Two 22-year-old women are launching a relay race that will span six continents and last for 48 hours – to raise vital funds for doctors battling coronavirus around the world.
Jenny Kibazo and Lucy Metcalf, two friends from south east London, have launched Cross Continents for Covid-19, an epic challenge that is raising money for Doctors Without Borders, an international charity that provides medical aid to those who need it most.
The challenge is simple. On Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 May, runners from six continents will complete a 48-hour relay, with individuals being sponsored to run or walk for just 30 minutes at an allocated time. So, as someone, somewhere in the world finishes their run, someone else will start.
The endless cycle of movement will continue for the full two days, so no matter what – someone, somewhere in the world, will be running or walking in aid of the cause.
‘Right now, Doctors Without Borders is providing urgently needed medical care and support in more than 70 countries to counter the coronavirus disease,’ wrote Jenny and Lucy on their Just Giving page.
‘The charity’s medical teams are also gearing up to confront potential outbreaks in the hundreds of areas they were already working before the pandemic struck. They are deploying medics, sending supplies and applying nearly 50 years of experience fighting epidemics to protect the most vulnerable and save lives.’
So far the pair have raised around £500, but they are hoping to get those numbers much higher as they get closer to the challenge.
They say £16 can pay for a surgical tunic, trousers and a pair of sterile reusable gloves. £28 can pay for protective plastic goggles for four doctors. £58 can pay for sterile gloves for 30 medics. And £110 can pay for five protective suits to keep staff safe.
‘We feel very lucky to have the NHS at our disposal, but also feel concerned that so many people around the world don’t have easy access to healthcare,’ Jenny said.
‘Over the past few days, we have reached out to friends, and friends of friends and assembled a team of more than 100 (and counting) people to run the relay.’
The pair have recruited people from Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Africa, Panama, Canada, Cambodia and of course the UK to take part.
‘We’re both lucky enough to be socially distancing at home, but we became aware that for many people around the world – particularly in refugee camps and slums– people are living in such close proximity that social distancing is almost impossible, so a coronavirus outbreak could be super deadly,’ added Jenny.
‘We decided we wanted to raise money for Doctors Without Borders because they are directly addressing this issue. We also want to create a sense unity and help people to feel connected and part of something bigger while we’re all socially distancing.’
Jenny and Lucy are still looking for people who would like to participate, especially if they’re in a different time zone.