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Plan sponsors Africa's biggest race

08/12/2009

Paula Radcliffe congratulations one of the winners.Plan has become the new title sponsor for the children's section of Africa’s biggest road race, the Great Ethiopian Run. World class marathon runners Paula Radcliffe and Haile Gebrselassie were joined by Plan Ethiopia’s acting director Dr Issa Kipera to start this year’s children’s race.

Over 33,000 people took part in the main 10km event, and a record 3,500 children under 11 ran in Plan's 1,000 metres children’s road race. Plan has been a non-title sponsor of the race for the past 8 years, promoting our ‘Learn Without Fear’ campaign to end violence in schools.

After the race, the children painted a large canvas with their thoughts and wishes about violence free schools.

Learn Without Fear

The children's race gets underway.“We are very happy to be sponsoring the children’s races at the Great Ethiopian Run,” said Plan Ethiopia’s Acting Country Director, Dr Issa Kipera.

“It is an opportunity for children to be involved in a fun, positive event while also learning about important issues. No child should ever have to face violence in or out of the classroom and it is great that this essential campaign has been given such nationwide exposure.”

The event has brought the Learn Without Fear campaign to the attention of the Ministry of Education. This helps to promote child friendly quality education in Ethiopia. The event has also allowed children, families, and the community to learn about the need to eliminate corporal punishment and violence in and out of school and create a suitable learning environment for children.

National platform

Plan continues to work on the Learn Without Fear campaign in Ethiopia. In 2008 a Plan Ethiopia report found that bullying was widespread and that corporal punishment was vastly prevalent and often condoned by parents. It also revealed that sex for grades was common and rape was most likely to happen on the way to and from school.

The Great Ethiopian Run is a new, national platform for the Learn Without Fear campaign.

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