The Uganda Marathon is working to help projects all around Uganda, what makes this unique is that the money you raise will go to supporting the projects that you feel passionate about, the projects that you choose. Andy is our man in the field, finding the projects that you want to support and working with you to connect your amazing efforts with the people in Africa who need them most. Below is his story…
My name is Andrew Bownds and on the surface I am a very ordinary middle class English man. But I am currently living my dream, working in the Uganda Marathon team 2015. This is how I got here!
I remember the exact moment when I decided I wanted to work “helping the poor”. I was thirteen walking into my bedroom where I saw a book case. It was full of books that I’m pretty sure neither I nor anyone else had read. It was at this point it struck me that I had soo much stuff and others in the world had soo little. My mother then walked into the room and upon asking me how my day was, I replied “I have decided I want to help the poor”. Since this moment I started squirrelling money away for time where I would get to live this dream.
My career has been focused on trying to break into the charity sector. This has taken me on some unusual paths, I have become a professional clown ‘SOX’ and dressed up in drag in a class A prison performing Abba’s “Money Money Money”. But in the last three years I have focused on working in a London based supported housing charity, helping adults who suffer from learning disabilities, mental health and have forensic back grounds reintegrate back into the community.
In this role I have been fast tracked into management and have set up and run a supported housing unit in central London for the past 2 years. I have learnt on my feet and I have had to use my considerable blagging skills many a time to get me out of difficult situations. But I have walked away with project management experience, working with challenging behaviours and implementing systems, all in high pressure situations.
Running has always been an interest which I put down to being a middle child in a family of four boys, which naturally means I have a competitive nature. Running has helped channel this competitiveness as I can both challenge others as well myself to run harder and faster.
So now after quitting my management job in London, I am on the verge of living the dream. Running the first Uganda Marathon and implementing systems which ensure money raised is maximised to help as many people as possible in a lasting sustainable way!!
All I need to know now is how do you think your money could make the biggest difference in Uganda?
Talk to Andy to make sure your fundraising goes to the places that you care about.Let's get social! Stay up to date with amazing news and photos from Uganda, plus race tips and more: