Over 2,500 runners took part in the maiden Absa KH3-7 Hills Run that was held on Sunday 28 April in partnership with the Kampala Hash House Harriers.
The run featured 6km and 21km routes, starting from Kingdom Kampala on Nile Avenue and saw both individual runners and corporate entities tackle the iconic seven hills of Kampala.
The run was flagged off by the Executive Director, Kampala City Council Authority, Dorothy Kisaka alongside Michael Segwaya, Absa Bank Uganda’s Executive Director and Chief Finance Officer and Leonard Mugizi the Hash Mash of the Kampala Hash House Harriers.
While addressing participants following the run, Michael Segwaya, Absa Bank Uganda’s Executive Director and Chief Finance Officer, said, “The proceeds from today’s run will complement efforts already underway by Absa to skill over 500 teenage mothers enabling them to become self sufficient and develop income generating activities. A clear understanding of the obstacles that keep the school dropout rate among girls in Uganda high requires us to reflect and think of what more can be done to try and address this issue. I, therefore, appreciate you all for demonstrating the spirit of Ubuntu and joining us as we try to make a mark on the lives of so many girls in Uganda.”
The funds raised from the event will go towards key initiatives to keep the girl child in school through providing skills training to teenage mothers to enable them to earn a sustainable living and by strengthening menstrual hygiene management to deter school absenteeism and reduce dropout rates among girls.
The run also coincided with World Menstrual Hygiene Day, which seeks to promote good menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) by breaking the silence, raising awareness and changing negative social norms around MHH and engaging decision-makers to increase the political priority and catalyse action for MHH, at global, national and local levels.
While speaking on behalf of the Kampala Hash House Harriers (KHHH), Mugizi Hash Master of the Club, said, “This run complements several other initiatives established by the Kampala Hash House Harriers to try and leverage our passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle to leave a positive impact on Uganda, and we appreciate Absa bank Uganda for their coming on board with a noble cause.”
This run marks the commencement of a 3-year partnership between Absa Bank Uganda and the KHHH geared towards promoting physical wellness.
“Advancing education and skills development is a key component of our Citizenship initiative, through which we work to be a force for good in the communities within which we operate, and I’m proud to reveal that as the run grows, so shall we grow its impact by providing scholarships to less privileged girls aged 12 – 18 years,” Absa’s Segwaya added.
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) 2020 National Survey on Violence in Uganda indicated that limited support is given to teenage mothers to stay in or return to school, and due to the stigma attached to teenage pregnancy, some young girls opt for marriage over returning to school
A study conducted by the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) in 2017 indicated that 65% of girls and women in Uganda were unable to fully access & meet their menstrual health management needs from 140 schools in Uganda and that 70% of adolescent girls mentioned menstruation as a major hindrance to their optimal performance at school.