One of the last things I did in Mayana was helping to start organizing a petition run to support the community in Mayana and their needs. So together with Klaus I started looking for people who were interested in bringing change to their community and literally would be willing to go the extra mile for that. So I got the center team to announce at the end of their church services that we would have an introduction meeting at the center to inform the community about the idea of doing a petition run from Mayana all the roughly 800km to Windhoek. Although many people were concerned about wild animals attacking them along the way fortunately about 15 people showed up to the meeting. I knew then and there that this crew would not be the final runners but it was nice to see people being curious and some new faces than the usual for a change.
We informed the curious group about the idea – and by the look on their faces we could just tell that they thought “white people are wack”. But we got them on board by explaining the concept of the run, the conditions, brainstorming about the petition and most of all that this was their chance to put Mayana on the map and change the attitude of the government towards the “forgotten people” from the East Kavango Region. Thanks to Klaus the idea became the “Harambee Challenge” and the teams from both sides started working together.
So how is this going to work: there will be 8 people from the community and 8 from the MCP network who are each going to run, jog or walk 25km per day from Mayana to Windhoek for over 3 days. When reaching Windhoek the community is going to hand in a petition to a member of the government of their choice – and surely they chose the president. So over the past few weeks the local team aged from 12 to 36 has been working on putting together the petition that covers their needs and concerns in the
areas of education, health, water supply, electricity, sanitation and business
development – just to mention a few. But read for yourself: Petition Mayana Community
So since July 2016 besides organizing the whole thing from this side there was also a lot of training to be done in Mayana! The local team was provided with the proper gear and training videos to prepare. Also since the drought hit the community hard and there is no drinking water and only limited resources for a healthy diet available the runners were supported by MCP to keep fit and strong as well.
On April 6th 2017 the MCP-team is flying to Namibia to complete the race to Windhoek together with the runners from Mayana. And guess what: the race will also happen on April 28th 2017 in Germany. A group will run together with Joseph from Leipzig to the Namibian Embassy in Berlin. So if you would like to support the cause of the people in Mayana, you can make your way to the embassy in Berlin at roughly 5pm, meet us there and sign their petition. HARAMBEE!!!
In case you’ve be wondering: Sorry, not running myself – just bought the shirt 😉