13 Sep 2013

Treading for Tanzania - Bristol runner follows in father's footsteps

Dr. Andrew StanfordOn your marks, get set, go! Fundraiser and runner Salome Stanford will be treading the streets of Bristol on the 15th of September to raise money for charity.

Now in its 25th year, the Bristol half marathon is a flat and fast race. As well as amateur runners, the Bristol Half Marathon attracts elite athletes, including Paula Radcliffe.

Starting in Bristol’s historic Harbourside, runners will trace the city’s docks, pass through the picturesque Avon Gorge and under Brunel’s famous Clifton Suspension Bridge before returning to the old harbour.

Salome will be donning her trainers in memory of her late father, Dr. Andrew Stanford, and to raise money for the Kwa Mkono Disabled Children’s Trust.

Supporting disabled children in Magila

Dr. Andrew Stanford studied medicine and theology at King's College London before heading off to Tanzania in 1971. Here he spent five years running a 200 -bed mission hospital for USPG (United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) in Magila.

Salome and her older brother Mark were born in Magila where the Kwa Mkono Polio Hostel, as it was then called, was one of their father's outreach stations. He spent the next 27 years of his career as a GP in Selby, North Yorkshire but continued to sponsor medical students in Tanzania, support the USPG and also the hospital at Magila with various fundraisers.

The Kwa Mkono Disabled Children's Trust is a UK based charity set up to support the charitable work of the Hostel. It has recently been renamed the Kwa Mkono Disabled Children's Centre.

The hostel was originally set up in the 1960s to help young people overcome the effects of Polio.

The success of the polio vaccine in almost eradicating polio means that for some time now the hostel has been helping disabled children who have a physical disability caused by an accident, genetic problem or cerebral palsy. Today about 25 per cent of the children have a disability caused by polio or fever.

By providing grants of equipment and funds, the Kwa Mkono Disabled Children's Centre offers rehabilitation, education and training to physically disabled children in Tanzania, enabling them to live independently when they leave.

Running in memory of her father

For Salome, the half marathon will give her an opportunity to honour her father whilst raising money for a good cause at the same time.

She said: “The training was going really well until about four weeks ago when I picked up a knee injury but I'm now fighting fit again and feeling quietly confident. Raising funds in the name of Kwa Mkono Disabled Children's Centre and in memory of my father is all the incentive that I need.”

Salome researched various fundraising platforms before deciding to use MyDonate’s free service.

She said: “The charity did not appear to be registered on any of the online giving sites and so, before contacting them, I looked into the various options. I selected MyDonate because it does not charge charities to register.”

Lesley Wright, trustee and secretary for the Kwa Mkono Disabled Children’s Centre, believes Dr Stanford’s work in establishing the trust has been invaluable for the people of Magila.

She said: “We have had connections with Kwa Mkono for about 30 years and in a greater way since 2005. We have been told about Dr Andrew Stanford’s work many times by the people who met and worked with him at Kwa Mkono and Magila.”

Integrating social media with MyDonate

Lesley points out that MyDonate has proved to be a valuable fundraising tool, making it really easy to link with their social media platforms.

She said: “I must admit joining MyDonate was easier than I thought and I have now linked Kwa Mkono Disabled Children’s Trust Facebook page with help from your team – Thank you.”

To find out more about the work of the Kwa Mkono Disabled Children’s Trust please visit their website

Salome’s fundraising page can be found here

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