In this episode, we have the pleasure of interviewing Florian Weimert, Development Manager at Street Child and Founder of Surf and Help, two very unique and innovative humanitarian organizations.
Surf & Help is a non-profit organization combining surfing with supporting social and environmental causes. Its objective is to create sustainable opportunities for people facing disadvantages (such as those due to poverty, social exclusion, etc.) and to protect the coastal environment and ecosystem.
Street Child is one of the most widespread educational development organisations working in West Africa, helping over 20,000 children a year gain an education. With the help of Street Child, children who were living on the streets of Sierra Leone are able to find a family or relative where they can be included in the existing family structure and become one of its members.
How did Street Child start?
“It was set up by an London-born man in 2008. He had never gone to Sierra Leone before, and was looking for what type of cause to get involved in and looking at visiting a coupe of countries. While being in Sierra Leone—at the time, it was still ranked as the world’s poorest country—he found an opportunity, a small project that was already happening, and wanted to combine his business background and a couple of his team members to really start his own small charity project which went really well in its first year and motivated him to keep going.”
In 2012, Street Child began a collaboration with Vistaprint to organize the first ever marathon in Sierra Leone. In 2014, at 6 years of existence, the Ebola outbreak made Street Child change their focus. “They did not pull out but made a little pivot and got involved in fighting ebola and getting rid of the causes of ebola.”
Street Child organizes marathons to raise funds and awareness of the humanitarian causes it focuses on. The last marathon took place this year on May 29. But it was in no means an ordinary marathon!
“You’re flying down to sierra leone to run this marathon, but you’re doing much more than just running a marathon,” said Florian. Participants can pick between packages of 3, 5, or 7 days and during that time, you have the opportunity to get to know the country, the projects happening there, and the work and projects of a local charity.
On November 26, Street Child will organize the first Nepal marathon. “After the earthquake that took place last year, we wanted to take the idea of organizing a marathon and visiting the country and its projects to find a way to help.”
- How are people in Sierra Leone?
- What are some of the problems you see in Sierra Leone?
- What was the experience like during the Sierra Leone Marathon 2016?
- Where do you see the future of education in Africa?
These and many more are some of the questions that are discussed and answered during this podcast. Listen below or on Mixcloud!