MTN Uganda has responded to a call for action against the silent but serious problem of malnutrition among school going children. This is on the backdrop of the rising state of malnutrition in the country. The Bushenyi Nutrition Marathon attracted participants from the Western region including a number of Secondary School students from the region.
MTN Uganda sponsored 1000 participants in the 10km and 5km races. This is in line with MTN’s commitment to partner with the Government of Uganda in developmental projects.
This is an initiative by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mary Karooro Okurut who is also the Woman Member of Parliament for Bushenyi. She aims to use this platform to raise funds and awareness about health and nutrition not only in Bushenyi but also in surrounding districts and in Uganda as a whole.
The Chief Runner for the Bushenyi Nutrition Marathon that was held on Saturday 30th November 2013, was the 2012 London Olympics gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich; the race kicked off from Ishaka Kizinda stadium in Bushenyi.
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The marathon attracted a number well-wishers as well as MTN sponsored students from ten secondary schools. The sponsorship from MTN Uganda was to the tune of UShs 15 million.
MTN Uganda’s General Manager Corporate Services, Anthony Katamba said MTN made a commitment to pay for 1000 student runners from schools around the area, including; Bweranyangi Girls, Kyeizooba, St Kaggwa Secondary school, Ruyonza, Kampala International University, Valley College, Ngyeya, Rwentuuha Day and Boarding, Kyamuhunga Secondary School and Uganda Technical College.
Katamba said its part of MTN’s cherished practice to respond to initiatives that impact positively on the lives of the community and the country at large.
“We are proud to be part of this initiative which I believe will draw attention to the need to fight malnutrition, in the country starting with Bushenyi district. We have in the past responded to requests to support National Priority Areas through the MTN Foundation”.
The Bushenyi Marathon also attracted other Corporate participants including; Movit, Igara Tea, Crane FM, Hunter FM, Spring/USAID and Kizinda. Other sponsors of the Bushenyi Marathon include Ministry of Health, Movit Industries, Bank of Uganda, Fresh Dairy, Uganda Communications Commission, and Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development, Mwanamugimu, and UNICEF and World Vision among others.
The best male and female participants in the 5km and 10km races were awarded with prizes including heifers, television sets, bicycles and mattresses to mention a few. This is the first edition of the Bushenyi Nutrition Marathon.
The MTN Uganda CEO, Mazen Mroué said, “This comes at a time when we have just concluded a phenomenal 2013 MTN Kampala Marathon that attracted over 20,000 participants to raise funds to take safe and clean water to the people of Karamoja”.
So far over 120,000 entrants have run the MTN Kampala Marathon over the last ten years and have raised close to UShs. 1.4 billion which includes UShs. 400 million that has been earmarked in the 2013 edition of the Marathon. This year, all the proceeds will go towards taking clean and safe water to the people of Karamoja through WaterAid Uganda as the implementing partner.
This donation was made through the MTN Uganda Foundation. The MTN Uganda Foundation is a not-for-profit legal entity that was inaugurated in July 2007 as a vehicle through which MTN Uganda implements its’ Corporate Social Investments (CSI). The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life in communities where MTN Uganda operates in a sustainable way. Over the past five years since its launch, the MTN Foundation has supported a number of initiatives in the areas of Education, Health, Arts and Culture, Environment, Community Development and Low cost housing.
“From 2013 going forward, the MTN Uganda Foundation will focus on three programme areas to guide its interventions. These include Education, Health and National Priority Areas,” Mroué concluded.
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