Abana Banji

On Saturday, Oct. 15 the annual Abana Banji 5K run will take place at Ada Haydn Park. This road race, which is organized by SHEPH, will help raise funds to purchase supplies needed for the yearly Uganda Service Project. Although it may seem to many Ames High students that Abana Banji, and the Uganda Project, have been going on forever, both activities have been around for fewer than ten years. The Uganda Project has been occurring for nine years, while Abana Banji has been running for five. SHEPH sponsor Tim Mooney described the initiation of Abana Banji by saying that, “the race really came just as an idea for a way to support the Uganda Project. We just thought ‘Hey, we like road runs and 5Ks, and they have the potential to raise a lot of money. So, lets take a good cause and see if we can raise a lot of money.’” Although Abana Banji has only had a moderate turnout in past years, it has still proven to be a significant fundraiser for the project. “The 5k has never really taken off as an extremely big race,” Mooney said. “The largest number we’ve ever had is 199, but we’d like to exceed that this year.” Regardless of whether or not the 200 mark is broken, the Abana Banji run will still be a significant fundraiser for SHEPH that is capable of raising four to five thousand dollars. These funds will be put toward buying building materials needed to create a primary school in Uganda. Whether or not you’re interested in running, the Abana Banji run is a great way to support the SHEPH Uganda project. While, there will be authentic Ugandan prizes for the winners, the event is still a great experience for whoever chooses to participate. “Come out and run,” Mooney said.