THE Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expecting to grace CRDB Bank Charity Half Marathon, set for August 16th this year in Dar es Salaam.
At least 4,000 runners are expected to compete in a special marathon dubbed ‘Race to Spread a Smile’ aiming at raising 200m/- to support operations of children with heart problems at Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI).
During the event, runners will compete at three different categories-- 21kilometers, 10km and 5km.
The race will also feature a 42km cycling race all to start and end at the Green Park, Osterbay in Dar es Salaam. It is organised and financed by CRDB Bank, the largest lender in the country.
The bank said the money, at minimum, is sufficient to support and cover costs for at least heart operation kits for 100 children who are lined up for surgery but cannot afford.
Available data from JKCI showed that every year, some two million children are born in the country, where 1.0 per cent have heart related problems.
The bank CEO, Abdulmajid Nsekela, said yesterday that VP Samia has confirmed to grace the charity half-marathon.
“Our motto in this charity race is ‘Kasi Isambazayo Tabasamu’ (A race that spreads smile)’, encouraging more people to come forward to participate in bringing hope to life and to spread a smile to children with heart problems,” he said.
The CEO said former President Jakaya Kikwete, who is the pioneer of the institute, which is also called after his name will participate at the event as well as the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Harrison Mwakyembe. Several diplomats are also expected to take part.
According to JKCI, there are at least 511 children lined up to undergo various stages of heart operations, but majority cannot afford the costs.
An operation at minimum costs 2m/- but depending with cases can reach 20m/-. JKCI Director Mohamed Janabi thanked CRDB Bank for being at the forefront to support children with heart problems.
“It is our responsibility as a community to ensure that these children receive appropriate treatment, so our participation in the charitable races will help us to spread a smile to these children,” said Janabi.
Janabi also used the opportunity to encourage Tanzanians to register in large numbers to participate in the charity race to support pediatric surgery.
The bank last year donated 100m/- to support operation of 50 children and early this year 50m/- for 25 kids.
Last year, CRDB dished out 1.2bn/- under its corporate social responsibility (CSR), which was 1.0per cent of its profit. The donation was given to three sectors—education, health and environment protection.