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Strathclyde Business School in Bahrain recently organised a charity run on 10 October 2012 involving MBA students, alumni and colleagues and supported by local sponsors, in aid of World Mental Health Day. So far, the event has raised over £2,000 for local charities (with further proceeds to come) and our colleague Elvin Joseph, Programme Co-ordinator for the MBA in Bahrain tells us about the event:

When I look back at what made me start an initiative for a Charity Event was when I came across a phrase,” You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you” – John Bunyan

On speaking with Dr. Ron Bradfield (Associate Dean-MBA) who shared the same thought, was in fact looking for someone who could do this for Strathclyde.

For starters, I have never organized an event such as this in my life. However, this was something that was on my mind and with a phrase that was taunting me, I took up the challenge.  The initial drumbeat needed a good cause and a phrase to catch on to. As we google’d the World Health Organization calendar on a cause that we could raise funds for, October 10th World Mental Health Day seemed different to me.

On discussing the idea to many friends, one of my friends offered to do the designs for the event and she was able to come up with something that I had in my mind but in a much better concept. This kick started the initiative and immediately was broadcasted on social media via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc.

Now, the most important element was to get sponsors for such an event which involved a lot of marketing and passing the word to the public, we had to educate ourselves on preparing a good sponsorship letter which explained why this event was organized, who the beneficiaries were and to what extend would this help the sponsored. We targeted large corporations both private and government that would sponsor such cause and used all possible student relations to benefit from this. This infact was the hardest part to it because with less than a month and no sponsors in hand, it seemed really difficult to host the event.

We created our working budget and had many brain storming sessions with students, alumni and fellow colleagues. Looked at the possible issues we had to face for a charity run. We then contacted the Local newspapers and magazines and asked them if they could cover the event we could make them sponsors, on showing such an interest, we included service hands as sponsors by including their company logos on all of our event marketing. In this fashion, we were able to get a wider media coverage, a medical team with a standby ambulance during the event and refreshments from the Local bakery. The location was a park for which we had to get the permission of the Ministry of Environment, Local municipality and the Park authorities. We made merchandise for the event which was a T-shirt and a cap for every participate, this would cover the basic Registration fee of Bahraini Dinars 3/- equivalent to £ 5/-

The medical team which consisted of a Doctor and 2 medical staff was on site did Sugar and Blood Pressure checks for all participants before the event. The first 3 winners were awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals. The youngest participant who completed 3 kms was 4 years of age.

We had a total of 85 runners and many more participation was seen on site. For a charity event that was organized for the first time in an International Center, we drew a lot of attention and we were asked by many to make this an annual event and we hope to do the same in a bigger and better way the next year.

Proceeds are still being collected but to date we have raised Bahraini Dinars 1500/- equivalent to £2500 pounds. All the proceeds from the run and the sponsors will be given to charity and the beneficiaries are :

  1. Alia for Early Intervention : http://www.childbehavior.org/
    Alia is a centre set up in November 2004 by the Bahrain Society for Children with Behaviour and Communication Disorders. The mission of the Bahrain Society for Children with Behavioural & Communication Difficulties is to promote lifelong access and opportunity for all individuals with Behavioural & communication difficulties, and their families, to be fully participating, included members of their community.
  2. Bahraini Association for Intellectual Disability and Autism
    The Bahraini Association for Mental Retardation was founded in 1992 by a group of people interested in this area, and the most important objectives of the association are to provide rehabilitation services, education and training, and entertainment for this category of children with special needs and work to provide family counseling to the parents of these children and alleviate their daily suffering.
  3. Bahrain Deaf Society:
    Bahraini Deaf Society is an organization formed with the sole purpose of promoting the welfare and interests of Deaf people. We believe Deaf people should receive the same access and opportunities as hearing people.

All the proceeds will be distributed on a Community Day which will be organized on the 8th November 2012.”

Well done to Elvin, the whole team in Bahrain and all those that took part.