In October 2010, SANGONeT’s Executive Director, David Barnard, participated in the seven-day, 250 km Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon (KAEM) as part of SANGONeT's 2010 fundraising activities.
Under the campaign slogan of “No Pain, No Gain”, David completed this grueling race in 17th position overall and raised a significant amount money in support of SANGONeT’s activities.
Now, a year later, David is preparing to take on an even more extreme race as part of SANGONeT’s fundraising activities for 2011.
As part of a new revamped “No Pain, No Gain” campaign, David will participate in the Sahara Race from 2-8 October 2011 in Egypt.
The Sahara Race forms part of the 4 Deserts endurance footrace series. This is a unique collection of world-class races that take place over seven days and 250 km in the largest and most forbidding deserts on the planet. Competitors must go beyond the limits of their physical and mental endurance. Running self-supported in the most inhospitable climates and formidable landscapes, competitors must carry all their own food, clothes and compulsory safety/survival equipment for the duration of the race, and are only provided with drinking water and an overnight tent.
The 4 Deserts series, named again by TIME magazine in 2010 as one of the world's Top 10 endurance competitions, comprises the Atacama Crossing in Chile, the Gobi March in China, the Sahara Race in Egypt and The Last Desert in Antarctica. The Sahara Desert is the hottest desert in the world, and temperatures on the course could reach as high as 50°C.
Often, NGOs and charities link their fundraising activities to the participation of people in various sporting events (e.g. marathons and ultra-marathons such as the Comrades Marathon, Iron Man, etc). However, it is not common practice for staff members of these organisations, or in this case the Executive Director, to take up the challenge on behalf of his/her organisation. Furthermore, the Sahara Race is clearly a very unique physical challenge to be linked with fundraising activities.
The race goes way beyond merely covering 250 km in extreme conditions; it is a challenge to get past what many people would regard as crazy, and achieve one’s personal goals.
Money raised during the campaign will be used to expand key SANGONeT services such as NGO Pulse, Prodder and SANGOTeCH in support of NGOs in South Africa and other parts of Africa.
However, given the focus and scope of SANGONeT's work, the aim of David’s participation in the Sahara Race is not only to raise money for SANGONeT, but also to raise awareness and support for other NGOs at the forefront of development and community work in South Africa.
With this in mind, SANGONeT will give five South African NGOs the opportunity to link their own fundraising / awareness-raising efforts to David’s participation in the Sahara Race.
Organisations which have already confirmed their participation include the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Starfish Greathearts Foundation and SCORE - all prominent national NGOs involved in strategic development initiatives. A fifth beneficiary organisation will be confirmed in July 2011.
We will dedicate one day of the race to each of these organisations by profiling their work on NGO Pulse (various articles, stories, highlights, etc), while David will wear a special coloured armband (e.g. pink for CANSA, green for EWT, etc.) on that day.
We will work closely with each organisation's communication team to coordinate the messaging and communication efforts on their particular day, as well as before, during and after the race. We will profile them on NGO Pulse and through various other communication activities, while the five organisations will acknowledge SANGONeT and highlight the "No Pain No Gain" campaign on their websites, through social media, in their media releases, etc.
While the five organisations will have the opportunity to raise money or awareness linked to David’s participation in the Sahara Race, we will use the experiences of these organisations to highlight how the money we aim to raise from our fundraising campaign will be used to support many other local NGOs through our services and activities.
The logic with this approach is to demonstrate the value of SANGONeT's work (i.e. information, communication, technology, events - that build and support the ICT capacity of NGOs) through the efforts of other organisations that benefit from us.
SANGONeT will also use the campaign to raise awareness about the work of TechSoup Global, a US nonprofit organisation supporting technology investments in nonprofit organisations in more than 30 countries. SANGONeT, through the SANGOTeCH Technology Donation Programme, is TechSoup Global’s partner in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.
The 2011 “No Pain No Gain” campaign begins on 1 July 2011, exactly 100 days to the last day of the Sahara Race on 8 October 2011, and will continue until 3 November 2011, the last day of the 2011 SANGONeT Conference.
Please follow updates about the “No Pain, No Gain” campaign on Facebook and read David's regular blogs which will focus on the race, his preparation, the campaign, and the work of SANGONeT and the other five organisations.
And remember to make a donation and encourage others to do the same!!