A Week-Long Camp Encourages Young Athletes in Bugesera, Rwanda
The benefits of sport and exercise are well-documented. Getting outside, interacting with others—it’s good for bodies and it’s good for communities too. That’s one of the reasons that a group of student-athletes founded Run Your City, an organization designed to ensure that all are able to enjoy sport and athletics, regardless of their socioeconomic background or ability.
Its newest chapter is Run Bugesera, which launched in Rwanda in 2019. Last summer, it started a sports camp, in which 350 vulnerable children—identified by local teachers and community leaders, aged seven to 14—attended the week-long program. They participated in organized sports activities, service activities in the wider local community, and educational sessions with local speakers on topics such as teamwork, leadership, healthy lifestyles, and community involvement based around Rwandan culture (Ndi Umunyarwanda). The camp provided meals on site, oral health lessons, and full medical insurance coverage, including clinical care and medicine for every child who participated, with the insurance lasting a full year. The camp culminated in a community race for over 800 participants.
This summer, Run Bugesera is gearing up for the second annual program and hoping to offer the same level of support and opportunities to even more children, increasing the number of children served to 425. Our grant will help organizers provide food and electricity to camp so that these young athletes can focus on what really matters—getting out there and going for a run in the sun.