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Great Run Raised over 11 million SSP

South Sudan Great Run held in April this year to raise funds for famine and poverty has realized over eleven million South Sudanese pounds and will soon be put to its original purpose, the organizers of the event revealed on Saturday.

The total amount raised is eleven million four hundred fifty nine thousand and eighty (11,459,080) South Sudanese pounds, and United States dollars 3,921.19 (three thousand nine hundred twenty one dollars and nineteen cents).

The organizers said the total amount of money pledged by the public was 14,220,000 SSP and 205,000 dollars. The pledges are still being expected and on receipt will be directed to the original cause.

“Due to the prevailing economic situation the county is experiencing, realization of the pledges has been a daunting task to the fundraising committee,” said Ayesheshim Teka, the Chairperson of the organizing committee and the proponent of the South Sudan Great Run.

Dembesh hotel spent seven million south Sudanese pounds to organize the run. However, Teka, also the Managing Director of the Hotel said he did not need any refund of the money since it was part of his contribution to the event.

The spokesperson of the committee Ambassador John Andruga said it took them too long to announce the collected funds because of the difficulty in following up with the pledges.

Teka said between April, the month of the race and this month, the committee had been working hard to encourage individuals and institutions that had made pledges to fulfill their commitments.

Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro the Minister of Cabinet Affairs  who is the patron of the event, said the committee and all line ministries will identify priorities and  beneficiaries  of the donation, with plans to convert the money to hard currency for the importation of essential commodities for the people.

“It should help the people the event was organized for, it is not too late. Some parts of the country are still experiencing famine and hunger,” Lomuro said.

Lomuro said the event also improved confidence in the security of the country because many international athletes took part in the run.

The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Nadia Arop Dudi said even if the event was organized to raise funds to fight famine and hunger, it also achieved a lot by uniting the people.

Dudi said the government will take the responsibility of organizing the event annually to raise funds for famine and poverty and to unite all citizens of this country.

Teka also said the committee is in advanced stage to register the event as an association so that through it, the next generation of South Sudanese athletes can be developed.

The Great South Sudan Run was held in April to raise funds to fight famine after the government and United Nations declared famine in some parts of the country earlier this year.

The run attracted athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia most notable was Haile Gebre Selassie, a retired Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete.

By Jale Richard

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