The OMTOM beneficiaries of 2018
The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon didn’t just provide a great day out for athletes at the world’s most beautiful marathon. The event is also a fantastic way to give something back to the community, through the OMTOM’s fundraising initiative known as the Two Oceans Marathon Initiative (TOMI). This year TOMI partnered up with four incredible beneficiaries:
- The Chaeli Campaign
- The Igazi Foundation
- Waves for Change
- WILDLANDS Conservation Trust
At the opening of the 2018 OMTOM Expo, each beneficiary received a big cheque to help their respective causes.
The Chaeli Campaign
The Chaeli Campaign is a non-profit organisation that works to mobilise the minds and bodies of children with disabilities. The Chaeli Campaign CEO Zelda Mycroft is excited for the donation and all the possibilities that come with it. “Last year The Chaeli Campaign celebrated its 13th birthday after an extremely difficult year from a fundraising perspective. Receiving this donation from the OMTOM runners not only affirms the work that we do in the disability sector, but also goes a long way to ensuring that we can continue to deliver quality services to children with disabilities and their families. It is special to us that these funds are generated from and through the running community – people from all walks of life.”
The Chaeli Campaign has a long-standing relationship with the OMTOM event, having lobbied for the inclusion of wheelchair athletes since 2012. “It is exciting that the OMTOM is taking the lead on a national front in pioneering ways of including adaptive athletes and making the entire process (from registration to on-day participation) an experience that promotes and celebrates inclusion in every way possible,” says Mycroft.
The Igazi Foundation
The Igazi Foundation is the only dedicated blood cancer service NGO in Southern Africa that is committed to the ongoing development of Haematology, placing it firmly on African health agendas. South Africa is a country with a dire shortage of haematologists, haematological support, advocacy and services, and so their work, which includes lobbying provincial and national government to improve existing haematological services and facilities for sufferers, is invaluable.
Caroline Rich of The Igazi Foundation says they are honoured and extremely grateful to receive the donation from TOMI, as they are a NGO of volunteers with limited funding.
“The work we do is monumental in training doctors and nurses to recognise the symptoms of blood disorders and cancers, so that the patient can receive treatment as early as possible. This equates to saving lives, and we are passionate about this cause,” says Rich. She adds, “Without the OMTOM runner donations this would not have been possible, and essentially everyone in the team that works with the patient (including doctors and nurses), and the patients themselves will benefit.”
The Igazi Foundation plans on hosting several symposiums, which are conferences of an educational and knowledge-sharing nature. “Our title for the symposiums is: The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon Nurses Leukaemia training, and hopefully this will also show the communities we work in that this marathon event does such good work. We would like to thank all the runners that donated to this worthy cause, and let them know that this money will be used for a really good purpose. The Igazi Foundation slogan is: ‘SAVING LIVES’, and that is our goal.”
Waves For Change
Waves For Change is a unique, award-winning project that uses surfing to change the lives for children in the most ‘at-risk communities’ in South Africa and Africa. Their surf therapy programme, which is administered in partnership with local community members, has become an effective way for children to overcome mental health issues and find direction and purpose through surfing and literally changing lives one wave at a time.
Waves for Change Founding Director Tim Conibear says the programme works in some of the most challenging environments across South Africa. “We offer a mental health service that is sorely missing here. 75% of kids with mental health needs in SA never get the help they need. We are here to help them access it, and to make their experience of therapy memorable and life changing.”
Conibear is excited to be working with an event like the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. As his work is directlyinvolved with the very waters that the OMTOM route runs along, it is only natural for the event and Waves for Change to be linked.
“It’s a very prestigious event, so for Waves for Change to be tied into it is just great." Conibear says that being a TOMI beneficiary will take the programme to greater heights and touch more lives.
“The TOMI donation goes into funding the programme. There are about 1100 kids coming through this programme every week so it helps us feed them, transport them, equip them and it helps us pay the staff who deliver the programme. We are growing each year and we need to support that growth. We are so thankful to those who ran for Waves for Change because it's people like that who make it possible for these kids to get to the beach and take part in our surf therapy sessions.”
The WILDLANDS Conservation Trust shares the OMTOM vision to conserve the natural environment and facilitate development. Their life-changing projects, which include both terrestrial and marine focused projects, are centered on uplifting communities and alleviate poverty through innovative sustainability projects by introducing them into the Green Economy.
Buyisiwe Makhoba-Dlamini is the Strategic Manager for Marketing at WILDLANDS, and she says the Trust couldn’t be more thrilled to be a beneficiary.
“The donation is incredibly valuable as it means that our Cape Town-node project gets a boost to enable to continue with what they do best – empower impoverished communities through our innovative sustainability projects. The donations received through TOMI this year will be used towards the Cape Town Trees for Life project based at Spier. It will help our Tree-preneurs barter model as well as the planting of trees in the local schools who receive the Green Desks.”
Dlamini also says that WILDLANDS is very thankful to the OMTOM team and the runners for their incredible support they have given over the past two years. “They elevated our #GOGREEN campaign to the next level and it shows in the amount of awareness we have managed to generate since we launched the campaign last year. Through OMTOM’s partnership in the #GOGREEN campaign, we have managed to deliver 400 Green Desks to schools in the Western Cape and we are set to deliver another 400 in 2019 thanks to Polyco.”