SA charity organizing group to join Palestine Marathon, visit Masjid al-Aqsa

By Al Qalam Reporter

South African charity Penny Appeal is organizing a group to travel to Palestine in March next year to participate in the famous Bethlehem Marathon to express solidarity with the Palestinian people against Israeli apartheid.

 The Palestine Marathon, as it known, is organised by the Palestine Olympic Committee and the Right to Movement campaign. The route takes you form the Church of Nativity, through the center of Bethlehem, past refugee camps and in to the beautiful olive groves.

Shahnaaz Paruk, the SA CEO of Penny Appeal, told Al Qalam that that the charity has participated in the Palestine Marathon consecutively for the past three years.

“Participants run alongside the apartheid wall for a large section where you can see the messages of solidarity and skilled life-changing event to take part in, whether you just like running for its own sake, whether you want to express your solidarity with the Palestinian people or if you are an adventurer and love seeing new faces and meeting new people.

This year, Penny Appeal has decided to come up with a novel idea. Not only will the South African group participate in the marathon during the “amazing five-day trip from 19-24 March 2019, participants can also explore the sacred lands of Palestine, including Bethlehem, Jerusalem and the majestic Masjid al- Aqsa,” she added.

Those that wish to join must also raise funds locally among family and friends to purchase food packages to be distributed in refugee camps in the West Bank – and be able to make a real difference to the lives of the people in the camps. Participants can join Penny Appeal teams and experience first-hand what life is like in the camps.

Paruk said Penny Appeal would provide all fund-raising participants with relevant material that they can use to raise money for food. They will be provided with flyers and a personalized online profile, explaining to well-wishers what the project was about.

She pointed out that the event is not only unique in offering participants a chance to interact with those who we empathise with, but (it is) also vital for creating awareness on the on-going atrocities faced daily by citizens.

 “Not only is this an important event on the Palestinian calendar and a boost to the local economy and athletics, but it’s an important event for showing solidarity and standing up for human rights around the world.”                         

Penny Appeal was founded in 2009 in Wakefield, UK, with a plan to provide poverty relief across Asia, Africa and the Middle East by mass feedings, supporting orphans and providing emergency food and medical aid.

The South African office has been a flurry of activity since inception in January 2018.

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