Tomorrow, 27 year-old Nellie English will attempt to run from Harare to Victoria Fall in a bid to raise funds for the Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health (ZIMNAMH).
English – who was born in Harare but lives in Barcelona – says she loves running and wanted to challenge herself and test her love for the sport by running 724km to Victoria Falls for a worthy cause.
“Tuesday 5th of April at 5am, I will be lacing up my trainers, and getting ready to run 724km across Zimbabwe. It’s quite an insane undertaking!” Mental illness is hugely misunderstood in Africa, and all over the world. English hopes that the run will generate interest in an often
The run is an extraordinary challenge for the running enthusiast. Running from Harare to Victoria Falls has never been done before and the route is both long and dangerous in parts. “The run itself will be really challenging. If I am able to run 42km every day, it will take me 17 days. I will also be planting trees every 40km along the way to commemorate the charity and the issue in general,” she added.
English says it has not been easy preparing for the run. Sorting out logistics, deciding on a starting point, and getting permission to do the run have all been part of her preparations. She thanks ZIMNAMH for providing her with a car and driver that will carry her belongings and for helping with police clearance. Despite all the administrative preparation, English says she has been able to squeeze in time to train for the run.
ZIMNAMH is a Harare-based organization whose primary goal is to promote the recognition of rights for people with mental disabilities in society. The organisation offers counselling, training and psycho-social support services to vulnerable groups which include children, women, ex-prisoners and displaced persons. It also provides rehabilitation services at its Tirivanhu Centre in Ruwa which offers life skills training and rehabilitation.
So far, English has raised over $1,500 and is still looking for donations. Support English and help raise awareness for mental health by donating to www.gofundme.com. To find out more about English and her efforts, check out: www.facebook.com/ambessaRUN and www.instagram.com/ambessarun or nellieenglish.wordpress.com.