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June 10, 2010 | 7:02 pm

Last weekend (June 4th and 5th) Our Sansar participated in a great event organised by the Foundation for Social Improvement. The FSI Challenge took place in Thornbridge Hall in Derbyshire where 158 runners and dozens of walkers took part in the 10km challenge through the Peak District. The country home of Emma Harrison (FSI Chair of Trustees) was the starting point for the challenge, where Our Sansar signed up, bought a tutu and prepared for the race with plenty of stretches and bananas.

FSI are based in London but organize the Challenge every year. It is free to all small charities and all the funds were raised by sponsorship and other fundraising activities. In the coming weeks we will know the amount raised by Our Sansar, the charities and the FSI. The funds raised by Our Sansar will go towards the building and development of the children’s home we are working on in Nepal.

We joined charities such as Village Aid, The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, Down’s Syndrome Derby, Advocates for Animals and many more. Harrison, who is Chairman of the FSI, said, “We are delighted to be opening the gates of Thornbridge to all these small charities so they can raise funds and enjoy a great day out.” The weather remained humid but overcast, ensuring no one got dehydrated. The local Scouts were also at certain points along the former railway track handing out bottles of water and shouting out encouraging remarks.

Sam Powell was the first Our Sansar volunteer to run to the finish line in under an hour. He was followed by his brother Clint (Our Sansar Development Officer). Then Jessica Haydon (Our Sansar Project Co-ordinator) and Kaina Hamed (Our Sansar Fundraiser) ran to the finish hand-in-hand for moral support. Julia Krepska (Our Sansar) Director welcomed them all with soup and tea. Alana Avery (Our Sansar Filmmaker and Researcher) marched in with her mother Elaine, having walked the 10km in an hour and 40 minutes. The team waited for Apeksha Sumaria (Our Sansar Research Co-ordinator) who was accompanied by her friends. They all crossed the fininsh line soon after.

Harrison said, “The FSI was set up to support small charities in building sustainable best practice in all their fundraising and operations; much of this comes from learning and development opportunities, but it is great to have days like this that focus on the fun aspects of our work. The Challenge is in its third year and will see more charities than ever taking part.”

Thanks to everyone who sponsored Our Sansar and we hope you join us next year for the FSI Challenge 2011!

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