Sunday, October 22nd, 2019 was an overcast and dark day, but Wesley College staff still participated in their first ever race. Seven staff members from Wesley College ran the 5 kilometer race as part of the Rock City Marathon while I ran the half-marathon, 21 kilometers. Not only was it a lot of fun to promote something new to the staff, but it was also inspiring to watch them come together around this city wide event. It was also exciting to see them work together for the sake of their students.
Wesley College is dedicated to building up the community through education. Many of the students at Wesley College come from impoverished backgrounds and are the first ones in their family to attend college. On average 40% of Wesley College students receive some kind of financial assistance so that they can finish their certificates or diplomas programs. So the staff decided to see how they could contribute by finding people to sponsor them in the race with the funds going towards the scholarship fund from which Wesley College supports its students. The staff were able to raise 900,000/= towards scholarships which covers one year of school fees for a diploma student.
This benefits students like Neema* who was orphaned at a young age and grew up with a neighbor, who provided for the basic needs, but could not afford to send someone from outside of the family to school. Neema received a scholarship for her first year at Wesley College and finished her certificate in community development. Due to her effort and energy in class the staff took an immediate liking to her and even helped her with money to get back and forth from her field practicum, a requirement for all students. The chance for her to be able to return and finish her diploma in community development is a huge step towards lifting her out of poverty and ensuring that she has a foundation for her life which would have otherwise left her without a family and without a future.
I am very thankful to all the Wesley College staff who participated, raised funds, and made sure that students like Neema can finish their education. And I am thankful that I didn't wake up too sore on Monday morning.