After committing to run her first marathon in 2014 to raise funds to support the Kamili  Organisation’s efforts at treating mental illness across Kenya, Katie Donaldson suffered a foot injury forcing her to run the half-marathon instead. This year her foot injury persists, but so does her determination! Katie is tackling a new challenge this March – a half marathon swim! Read on to hear why she supports Bread and Water for Africa UK and the Kamili Organisation year after year.

Until November 2012, the idea of running a mile was hugely daunting. I would give every excuse under the sun not to have to! I took up morning jogging to improve my fitness and soon found myself really enjoying sharing my morning jog with the masses of Kenyan people walking along the same route to their work. The Kenyan people, to me are an upbeat, cheerful and patriotic society and have been my favourite part of my decision to live here. Kamili Organisation and Bread and Water for Africa UK is the best place for me to put my sponsorship money as they truly make a difference to the local communities within Kenya.

Kamili Organisation is a Mental Health, ‘Not-for-Profit Organisation’ based in Nairobi. They have so far transformed many lives of local Kenyan people through provision of medicine and psychiatric support to people who would have otherwise given up hope on the mental illness faced by themselves, family or community members. It is run by passionate, caring people who put in 110% to ensure they provide maximum support for the people in their care and are continuing to strive to do more.

There is no need for fast cars, large salaries and benefits for the staff of Kamili, they are driven by their passion for its cause and work tirelessly to see their patients recover. Kamili Organisation does not rely on the media or advertising but merely local, Kenyan word of mouth; the huge growth in terms of provision, network and number of patients is based on local confidence and successes experienced.

I was entered for the Lewa Half Marathon in June 2013 as part of a team raising money for Kamili. I loved it. I fell in love with running as, not only does it enable one to raise money by entering races, it encompasses a huge sense of self satisfaction. I now do it for the feel-good factor as much as the training. Sadly, as my passion for running increased, so did my foot injury!

So instead, I have decided to attempt my next half marathon, not on foot, but in a school swimming pool, to continue to raise money for a hugely worthwhile cause.

What I aim to do is to complete 844 laps of the pool to complete a little over the half marathon distance (21 kilometres!). It will take lots of discipline and time but I WILL DO IT.

I have my goals, but more than anything, not only am I determined to finish, I am determined to help the Kenyan people as much as I can.

Katie Donaldson

Did you know that you too can choose to support Bread and Water for Africa UK through challenge events or special event fundraisers – such as for weddings, birthdays, or walk-a-thons.

You can look at other ongoing fundraisers or create one of your own by visiting our JustGiving Page.  For a chance to join us on our own organised physical challenge to raise awareness and funds to continue empowering local grass-roots organisations across Africa, visit our Cycle Challenge page and register today to join us on our Tanzania adventure this November 2015.

Thank you, Katie, for your ongoing support and commitment to healthcare and mental health treatment in Kenya!