Galway fundraiser Ronan Scully will lead a team in the Great Ethiopian Run next week to raise funds for Self Help Africa.
The local man, who is well-known from his appearance on RTE’s Operation Transformation, will travel to the Ethiopian capital on Friday, before taking part in the run on Sunday, 25 November.
Mr Scully said that his own struggles with food have been put in perspective since he began working with the charity.
“I may have had my own struggles with food in the past but the weight loss challenges that I faced on ‘Operation Transformation’ are absolutely nothing to the ordeal that millions of Africans face in putting enough food on the table and providing for their families, simply to survive.”
Self Help Africa aims to help farming communities by supplying them with good quality seed, supporting the development of irrigation and other measures that can help families to protect themselves from starvation.
For Ronan, the plight of the people of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia is particularly troubling, as he is the adoptive father of two little girls from Ethiopia.
“It’s hard to explain to a five-year-old and a two-year-old that there are people dying of hunger in the world, and particularly so when we know that this is not a disease they are suffering, but a situation that can be cured very easily,” he said.
The charity has been working in Ethiopia for more than 28 years and Ronan said that the reason that Self Help Africa focuses on farming is due to the fact that 80 per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa live on small farms, with studies showing that the vast majority of these farms have the potential for greater productivity.
Ronan will put his best foot forward this weekend, when he leads a group to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa for The Great Ethiopian Run, organised by the inspirational Ethiopian runner Haile Gabriel Selassie.
Ronan is been joined by four runners from Galway, including Galway Independent Editor Hilary Martyn, along with another 26 runners from Offaly, Dublin, Limerick, Clare, Cork, Carlow, Waterford and Donegal.
The group will also travel to rural parts of Ethiopia to visit some of the projects being operated by Self Help Africa to show them how their efforts will benefit the local people of Ethiopia.