A teacher from Oundle has raised more than £550 for a charity that supports primary schools in rural Kenya by completing a 13-mile run over the world’s longest assault course.
Jonathan Peverley, Head of Chemistry at Oundle School, took on the challenge at the Rat Race Dirty Weekend at Burghley House in Lincolnshire over the second weekend in May and decided to use his participation to good effect by raising funds for a worthy cause.
Jonathan chose to raise funds for African Promise – a charity which builds and equips primary schools in rural Kenya – in part because of an eye-opening visit to a rural school in Mali, West Africa during a trip to the country before he became a teacher. Jonathan says of his visit:
“Whilst travelling through Mali in 2009, my wife and I came across a rural school and decided to pay a visit. The head teacher was incredibly welcoming and we were overwhelmed by the friendliness and enthusiasm of the pupils that we met. However, what impacted me the most was the number of pupils (60) in what was a standard-sized classroom. The teacher's resources were a piece of chalk and a blackboard however he was unfazed by the daunting task in front of him. In fact, he was delighted that he was making a difference to those children who would otherwise not have had an education. From that moment, I decided that I too wanted to be a school teacher.”
Although African Promise works on the other side of the continent in Kenya, Jonathan knew about their work thanks to an existing relationship between his school and the charity, and decided he wanted to support their efforts to ensure children in Kenya receive an education. The charity currently supports seven primary schools and more than 2,500 disadvantaged children by building classrooms, providing textbooks, funding additional teachers and even delivering a lunch programme which provides every child with a daily hot meal.
Jonathan finished 64th out of 940 participants in the half marathon version of the event – which featured more than 150 obstacles – and is already planning on returning in the future.
“The race itself was an incredible experience; one of the most challenging activities I have undertaken, as well as being great fun. I hope to return to Burghley in two years’ time. However, next time I would very much like to take some Oundle staff and pupils with a target of raising an even greater amount of money for a worthy cause.”
If you or your school would like to find out more about supporting African Promise please visit their website at www.africanpromise.org.uk