In March, Hester, our Youth Ambassador, pushed herself to the limit and completed the WOMEN FIRST 5km run through the streets of Addis Ababa. Hester was joined by her ski coach (Charlotte Evans MBE Gold Medallist Paralympic Alpine Ski Race Guide) who acted as her guide throughout the race. Having originally set herself a £20,000 challenge to raise funds for Ethiopiaid to support blind children living in poverty in Ethiopia, Hester surpassed this and raised an incredible £27,000.
Alex and Roger Chapman’s short film, ‘Just because I can’t See Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Do’ is centred on Hester’s preparation for the race, the race itself and her trip to visit Mekelle Blind School in Ethiopia.
Hester has plans to eventually go to university and was able to share these hopes and dreams with the children at the Mekelle Blind School during her visit. Hester has benefited throughout her school life from specialist support from the Bristol Sensory Support service, and from her wonderful teachers and teaching assistants. She has now helped to ‘pass on’ these benefits through her amazing fundraising efforts, improving the educational life of the children at the school, so they too can hope for a rewarding and successful future.
“I’ve had quite a privileged upbringing in school life, I’ve had lots of equipment and lots of help and I know that sometimes in Ethiopia, in schools they don’t really have that much equipment and that much help and I really want to help them with that.”Hester
Without an education, the lives of the blind in Ethiopia are extremely limited. A good education is the only way to access an independent and self-sufficient adult life and, without this, many blind children and adults face a life of begging to survive. Therefore, we are incredibly grateful and proud of Hester and all she has achieved through her amazing fundraising efforts.
If you would like more information about how we help create a disability inclusive society across Ethiopia, have a read of Masho’s story – a vision for the future.