AIM2019 to reduce plastic waste 15 October 2019
Now in its 13th year, the Accra International Marathon (AIM) is a recreational event that attracts fitness fun seekers of all ages.
Event organizers AIM to Keep Africa Alive! by supporting a healthy, active lifestyle, but like all other mass participation events in Ghana, they use a lot of plastics in keeping their participants hydrated. Distance runners in other parts of the world happily quench their thirst from water stations designed to reduce waste and protect the environment.
Endurance runners and active lifestyle enthusiasts are generally supportive of green initiatives that reduce their environmental footprint. This year, AIM organizers and Plastic Punch, a local NGO that champions environmental protection through beach cleanups and recycling efforts, have joined hands to dramatically reduce the plastic waste generated by mass participation events in Ghana.
The two organizations are providing environmentally friendly, refillable water bottles to AIM participants to fill up free of charge at any of the fifteen water stations on the AIM course. Large 15 liter bottles will be outfitted with solar-powered pumps enabling several participants to fill up at any water station and at the 5-star Labadi Beach Hotel finish line venue.
As they did last year, Plastic Punch volunteers will collect plastic and other waste, leaving the AIM course cleaner than the participants found it.
With all the recent talk about reducing plastic waste in our communities and waterways, the public is invited to come witness community activism in action.
Our volunteer medical teams: AIMing to care 7 October 2019
One of our favorite sources for credible, science-based information on good nutrition is Nutritionfacts.org, and a recent blog post by the founding physician posed the query of how there could be such a disconnect between science and medical practice.
According to the evidence, diet or bad nutrition is the number one cause of death and disability in the United States, and Dr. Michael Greger muses that surely nutrition would be the top-rated subject in medical schools and the number one topic responsible physicians discuss with their patients, right? Given the evidence, it is reasonable to assume that concerned medical practitioners would reinforce the adage that prevention is better than the cure (almost always less expensive, too).
Sadly, this is not the case. Both in Ghana and the U.S., your physician is more likely to write a prescription than to counsel you about the value of preventive health care. We’re happy to note that physicians at Claron Health International (CHI), whose founder leads our volunteer medical teams during the AIM, are exceptions: their AIM is to promote health and provide preventive health services to their patients and corporate clients alike.
A tour of their website or visit to their medical center, located at No 2, Dodi Link (between Volta Street and Akosombo Road), in the Airport Residential Area, Accra, provides ample evidence that their priority is to promote good health. Check out their 28 August article on the importance of breakfast.
Wellness and Prevention are at the top of their list of how they work, and they aim to help patients to avoid illness and be fit for work and for life. They advocate healthy eating and an active lifestyle as cornerstones to sound, effective, preventive health practices. Indeed, CEO Dr. Dennis Addo practices what he teaches and makes time to get in regular cardio workouts despite his hectic schedule. He has completed the AIM half marathon (21K) twice and shorter distances numerous times. He has also succeeded in encouraging colleagues and patients alike to pursue active living as a way of life. He exemplifies AIMing to Care.
Ensuring medical safety during the AIM takes teamwork. We were most grateful to add Mount Carmel Hospital and Fertility Centre, located in Community 25, Tema, to our medical team late last year. Find out about more about the generous group of professionals who make up Team Mount Carmel in our next article or Race Director’s Bulletin.
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AIM2019 finishers to celebrate their success with a sumptuous repast at the luxurious Labadi Beach Hotel 13 August 2019
For the first time since the prestigious Labadi Beach Hotel started hosting the Accra International Marathon (AIM) several years ago, their award-winning Akwaaba restaurant will cater the food and refreshments for the triumphant participants who cross the festive AIM Finish Line. What greater reward after one’s fitness exertions than to be treated to mouth-watering food carefully selected with an eye to providing post-event nourishment and stoking a celebratory mood.
Executive Head Chef Gary Lane has thoughtfully offered up an array of selections designed to whet and satisfy the appetite. These include: spicy chicken served with jollof rice; BBQ chicken served with potato wedges; and fried hake served with kenkey and/or banku, gravy and shito. Vegan-friendly offerings such as Thai vegetable curry with plain rice, fried plantain with bean stew (the ever popular red-red) and a tri-colour coleslaw will ensure that those with special dietary needs are not left out.
In addition, Full Marathon finishers will receive a complimentary miniature bottle of Prosecco Special Cuvée; or a Red wine, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo; or a White Wine, Pinot Grigio, all from the renowned Zonin family wine estates. The top 25 Half Marathon finishers, male and female each, will enjoy the same complimentary bubbly or vintage in their goody bags.
This year marks the thirteenth anniversary of the annual event, which attracts participants from over 35 countries representing all six inhabited continents. The first registration this year came in January from Zimbabwe. In addition, Ghanaians from as far away as Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region of Ghana trek to Accra to take part in the event, which organizers describe as an endurance event that nevertheless caters to a growing demand for leisure recreational activities.
Participants can choose from several different distance categories ranging from 5KM to the full 42KM marathon. Many choose to walk with friends (only the full marathon category is precluded for walkers) or to cover their chosen distance through a combination of walking and jogging (what has come to be affectionately known as wogging).
The Sponsorship from the 5-star Labadi Beach Hotel over the years has enabled the event to add luxurious touches such as this year’s catered dining and complimentary bubbly to the mix. And the much-awarded hotel also flexes its Corporate Social Responsibility muscles by supporting the AIM’s fundraising efforts on behalf of local charities.
As the event’s Presenting Media Partner, Business & Financial Times, Africa’s leading provider of business information, will be on hand to support the success of the race and the festivities. Watch out for your opportunity to book a copy of the special post-event edition, filled with photos, race results and other event highlights.
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Cofiegold adds value to support a worthy cause. 3 June 2019
We give a warm akwaaba (welcome) to Cofiegold Clothing, the latest Charity Champion (CC) to AIM with us to care for those in need.
Cofie’s expertly tailored creations are suitable for business, casual or dressy functions; they range from subdued to fun and vivacious so you will look sublimely elegant no matter what the occasion.
On their recent trip to Japan, the AIM race director and international coordinator introduced Cofiegold Clothing to new fans in Tokyo, where they visited with long time friends and also with multiple AIMer Rie Ikemoto, formerly of JICA. Rie was the 3rd position winner in the women’s half marathon category in AIM2009.
Cofie will donate to the Longevity Project (LP) matching fund 20% of all proceeds of sales from his website and AIM vendor booth from anyone quoting the code “AIM2019” at checkout for their purchases. LP Charity Champions provide the Leveraging Power behind our matching funds. Borne out by our personal experience, studies show that well-wishers and supporters are more likely to donate to a cause when they know their contributions will be matched by third party funds.
In addition to the cash that is already coming into this year’s matching fund from sales of Cofiegold merchandize, Cofie will bring some pizzazz to our finish line with a fashion show that is sure to engage and delight AIMers and their supportive fans. We will periodically bring you news of how you can get involved.
Cofie’s credentials as a concerned and engaged community benefactor go back a long way. As a dedicated LP volunteer he worked with a team of LP’s volunteer health professionals to conduct health screening in his adopted community of Abuja, a depressed suburb of Accra.
A successful but by no means wealthy entrepreneur, Cofie reached out to children in Abuja and similar communities to provide uniforms and school supplies to enable them to get to and stay in school. When necessary, he supported the family with funds for food and other living expenses.
His efforts have yielded measurable results: many children were able to advance through secondary school and even complete university. He has also trained and employed many young people in tailoring and batik and has an inspiring vision to scale up these efforts.
His love of service to humanity has grown as has his business. Businesses that serve and support their communities as Cofiegold does deserve our support in turn for they share their prosperity with those in need. Use this link to shop Cofiegold and don’t forget to quote “AIM2019” at checkout.
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AIMing to Care: Labadi Beach Hotel boosts charity matching fund 6 May 2019
For many of us, crossing that 5km Finish Line is as great an achievement as finishing a full marathon is for a seasoned runner. It’s an eye-opener into the extent of our capabilities and our hidden potential. Whether we go on to conquer longer distances or simply get empowered to attempt other life goals, crossing that Finish Line, a symbol of our achievement, is worth celebrating with gusto and in style.
In addition to providing a world class atmosphere for celebrating event finishers’ achievements, Labadi Beach Hotel proves itself a good corporate citizen once again by donating a generous hospitality package whose proceeds will go into the AIM Challenge for Charity Relay (C4CR) matching fund.
Raising funds is not easy, even when the cause is admittedly worthy. The AIM C4CR injects fun and camaraderie into gallant fundraisers’ efforts to marshal scarce resources to address pressing societal problems. It’s a challenge of champions, civic-minded individuals and companies that compete to see who can raise the most awareness, funds or other needed resources and have the most fun doing so for their chosen Charity Partner.
The event has raised well over Fifty Thousand Cedis for reputable local charities over the last several years, and there’s an excellent chance that our Charity Champions will double this amount by AIM Day, 27 October 2019. The mobilized resources make a measurable difference in improving the lives of the underprivileged and of those in need.
AIM Charity Champions earn the gratitude and respect of their beneficiaries and of an informed public, and gain bragging rights to indulge in a some well justified chest-beating.
Be on hand to toast their success at the 5-Star Labadi Beach Hotel.
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Olympic Arena of Winneba champions a worthy community cause 27 April 2019
What kind of business jumps up to help solve local problems? The kind that deserves our support, that’s who. Olympic Arena of Winneba (the Arena) readily agreed to the use of their premises for meetings, tutoring sessions and presentations by the Wise Youth Foundation whose efforts to decrease the incidence of teen pregnancy and keep youngsters in school we highlighted recently. WYF is one of our Charity Partners this year, and they can be trusted to be courteous and considerate guests of the Arena. We thank the management of the Arena for coming to the aid of this worthy cause.
Within easy reach of Accra, Tema, Cape Coast, and Takoradi, the Arena is a great spot for family getaway weekends with activities for parents and kids alike. It’s also a convenient and comfortable lodging spot for business travelers on the Accra-Takoradi corridor.
Check them out for parties, weddings, conferences, and many more. Reach them on 020 916 4033
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AIMing to Care: Focus on Wise Youth Foundation 30 March 2019
The founders of this year’s AIM Charity Partner, Wise Youth Foundation (Wise Youth) recognized a serious problem in their communities and resolved to combat it. This is how leaders are born, and we’re pleased to welcome Wise Youth on board the AIM fundraising platform, partly in reciprocity for its members’ past affiliation as valued AIM volunteers.
The problem these young community leaders identified is the alarming incidence of teenage pregnancies that lead to young girls dropping out of school and stunting their economic and other potential as well as those of their children.
Pregnancy among adolescent girls—defined as ages 15 to 19—is a global problem, but as with many development challenges, Ghana’s teen pregnancy rate is much higher than the global average of less than 6%. Statistics in Ghana for 2016 indicate that nearly 18% of said adolescents were pregnant with their first child or had already given birth. In addition to diminished economic and social prospects, teen pregnancies pose numerous health risks for both mother and child and consequently place added burdens on extended families that may already be living under impoverished circumstances. Contributing to a cycle of poverty, offspring of adolescent mothers are at increased risk of developmental problems.
Through advocacy and effective delivery of practical sexual health information, Wise Youth seeks to educate youngsters, especially girls, about adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Wise Youth’s community-based outreach programs aim to heighten awareness amongst adolescents themselves as well as the larger community of the dangers of unprotected sex, sexual violence against girls, unsafe abortions, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The programs also seek to reduce rates of infant and maternal mortality and morbidity amongst low-income households by supporting vulnerable pregnant teens through a safe pregnancy and post-natal period.
In addition to raising awareness, Wise Youth employs intervention strategies designed to compete effectively against the unwholesome distractions such as early initiation of sexual activity, use of alcohol and illicit drugs and other risky behaviors that lead many adolescents to become chronically truant or to drop out of school altogether.
These interventions include supporting young girls and boys to stay in school by providing them with books and other supplies, tutoring them to improve their academic performance, and leading them in appealing recreational activities that nurture these kids emotionally and psychologically. At risk teens are encouraged to form or join clubs through which they can enjoy excursions while learning useful skills such as research, advocacy, writing and debate. They are also sensitized to the self-enriching value of community service and trained in volunteering
The hard work of running Wise Youth is done by committed young volunteers, health and other professionals and business owners, who serve as positive role models to the kids they are striving to support. In addition, churches in the community provide temporary space in which the group can meet and hold some of their activities, and thoughtful individuals donate books and school supplies that are distributed at no charge to those that need them.
Living up to their organizational name, the leaders of Wise Youth are studying and learning from effective programs that have been used successfully elsewhere, notably the U.S organizations The Birthing Project and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, to tackle the challenges posed by teen pregnancy and its socioeconomic consequences.
How to help: The organization is in need of suitable space for meetings, teaching and tutoring sessions, presentations and recreational activities.
Also needed are mentors, guidance counselors and concerned Big Sisters, Big Brothers, Aunties and Grannies. If you live in or near Winneba (Simpa) in the Central Region, reach out a helping hand. Call or write founders Charles Ghunney (+233 54 289 8563, email@example.com) or Jean Addison-Appiah (+1 916-905-4474) for more info.
And, of course, it needs money. We are pleased to support Wise Youth to raise funds to establish a safe and stable Community Resource Centre where the important work they are doing to literally save and improve lives can be sustained. The returns society gains on its investments to prevent or curtail the incidence of teenage pregnancy and attendant mortality, morbidity and wasted potential are immeasurable. We are saving our own lives and protecting our collective future when we join hands and work to save our children.
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