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Africa Geographic
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Africa Geographic Travel

Participants of the 2014 Econet Victoria Falls Marathon, half marathon and First Mutual Health Fun Run can be proud of themselves, for not only competing in this year’s event and testing their physical fitness and endurance, but also for their noteworthy donation towards the event’s official charities.

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As Race Director John Addison explains, “a percentage of every entry fee goes towards a group pool that is then divided between the 3 official charities. This year it amounted to a total income of US$2938.20, which is a split of US$979 per charity”.

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“We recognise the need to give something back to the community and the environment in which the event takes place. With this in mind, we were very specific in our choice of charities” continued Addison.

“The two charities that have been with us since inception include the Rose of Charity Orphanage based in Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit. A newcomer included in the official charity list is the Painted Dog Conservation group. Peter Blinston, the Managing Director of the Painted Dog Conservation has already indicated that he will be using the funds donated to buy the Anti-Poaching Land Rover a new set of tyres.”

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Rose of Charity began in 2007 when a group of people In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, who were each individually helping deprived children in the area, came together with the aim to do something amazing and make a positive difference in children’s lives.

The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of local wildlife and natural resources. Surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park, the town of Victoria Falls is located in one of the most beautiful environments on earth, with un spoilt expanses of wilderness, abundant wildlife and spectacular settings, drawing tourists from around the world. However with the beauty of the location comes with some heavy burdens of human and animal conflict. VFAPU tries to ease some of the burdens by protecting the wildlife and habitat from poacher pressure (subsistence and commercial), as well by rescuing and rehabilitating animals injured by human interference. Additionally, we try to train and find employment for ex-poachers so that they have a sustainable income without doing harm to flora and fauna. Education is also important, and VFAPU and its partners try to reach children at an early age through school and community awareness programs.

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Painted dogs, also known as African wild dogs, are unique to Africa and they are among this continent’s most endangered species. The painted dog population in Zimbabwe is one of the last strongholds of the species and we are committed to their conservation. Painted Dog Conservation is a Zimbabwean charitable organisation whose mission is to protect and increase the range and numbers of painted dogs in Zimbabwe by creating an environment where the dogs can thrive. To achieve this the critical threats affecting painted dogs have been identified and strategies developed to tackle them ranging from anti-poaching patrols to extensive education and community development programmes.

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We would like to thank each and every person for not only participating in the events, but contributing towards these charities too!

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