Walkathon planned to benefi t Ugandan orphanage

In just a few short years the volunteers of T.O.U.C.H. Ministries and their supporters have done much for a village in Uganda, but the need

In just a few short years the volunteers of T.O.U.C.H. Ministries and their supporters have done much for a village in Uganda, but the need is still there for more.

As a result, another six kilometre walkathon is being planned, said organizer Sherry Wiebe. The event takes place on Sept. 22 beginning at 9 a.m. from Sylvan Lake Alliance Community Church.

Proceeds will go towards another dorm with a trade classroom at the orphanage and classroom facilities in Ogooma, Uganda.

“Those who were part of last year’s walk-a-thon will be able to tell you what a great time was had by all, and about all the funds collected for this non-profit organization,” said Wiebe. Because she’d like people of Sylvan Lake to see for themselves the differences made and the hearts that have been touched, she’s offering a first prize for the person with the most paid pledges. That person will receive $2,000 towards a trip to the project in Uganda.

“In July of 2011, we brought Rosemary Akiteng from Africa, who is our project manager, but who is also known as “Mommy” to 41 orphans. She made 32 presentations in schools and churches in our area, thanking all the people who have so generously donated in helping this community get back on its feet,” said Wiebe.

“When there is so much poverty it takes time to rebuild and educate a community, but we have come so far in just two short years. What went from bare land, is now a home to 41 orphans, with a church/nursery school and fields with blossoming crops.”

Sept 16th, 2010 marked the opening day of the T.O.U.C.H. orphanage where the neediest of children were chosen to make this their new home.

“When Rosemary was in our local schools, she shared the importance of early child education. Through these presentations, Fox Run School, Sylvan Lake, and Notre Dame School, Red Deer, each sponsored to have a classroom built,” said Wiebe.

“I was in Africa in early 2011 and then again in the early part of 2012. Words cannot express how much those children have changed. Not only physically, but also in education and learning to speak English,” she said.

The need continues as there are still approximately 280 more children in this village who are orphans. So the local group continues to help this area towards becoming a self-sufficient community.

“That being said, I have set up another six kilometre walk-a-thon in which all proceeds will go towards another dorm with a trade classroom,” said Wiebe. “I am inviting everyone, young or old to join this great cause. There is no time limit, so come on out and enjoy a walk in our beautiful community, followed by a celebration barbecue.

“You can become a walker for the walk-a-thon by collecting sponsors or if you simply wish to donate that is great also. Any donation of $20 or more is tax receiptable.

If you would like more information on how to join, to help financially, or, better yet, join a guided trip to Africa, call Sherry anytime at 403-357-9551. “I would be more than happy to help you with any questions you may have.”