The Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt has sponsored a virtual run that took place, in collaboration with Cairo Runners, between 20-27 November 2020.
The aim of the run was to raise awareness on the current global hardships. It also aimed to highlight the indispensable efforts exerted by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) in mitigating the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Egypt.
Sport is considered a great vehicle for spreading positive human values, such as solidarity, social inclusion, and a healthy lifestyle, especially in times when healthcare is of paramount importance.
In view of the current situation, and in adherence with precautionary and safety measures, the run was held virtually. It was announced through a digital campaign that enabled those who wished to participate to sign up during the designated week, indicate the day and distance they wish to run and log off by completing their run.
Runners participated in the race either individually or in a group. Once each individual run was completed, the distance they covered was added to a virtual trail that portrays the distance between Switzerland and Egypt which is equivalent to 2,974 KM.
The run was successful, and managed to garner the interest of over 800 runners who completed a total distance of 4,000 km, exceeding the set expectations. People from all backgrounds and age brackets participated in different ways, in Egypt and abroad.
“It was thrilling to see so many people take part of the run in these difficult times,” said Paul Garnier, Ambassador of Switzerland in Egypt, “The persistence of people to contribute in a virtual sports event in order to serve a good cause, gives us hope and encourages us to further support our partners increase their resilience and continue their pivotal work.”
All the proceeds of the run will go to Terre Des Hommes (TDH), to provide for their project supporting self-reliant refugees and asylum seekers by offering them food vouchers.
Amidst the pandemic, and with the closure of businesses and risks of contagion, many refugees lost their jobs for months. Food vouchers are an effective and efficient way to assist those in need.
“Terre Des Hommes is very proud to be associated with this initiative that supports vulnerable families and children from refugees and asylum seekers communities,” said Laure Baudin, Country Representative for the organisation, “The impact of COVID-19 is likely severe, as families face increasing and serious obstacles in covering basic needs and accessing adequate services due to their continuing precarious situation, loss of jobs, and lack of access to financial assistance.”
She added, “In addition to the economic consequences, the psychosocial impact of the pandemic is also significant as families and children feel stressed, anxious, and worried.”
The contribution provided by the Embassy of Switzerland will allow the amelioration of children’s nutrition, and single parents will not be pressured to leave their young ones to go to work.