By: Jim Butcher | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: March 2015
Kibo Group is a U.S. based and registered 501(c) organization focusing on creative development initiatives in East Africa. Clint Davis, president, says, “We strive to grow deep relationships with Africans as we partner with them to address the challenges of extreme poverty and take their communities to new heights.”
The Tulsa Kibo Group International is preparing for its first-ever “Run to the Well” 5K and 1 mile Fun Run, which begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 28, at Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks.
The 5K event will be followed by a fundraising “Partnership Dinner: Working Together” at the Renaissance Hotel from 6 to 8 p.m. Individual dinner tickets are $100, with 65 percent tax deductible. Table sponsorships are available from $1,000 to $10,000.
Clint Davis, president and co-founder, urged area residents to celebrate a year of people working together across the ocean to fight for healthy communities in Uganda. “This year’s Partnership Dinner will feature great food, an update on Kibo Group’s work, fun ways to learn more about this unique country in East Africa, and the best funky little cover band around, Got It Covered.”
Davis and three other Kibo volunteers came together to discuss the 5K event that will benefit communities thousands of miles away in East Africa needing clean water for good health, while so many other races benefit local charities.
The discussion included Teresa McIlroy, volunteer and promoter, whose Strength of Mind & Body fitness center hosted the work;
Mary-Margaret Watson, 5K organizer; and Ben West, a graphics employee.
“’Run to the Well’ will take place on a USATF certified course and timed by TATUR,” Watson said. “We expect 200 to 400 participants.”
Sponsorship levels are available: four at the Pacer level for $2,500, seven Elite levels at $1,500 each, and 15 Sprinter levels for $500 each.
Watson said, “We are running for water! More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related causes - and we are working to make a difference in the lives of people.”
The Tulsa Kibo Group has been working in Uganda for nearly 12 years, helping communities have access to clean water and practice good sanitation. “By running, you are helping to dig new wells and repair broken ones in Uganda,” she said.
Kibo (pronounced “kee-bo”) is the highest point in Africa, the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, rising nearly 20,000 feet above the plains of Tanzania. It has long been the goal of many climbers who go each year and pay thousands of dollars to take the challenge of climbing to Uhuru (“freedom”) peak.
Tulsa Kibo was founded by a group of such climbers in 1998. “Fifteen of us made the five-day climb,” Davis said. “Half of us lived in East Africa at the time, and collectively we represented more than 80 years of living and working in Africa. Our trip to the highest point in Africa inspired us to help take African communities to their highest points. Since that climb, we have been funding various small-scale projects in partnership with East Africans.”
Kibo Group is not a religious organization, but “we are motivated by our creator God. Our faith in Jesus inspires us to serve the poor and the oppressed unconditionally. We want to make it clear that it’s not about us –‘it’ being the overall big picture. It is about the God-given creativity found in human beings. We believe that creativity truly is God-given so we have no interest in pursuing creative ideas without pursuing God, and we want to make Tulsans aware of that need,” said Davis.
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Jim Butcher is a retired, award-winning newspaperman who continues to write as a freelance writer and photographer. He owned the Tulsa Front Page weekly and was executive editor to Neighbor Newspapers' 13 metro newspapers. Currently, he writes for Value News and has become a paid assignment screenwriter, along with a University of Oklahoma professor who wrote Brad Pitt's first feature film. His award-winning screenplay is on the historical Osage Indian Murders of the 1920s.