Our Stories

Running For a Cause: Sophia’s lockdown challenge inspires us all

At times like this, knowing we have the support of our amazing community truly means the world. So when we heard of the incredible goal that So They Can supporter, Sophia, set herself while off school due to COVID-19 closures, we jumped at the chance to share her story with you!


Sophia Thompson is a Year 9 student at Timbertop Campus, Geelong in Victoria. This term was meant to be her year group’s community service term, however, when forced to head back home to Northbridge in Sydney, her school suggested that students should come up with a way of serving the community from home instead.


 “Normally if we were still at school, we would be spending our time this term camping at local farms and helping the farmers with odd jobs like chopping wood, fencing, and clearing land,” Sophia told us.


With plenty of time and a willingness to help, Sophia and her mum came up with the great idea of supporting our So They Can communities in Kenya and Tanzania, by connecting her school running program with a fundraising opportunity. Over the following weeks, Sophia challenged herself physically by running 80 kilometres within her local community — from the beaches to the Sydney suburbs.


“My goal was to run at least 20 km each week in my local area and send weekly updates to anyone that sponsored me, telling them about my progress.”


When we asked Sophia why she chose to support So They Can, she said:


I was lucky enough to visit Kenya and the So They Can communities in July last year with my family. I met so many of the children and families that the organisation supports.

We now sponsor 3 children and a ‘Muma’ who lives in Miti Mingi Village near the Aberdare Ranges Primary School. My brother, sister and I write to them and receive letters from them a few times a year.

I enjoyed our trip so much, and I felt a connection to the children there that I agreed it would be a good cause to support through the coronavirus pandemic.


Over a few weeks, Sophia managed to meet her 80-kilometre target, and raise a staggering $1,010 to support our essential education and empowerment work in East Africa. To put what Sophia raised into perspective, this amount is enough to fund one community hand washing station for an entire month, or cover the cost of making 400 Sew Women Can face masks, which are distributed within our vulnerable communities.


From all of us at So They Can, thank you for your support, Sophia — we mean it when we say your recent fundraising efforts will go on to save and change lives.


Want to challenge yourself to support our work in East Africa? Click here to set up your own fundraiser today.


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