United Kingdom Tamil Students Union (UKTSU) successfully hosted Namma Oor Run 2.0, one of the largest inter-district fundraising charity runs in the UK, on the 8th September 2018 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm.
Following the tremendous success of last year’s Run, Namma Oor Run was back again this year with great vigour and exuberance.
Namma Oor Run2.0intended to unite all Tamils together with a clear goal of aiding children with birth defects in Sri Lanka to change their lives for the better. Proclaimed to beone of the largest inter-district fundraising eventin the UK, the Run gave individual runners an opportunity to represent their home district in Sri Lanka and reconnect with their roots. The competition relied on which district team could fundraise the most in support of UKTSU’s cause project.
The cause project this year focused on providing a support programme and vital supportive equipment for children below 18 years old withbirth defects,within the Vavuniya and Mannar districts. Covering divisional secretariats: Manthai West, Musali, Nanattan, Mannar and Vavuniya North.
There are many children who were physically affected as a result of their mothers experiencing severe hardship whilst being pregnant during the course of the prolonged war. Mannar and Vavuniya districts were few of the many places that were deeply affected, and have manychildren with special needswho require continued attention and help towards recovery.
The children from these areas will be supported by Namma Oor Run this year in several ways. The support programme will consist of physiotherapy sessions and training and awareness sessions for parents on how to handle and treat children with birth defects. The supportive equipment will consist of specialised devices,including Ankle Foot Orthosis and Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis for children who are affected by lower limb deformities. It will be provided for children who are in desperate need ofimprovement in their mobility and overall physical condition. The equipment will also be customised to help control instabilities in the kneesand lower limbsby maintaining proper alignment and controlling motion.
Over 70 participants from 12 districts in Sri Lanka took part in the run. These districts included Tellippalai, Trincomalee, Vaddukoddai, Kokkuvil, Inuvil, Nallur, Velanai, Kilinochchi, Paruththithurai, Valvettiturai, Alaveddy and Pungudutivu.
Thank you for the generous contributions and incredible efforts of the 12 determined district teams, we have succeeded in raising over £13.5k for the children.
‘A massive thank you to all our 70 participants who took part in the run and worked extremely hard to raise as much money as possible for an inspiring cause project’, enthused Theneash Thalayasingam, UKTSU Representative. ‘Their hard work will undoubtedly make a huge difference for the kids with birth defects in Sri Lanka’.
This year’s fundraising champions were the Tellippalai district team, followed closely by district teams Trincomalee and Vaddukoddai. In addition to this main charity project, Tellippalai will be designated 25% of the total money fundraised by all teams,and have the opportunity to choose a project to help their Oor.
“It is truly moving to see a large group of people come together to create a positive influence in the lives of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and may we continue to do so together in the future”, expressed Karusan Srithar, UKTSU Run Event Coordinator.
Stigma and discrimination towards disability is prevalent in the Tamil community. It is especially difficult to obtain correct funding and required support for children with disabilities in Sri Lanka.
Namma Oor Run 2.0’s cause project is a stepping stone towards reducingthe social stigma that has become associated with disability, through raising awareness and providing essential support to children with birth defects to improve their standard of living. It is both the people who took part, and the people who donated, who made this charity run a success and triumphantly paved a path for a better future for children with disabilities.
We can hope that in years to come, with your continued support, disability will be addressed and viewed with a different perspective.