Huawei, Lewa hold virtual marathon

Today, Huawei Kenya has joined hands with the Lewa Conservancy to launch a virtual Lewa marathon, signifying true sportsmanship by supporting one of the world’s greatest marathons – The Lewa Safari Marathon. It is a rebrand of the famous Safaricom Lewa Marathon, which this year will be run virtually.

Huawei Kenya has rallied behind Lewa and provided the much-needed support required to host a virtual event and launch the #preparingfortomorrow campaign amidst the pandemic that has halted international travel and restricted movements in the country.

The campaign is in recognition that the extraordinary impacts the marathon has had on wildlife, communities and the tourism economy. “Since 2008, when Huawei Kenya first got involved, we have been able to inject over sh100 million into the sh800 million the marathon has fundraised for more than 80 education, health, agriculture and conservation projects across the country. Every effort we can make now to protect the wildlife will make sure we are prepared for when tourism returns and creates jobs and benefits for local communities. The costs to protect the wildlife today are small compared to the benefits they will bring for generations to come”, said Mike Watson, CEO of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

In launching the campaign, Huawei sees parallels with their technology business. The economy today is even more reliant than ever on the telecommunications networks such as fiber, 2G, 3G, and 4G as well as IT systems such as mobile money and e-government that Huawei has helped build in Kenya over the last 20 years.

“Lewa’s legacy is one that we cannot afford to lose. Lewa is home to 11 per cent of the global population of the endangered Grevys zebra, and currently hosts over 200 rhinos across the Lewa-Borana landscape, as well as a host of other wildlife species.
The uninterrupted and continued existence of conservancy is crucial. As the organization continues to forge tirelessly ahead with their conservation efforts despite the pandemic, so must the marathon, and we are proud to be part of this legacy. Over the years we have donated significant amounts of funding and in doing so we know that every shilling is making a difference inside and outside Lewa’s boundaries” said Stanley Shenlei, Huawei Key Accounts Director.

The 2020 Virtual Safari marathon which already has over 1000 registered participants from over 70 cities, representing 20 countries, is truly a global challenge. With no stopwatch, no time sheet and no spectators, participants are invited to run or walk either 5km, 10km, 21km in their garden, street, local park, beach or treadmill and join forces with others to raise awareness to the tireless work done by the frontline guardians on the ground. You can register here

Acknowledging the unique position and importance of this year’s marathon, Kenyan artist, Nyashinski, has contributed his hit single tune, Marathon Runner, as the theme song for the event on Saturday 27thJune.

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