ANDREW KING, the mayor of Hamilton, New Zealand, has accepted an invitation by a children’s group to participate and officiate at a fun run/walk event to mobilise resources for Zimbabwe’s rural school libraries on February 25, 2017.
BY STAFF REPORTER
An initiative of 13-year-old Indian-born twin sisters Shefali and Shivani Sinha of St Peter’s School in Cambridge, the fun run/walk around Lake Rotoroa is being organised to support the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust, which mobilises resources to enable rural children in Zimbabwe access reading material.
“We are excited mayor King has proved he is child-friendly by accepting our invitation,” Shefali said, adding that the endorsement by the mayor would see this year’s event being bigger and better.
Shivani commended Arlo and Eva-May Oliver and Ropafadzo Kunaka, who have joined her and her twin sister in preparing for this year’s event.
“Teamwork is always important. Shifeli and I did not initiate this project for personal glory, and we want as many children as possible involved in the planning and execution of the project to ensure that we change the lives of children in another part of the world,” she said.
Accepting the invitation through his personal assistant, King said he would not only be guest of honour, but he would also participate in the run itself.
“The mayor would be delighted to attend this event to deliver an opening speech, assist with the certificates and raffles, and to participate in the run itself,” wrote Juliet Whale, King’s personal assistant.
According to the organisers, proceeds from the first two fun runs have contributed towards purchasing and shipment of books to Zimbabwe and the recording of a song for an international album, while songs on reading and libraries are expected to be released this year.
The twin sisters, meanwhile, have been nominated for the Genesis Energy Shine-a-Light Award for their role in sourcing reading material for underprivileged communities across the world. The girls were also appointed alongside other New Zealand children as goodwill ambassadors of the trust in 2015, positions they still currently hold.
Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust New Zealand chairman, Driden Kunaka praised Shefali and Shivani for their work.
“The girls are a great joy to work with. They are passionate, visionary and caring, and have inspired many. Most exciting is the thought that the children are doing work that benefits less privileged children in another part of the world. They have justified their role as goodwill ambassadors of the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust,” Kunaka said.