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5K Run to be Held for African Nation

By Potomac Local News October 11, 2011 10:05 am

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Stafford, Va. -- Ebenezer United Methodist Church, a local Stafford County church, is helping children in Africa by hosting a 5K race and one mile fun run on Oct. 15, 2011. “Go for Bo” is the first race in our area that is focused exclusively on children and health issues in Bo, Sierra Leone, Africa.

In stark contrast to Stafford County’s recent recognition as having the 7th median household income in the United States, Sierra Leone, Africa is perpetually at the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index, ranking low in indicators such as malnutrition, infant and maternal mortality, and life expectancy.

“This is really an area where the church can bring the community together to help others,” stated Lisa Jones, race committee volunteer. “One hundred percent of the proceeds from this race will go to helping the children at the Child Rescue Centre and Mercy Hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone.”

Opened in 2000 to support 40 children, the Child Rescue Centre today supports nearly 250 children providing them shelter, food, clothing, education and a family. Mercy Hospital opened in Bo, Sierra Leone in 2007 to provide medical care regardless of ability to pay and now serves around 900 patients a month and has developed thriving community outreach programs.

Ebenezer Church has supported both the Child Rescue Centre and Mercy Hospital since inception and is helping to promote awareness of the poverty and sex-trafficking of children in that county.

After being ravaged by a 10-year civil war, Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world. A broken infrastructure and endemic poverty impact every area of their lives. There is a 35 percent literacy rate in Sierra Leone, and one in seven women die giving birth. Both the Child Rescue Centre and Mercy Hospital were started to assist children orphaned as a result of civil war.

Today the focus is turning toward assistance provided in response to the alarming prevalence of child trafficking and forced child labor in Africa.

The run starts and finishes at Ebenezer United Methodist Church (161 Embrey Mill Rd. Stafford, VA). The Go For Bo! 5K will use Precision Race timing services to record the results of runners. Each runner is provided a Jaguar disposable bib-chip as part of their race materials. The disposable RFID timing chip is permanently attached to the runner’s bib.

Kids and strollers are welcome, but for safety reasons, please leave your pets at home. For information on the 5K race or 1mile fun run on October 15, go to ebenezerumc.org/goforbo.

-Press release