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MEDIA RELEASE: Celebrities join So They Can’s inaugural 1HumanRace to educate and give a voice to vulnerable girls in East Africa

Actress Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit, Leave No Trace), TV presenter Peter Overton and All Blacks star, Conrad Smith are among a growing community who are joining forces to raise funds for So They Can in the charity’s 1HumanRace challenge. 1HumanRace has been designed to raise awareness of the challenges faced by vulnerable girls and enable them to receive the education they deserve.

 

So They Can is an international NGO that delivers education and empowerment programs in some of the  most vulnerable communities in East Africa. Working in Kenya and Tanzania, So They Can partners with local governments and communities to deliver education and empowerment projects that create lasting change. 

 

So They Can’s Co Founder and CEO, Cassandra Treadwell, who is participating in the challenge said, “Last year, I spoke to a group of young girls in East Pokot. Each one had been forcibly circumcised, each one had run away from a child marriage and some had made the heart-breaking decision to leave behind their own children to escape physical abuse and save their own lives. The girls asked me to share their story and 1HumanRace is our platform to do just that. We’re hoping as many people as possible will join us.”

 

According to sector research by ActionAid, 85% girls aged 9-13 years old in Pokot, Kenya are subjected to Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and child marriage. In East Pokot, where So They Can works, an uneducated girl is seen as the property of her father and brothers, while an educated girl is seen as a person with human rights. Through So They Can’s  Keeping Girls in School project, the NGO works with the whole community to build understanding of the risks of FGC and the importance of girls’ education. 

 

The 1HumanRace challenge encourages participants to ‘move’ 85km in March and raise as much as they can to help So They Can grow their impact and help  change this statistic – and the future – for these young girls. 

 

Jojo Rabbit actress, Thomasin McKenzie, who is participating with her mother, fellow actress and So They Can ambassador Miranda Harcourt said, “I am so proud to be an ambassador for So They Can, to be part of their 1HumanRace challenge and to be the voice for the 85% of courageous girls living in the rural region of Pokot, Kenya. I’m encouraging all of my friends and family to accept the challenge to raise awareness and funds to support these girls. Together we can be a voice for these girls and support education and freedom for all girls and women.”

 

TV presenter Pete Overton, who is an active supporter of So They Can, said “The horrific reality for these girls in East Pokot is extremely close to home having two daughters of my own.  However, regardless of whether we have our own children, we can all relate to the absolute injustice of being traded as a man’s property.  When I heard how these girls suffer, and of So They Can work to change their future, it was an easy yes to join So They Can’s 1HumanRace.  Given how lucky we are to live where we do I feel there is an obligation to help those whose human rights are ignored.”

 

Former All Black, Conrad Smith, is taking his challenge to the next level by cycling 500km in March. Smith said, “Having been to So They Can’s projects in Africa twice and seen the courage of the girls 1HumanRace is supporting, I am proud to be part of 1HumanRace to be their voice in order to secure an education that will break them out of the horrendous poverty cycle for them, their daughters and generations to come.”

 

To find out more and join the movement, visit sotheycan.org/1humanrace. 

 

ENDS

 

For additional information, quotes or images please contact poppy@sotheycan.org.

 

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