The UGM Runners’ Blog: Top Tips for Kicking off your Fundraising

The UGM Runners’ Blog: Top Tips for Kicking off your Fundraising

  Welcome to the Uganda Marathon Runners’ Blog! Our series of blogs dedicated to our participants preparing to take part in this year’s event. Over the coming weeks, we’ll share suggestions to help in your preparations for the 7-Day adventure, from training tips to fundraising and travel advice. Written by a former participant, these blogs are all about supporting our group of 2019 runners – please feel free to get in touch if you have questions or topic suggestions – we’d love to hear from you!   The 2019 edition of the Uganda Marathon aims to fundraise more for our partnered Charity Projects than ever before, and leave an even bigger impact in Masaka! And the key to that… YOU! Our incredible bunch of 2019 International Runners. Many of you have already started fundraising which is amazing! But if you haven’t yet, with now just under 100 days to go until Race Day, what better time to start? Whether you’ve already begun and you’re looking for some more ideas to mix things up, or you’re yet to set up your online fundraising page, here are 9 tips to get your fundraising off to a great start…     1. Getting started – chose your cause! As with anything, the hardest part can often just be getting started. But once you do, it won’t be long before those donations start rolling in! The first step in your fundraising is a simple one – from our selection of projects, choose the top three which resonate the most with you. Think about the causes which align with your passions, as this will give you added motivation...
How you make a difference and leave a legacy!

How you make a difference and leave a legacy!

There have been several scandals recently highlighting the dangers of poorly managed overseas aid work. From Oxfam – one of the world’s largest charities – being involved in misconduct, to the BBC recently reporting on the mismanagement of orphanages and foster homes in Uganda itself. Here at The Uganda Marathon, we’re incredibly proud of our approach to helping the communities we work with and support. Offering a hand up, not a hand out. We take our lead from the local communities we serve, not the other way round. And we’re extremely passionate about fighting poor practice – especially orphanages. There are a very few number of legitimate orphanages in Uganda. It is a sad fact that some unscrupulous people see children as a means of making money, rather than as incredible but vulnerable people who need fostering and rehabilitation back to their family to thrive. Orphanages are, sadly, big business – and many actively encourage mothers and guardians to place their children with them to increase foreign aid / donations.  Our community partnerships manager, Andy Bownds, shares his thoughts on how we discourage such behaviour below.   ” I am based in Masaka full time and work alongside 6 other full time Ugandan staff and a 4 strong Ugandan board. Who are dedicated not only to ensuring that you have the best possible visit to Uganda but also leave an incredible positive legacy! We do this through a strict application, monitoring and evaluation and accountability process. This is how it works: Application Process– All projects that are funded through the marathon go through this level of due diligence. They...
Interview with a Family of UGM Runners – The Stygers

Interview with a Family of UGM Runners – The Stygers

. Here we interview runners who have participated in the Uganda Marathon, so they can share their stories and experiences from the 7-Day Adventure. After all, it’s their involvement which makes the week so special, from the impact they have on the Charity Projects, to the community feel they give to Race Day. Seb & Sara, with their children Gabriel & Chloe, joined us in Uganda as they were looking for an experience they could all enjoy as a family. Below, they tell us about their expectations, working together to achieve their fundraising target, their experiences in Uganda, Race day (which fell on Chloe’s birthday!) and why afterwards, they sum up the week as ‘the best trip we’ve done together so far’.     What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon? Now that our kids are into their teenage years, we wanted to do something together, a journey beyond the usual work/school experience, to bond as a family while investing a bit of ourselves to support others. In our constant ideological battle with our kids, digitally over-exposed and increasingly drawn to consumerism as many teenagers are, we thought it would be beneficial to get them to see other views of the world and hopefully instil a sense of gratitude and empathy for people that may not have been as fortunate. When a friend talked to us about the Uganda Marathon, we saw it had the potential of bringing us on a journey to Africa, to support some great organisations, and to make us work as a team for the fundraising project – all while helping us become a bit more fit in the...
A Black Friday Like No Other! Prices Are Going Up This Weekend

A Black Friday Like No Other! Prices Are Going Up This Weekend

This weekend, we are reshaping Black Friday to help disadvantaged Ugandan entrepreneurs! We have a challenge for you… This Black Friday weekend, we have increased the prices across all of Uganda Marathon packages by 10%, with the difference going to help a young Ugandan entrepreneur start their journey in business. We are asking you to buck the trend and pass on your savings from all the Black Friday deals out there, use this holiday to make an incredible difference in the life of a disadvantaged youth in Uganda. Just £200 can make a life-changing difference to 10 youths, helping them to start their journey in business and pull themselves out of poverty. So by signing up over Black Friday weekend and paying an increased registration fee, you are starting your legacy early by changing lives in rural Uganda. Welcome to a Black Friday Like No Other! This project is run by Rural Community Initiative for Development, one of the Uganda Marathon partner projects. Registering for the Uganda Marathon requires you to fill in a registration form and pay a deposit. If you would like to donate more or less in our Black Friday offer, please do talk to our...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Mitchell Omer

Interview with a UGM Runner – Mitchell Omer

. Here we interview runners who have participated in the Uganda Marathon, so they can share their stories and experiences from the 7-Day Adventure. After all, it’s their involvement which makes the week so special, from the impact they have on the Charity Projects, to the community feel they give to Race Day. Mitchell signed up for the event having never run a marathon before, deciding to do two in the space of six-weeks as he had already been accepted to the London Marathon! Looking for a very different holiday experience, he joined us for the chance to visit Uganda, to push outside of his comfort zone and to get involved with a charity effort abroad!    1. What made you sign up? My friend Alex! He was already signed up for the upcoming event. Specifically though, after thinking about it, there were three main reasons… I believe pushing outside of your normal comfort zones builds strength, confidence and ultimately happiness. What better way to do this than by travelling to and running a marathon in Uganda!? Uganda offers some of the most incredible rainforests, wildlife and freshwater lakes in the world and this was a great way to experience it. It seemed like a great way to support fundraising for a third world country, something I had never done before.   2. You signed up for the Uganda Marathon having never run a marathon…but then ran the London Marathon and Uganda Marathon in the space of only 6 weeks! What an achievement!! How did the two events vary? London felt a lot more pressurised where I aimed for...
Interview with a team of UGM Runner – King’s Ely School

Interview with a team of UGM Runner – King’s Ely School

Here we interview runners who have participated in the Uganda Marathon, so they can share their stories and experiences from the 7-Day Adventure. After all, it’s their involvement which makes the week so special, from the impact they have on the Charity Projects, to the community feel they give to Race Day. A team of seven joined us from King’s Ely School in Cambridgeshire, collectively fundraising a staggering £23,000 for the Masaka community! From the team Richard, Kathleen, Alison and (7-year-old) Eleanor, share their stories from the adventure. Below they discuss why they signed up, their fundraising experience, visiting the Charity Projects, and their different perspectives of race day, where some of them spectated and some of them ran the marathon!     What made each of you sign up for the Uganda Marathon? Richard: Having never run a marathon I wanted my first to be unforgettable and for me, the chance to return to the land of my birth (over 56 years ago!) was one not to be overlooked. All I needed was one last push and that came from the acceptance of the Uganda Marathon as our school charity for the year and the encouragement of three further colleagues to form a team. We were also joined by my wife and a team member’s mother and daughter to swell our number to 7. The date was set and the challenge was on. Alison: Within 5 minutes of Richard, a colleague, mentioning that he was thinking of running a marathon in Uganda, I had been to the website and emailed him to say I was in! As a very keen...
Something new – an insight into life from our team in Uganda

Something new – an insight into life from our team in Uganda

Time for something new! Every two weeks we’ll be bringing you an update into life in Uganda, from our team on the ground that not only organises the race, but supports and evaluates the charity work year round! – Written by Andy Bownds and the Uganda team If you are reading this you are a joining us on a journey as this is our first ever project focused blog. We are going to be taking you through the daily running of the Uganda Marathon Masaka office, and how we work throughout the year to ensure the Uganda Marathon projects are working towards sustainability. Today though I want to introduce you to our office and the epicenter of all our work. Based right in the next to Masaka Towns Taxi Park our office is in the hustle and bustle of the community. In and amongst shops, restaurants, saloons, internet cafes, phone repair outlets and copied movie stores the office seems to absorb this energy and have a constant buzz. With an open door policy we have constant stream of wide variety of guests from local officials like the Mayor of Masaka coming to tell us about events and developments taking place in town. To members of the deaf community helping us recycle plastic bottles. To the town’s loudest street preacher who comes for water to sooth his throat from our water filter. To project leads coming for specific training. It is for this reason that our office has become a real part of the community and everyone in Masaka knows where to find us and that they will always be...
Interview with a UGM Runner – Edwin Lampert

Interview with a UGM Runner – Edwin Lampert

  Here we interview runners who have participated in the Uganda Marathon, so they can share their stories and experiences from the 7-Day Adventure. After all, it’s their involvement which makes the week so special, from the impact they have on the Charity Projects, to the community feel they give to Race Day. Edwin, as part of his own charity’s work, was looking for an epic challenge to participate in and found the Uganda Marathon. Below, he tells us how he tied in his Ugandan adventure to his organisation’s work, took on his first-ever half marathon, went gorilla trekking and more!   1. What made you sign up for the Uganda Marathon? Could you tell us about the cause you fundraised for? In 2015 I set up a charity in memory of my father called The Brun Bear Foundation. We resolved to support three categories of causes that we felt my father would approve of and to fundraise for these causes in four distinct ways: through the sale of a series of children’s books I have written and proceeds from associated merchandise and activities; community events; supper clubs and an annual epic challenge. The fourth fundraising activity – the annual epic challenge – means I am always on the look out for, well, epic challenges. And when I learnt about the Uganda Marathon it certainly met the bill! I attended one of Henry’s talks to learn more – and here I met Henry, Julia and not long after Andy. It was clear to me that this was a special group of people, doing special things and I wanted to be...
Organise a Sports Day Like No Other: KidsRunWild

Organise a Sports Day Like No Other: KidsRunWild

  The fourth day in the 7-Day Adventure sees our International Runners organise a sports day for disadvantaged children in Uganda. We invite the youngsters from the Charity Projects who work with children, so attendees will come from local schools, orphanages and other youth-based initiatives. For those children who have experienced KidsRunWild before, they literally countdown the days to the event each year! And they’re not the only ones who look forward to this day and look back on it with fond memories – many of our Internationals Runners describe it as one of their favourite parts of the week!   The Meaning Behind the Day For the children of Masaka, the day represents a unique experience, as in the school national curriculum, especially in rural areas, there tends to be a lack of focus on sport, so the day represents the opportunity for children to participate in fun, competitive sporting events. Many of us consider sport and being active as a key component of a healthy lifestyle, as well as a theme for bringing communities together, which this day hopes to encourage amongst the children. We also host the event in the hopes that by exposing local children to competitive sport at a young age, not only will it encourage them to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle, but also inspire them with the option to potentially become Uganda’s future professional athletes. After all, whilst Uganda is in the same region as Kenya and Ethiopia, it still produces a fraction of the elite professionals compare to its neighbours. We’d love to see some of the children go on to become the next generation...
UGM Guest Blog: Our Story of the Week – By Sejal Majithia-Jaswal & Ash Jaswal

UGM Guest Blog: Our Story of the Week – By Sejal Majithia-Jaswal & Ash Jaswal

  Following their participating in the seven-day Uganda Marathon adventure, Ash and Sejal kindly agreed to share their experience of Uganda with us. Below, they tell us about the volunteer days, visiting the project they fundraised for, the race, and what they got up to in Uganda both before and after the event – which includes a truly special story!   It’s been a few months since we – Ash and Sejal – completed the Uganda Marathon 2018, and so wanted to share our amazing experience of it. As well as this write-up, you can watch a video of our trip here.   Before the race   We’ve been very fortunate to have travelled widely over the years, but this year, to celebrate a landmark birthday, Sejal wanted to do something very special, somewhere very special. When we heard about the Uganda Marathon, we knew this was it. She, along with her entire extended family had been born in Uganda, her grandparents having settled in this ‘Garden of Eden’ from India in 1917. However, as part of the ‘Asian expulsions’ carried out in 1972 on the orders of the then dictator, Idi Amin, Sejal and her family, alongside around 70,000 other Asians, were forced to leave the country on 90 days’ notice with literally just the clothes on their backs. The vast majority of the Asian community never returned, including Sejal, so this trip was something of an emotional homecoming for her. In fact, on day two of our trip, in the middle of nowhere, we found the small missionary clinic where her mother had given birth to her!  ...
Registration for the 2019 event CLOSES on 22nd March. Less than a week to secure your place:Sign up now!
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