Hear From Our Youngest Runner, Rosie van der Vliet...

I have been to Sierra Leone to take part in the Sierra Leone Marathon with my family 3 times and all 3 times it has been the most amazing experience. In the first year, when I was 8, I ran the 5km. In the second year, I was 9 and ran the 5km and the third year I was 10 and ran the 5km. I will be running the 5km this year as well. 

In the past years I have gone with friends my age but this year I'm just going with my family and some people my parent’s age. When I tell people how I'm running in the 5km race they say 'you must be mad' and stuff like that and they find it hard to believe, they found it even harder to believe that I started going there when I was 8 years old!

I wanted to write this blog because I would like to raise money for Street Child.

Rosie with her friends on her last trip to Sierra Leone

Rosie with her friends on her last trip to Sierra Leone

Street Child is a very important charity because it helps children get off of the streets in Sierra Leone, that’s why it’s called Street Child.  In Sierra Leone street children don’t get any education and its always very hot and humid.

Street Child have done an amazing job so far and it is really interesting to go and see some of the projects. We support families so that their children can go to school. At the schools where we visit, we sometimes give the children pencils and pens because they don’t have any at all. We also bring the very small nursery children cuddly toys which they love. Most children’s toys have been burned because of Ebola.

Ebola is still a small problem there but my family and I will stay far away from it. I am still a bit afraid of going because of this reason but I'm sure that once I get out there I'll forget all about it. 

I have done some fundraising for Street Child in the past. My friends and I made bracelets, brownies and cupcakes and sold them at my local church, St Marks. We spent about £50 for all the material and mixture but managed to raise close to £600. 

Some of the saddest things about Sierra Leone are that you get to see how different their lives are to ours. How they don't have clean water and not much food at all. Not like us, how we have everything right in front of our eyes. 

How would you feel to be in the same clothes every day of your life and how would you feel if you have no family at all at a young age?

Can you help me raise money? http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BartvanderVliet

Rosie van der Vliet

Age 11