to join the fun next year!