A pair of longtime friends and retired Surrey teachers are gearing up to complete the 2021 Virtual Vancouver Sun Run this month in support of education overseas.
According to a news release, Clara Penner and Alinda Ware – who first met in 1961 – are aiming to raise money for the Kenya Education Endowment Fund’s Life Skills Workshop, for students in west Kenya who are secondary school scholarship holders through the B.C.-based charity.
The multi-day Life Skills Workshop is provided to 130 students assisted by KEEF and the KEEF Alumni Association, the release explains. Topics covered include first aid, assertiveness, entrepreneurial skills and teamwork. Some students who develop a sound business plan at the workshop receive micro-loans to start a small business during school vacation. Those businesses range from plans to buy ground nuts to sell at a local market to buying and raising chickens for eggs to sell, and many are such that a family member can take over when the student returns to school, thus continuing the benefits.
Penner, 81, and Ware, 80, know the doors that education can open, and the impact it has in helping people find their way out of poverty.
Penner, who graduated from Princess Margaret Secondary, spent all but two years of her teaching career in the Surrey district, at elementary schools and in ESL classes. She last taught at Old Yale Elementary.
Ware taught Grades 3 to 10 over the course of her 36-year career, and became a reading enhancement teacher. She last taught at Ellendale Elementary.
Ware, who now lives on Vancouver Island, currently volunteers as president of the KEEF board. Pre-pandemic, she lived, worked and volunteered in Kenya for half of each year, and she is hoping to return there in the fall.
She will complete the 10-kilometre walk on the Island, while Penner – who has been walking more than five kilometres a day to prepare for the Sun Run – is to walk in Tsawwassen.
Participants complete the race on a date of their choice, between April 18 and 30. The deadline for individuals to register is April 13.
For more information on the event, visit vancouversunrun.com/virtual-10k-event-details
To donate to Ware and Penner’s effort, visit www.kenyaeducation.org or call 604-415-9397. Donations should be marked ‘Clara and Alinda – Sun Run,’ and tax receipts are available.
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