24 Oct

Running Against Ebola

Kudzai makes a speech in Sierra Leone

A 22 year old student from Mill Hill, North London has been inspired to raise funds for Ebola victims after spending two months in Sierra Leone this summer. Kudzai Makopa will take part in the Big Fun Run in Victoria Park tomorrow Saturday 25 October to aid the fight against the virus after seeing first-hand its deadly effect on African communities.

Now in his third year at the University of Sussex studying Human Geography and International Development, he says: “I recently spent two months in Sierra Leone with VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas). In the first week of my arrival in May, the first confirmed case of Ebola in the country was announced.

“Unfortunately, I left the country after two of the planned three months due to the Ebola virus spreading to the district where I was living. While I was there much of my work was focussed on the dissemination of information about the signs and symptoms of Ebola, hoping to help stem the spread of the disease.

“Unfortunately, there is now 1100 confirmed cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone and nearly 4000 in West Africa as a whole. The death toll stands at around 2000 and shows little sign of slowing.” Kudzai is running to raise funds for humanitarian aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) - translated as Doctors Without Borders.

He continues: “MSF was an ever present sight in Sierra Leone and with nearly 2000 staff in West Africa, they are doing incredible amounts to help with control and treat what is the largest Ebola epidemic ever.

The Victoria Park Big Fun Run will be the first organised event he has taken part in. To sponsor Kudzai, visit the Just Giving website.

The Big Fun Runs are 5km untimed runs staged within scenic settings throughout the UK from July to October 2014. There are 17 locations to choose from. The Big Fun Runs help raise funds for over 50 partner charities.