Cambodia Run Challenge raises over US$125,000 to combat poverty
Funds raised by the Challenge will help to create concrete, sustainable change in rural communities
THE second iteration of the Cambodia Run Challenge (the Challenge) will see three volunteer runners cover 330km in seven days. The Challenge continues its mission to raise awareness of poverty in Cambodia by passing through some of the poorest villages between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and works to raise funds for Temple Garden Foundation (TGF).
Founded in 2008, TGF works in partnership with impoverished rural villages in the Chi Kraeng district of Cambodia to improve livelihoods through sustainable development and the empowerment of communities.
On December 2, Mark Ferguson, Jonathan Gordon and Alex Reinert, will begin their cross-country odyssey in Phnom Penh, before capping off their journey with the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon in Siem Reap on December 8.
The Challenge has garnered much attention and successfully hit its initial goal of US$100,000 weeks after its relaunch in September, and is now working towards its stretch goal of US$200,000, buoyed by the generous support of donors and supporters. All proceeds will be funnelled to TGF’s activities in four key areas: children’s education, health, income generation, and sanitation.
“We are very excited to once again hit the road for the Cambodia Run Challenge,” says Challenger founder and runner, Mark Ferguson. “The first run in 2017 was a memorable and inspiring experience which pushed our personal boundaries in the name of doing good. I look forward to hitting the road again in this beautiful country with new runners Jonathan and Alex.”
According to the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2019 (MPI), 37.2% of Cambodia’s population still live in poverty despite the country seeing one of the largest reductions in its MPI value (7.1 per cent a year). An additional 21% of Cambodians are marked as vulnerable to poverty. Although most Cambodians are living above the poverty line, the World Bank has reported that a reduction of US$0.50 in consumption per capita for each Cambodian would potentially double the country’s poverty rate.
“It’s a pleasure for TGF to team up once again with the Cambodia Run Challenge,” says Brad Levitt, cochair of TGF. “The efforts of the runners go a long way in supporting our initiatives, which have empowered 59 villages and over 50,000 villagers through programmes for vocational training, childhood education, reducing childhood malnutrition and more. With the funds raised by the Challenge, we are able to continue our work to create concrete, sustainable change in the communities we touch.”
Through TGF’s work, 88% of the households in the communities they are involved in have access to working latrines, double the national average. Over 40,000 enjoy sustainable access to improved water sources, leading to an 83% reduction in waterborne disease cases in the community since 2012.
The Cambodia Run Challenge is also supported by Manulife Cambodia, Contcept Communication and Salween Group Pte Ltd.
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