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Girls’ clubs fundraising to help fellow students

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Three girls’ clubs in the River East Transcona School Division are running to help end gender inequality.

Clubs at Valley Gardens Middle School, Salisbury Morse Place School, and John W. Gunn Middle School have been keeping a close eye on Plan Canada’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign, and have been working to raise money for the cause this year.

The clubs are run with help from RETSD community programming co-ordinator (youth) Pamela Jansen, who estimated approximately 50 students are involved in the clubs, which meet weekly from October to May.

"With our girls’ club, we always pick a charity to study," said Jansen. "We got really involved studying things like government, rights, and justice through their website and created some good conversation with the girls."

The clubs have held events like pink-lemonade sales in their respective schools, but are teaming up to put on their biggest event yet, a walk/run at Kildonan Park on June 1. Events kick off at 9:30 a.m. Three options are available for participants: timed runs of 10 and five km, and a five-km family fun walk. The event has capacity for 500 participants.

Jansen explained clubs have shown interest in having their fundraising to go towards building latrines, building a soccer field, and providing scholarships for girls in developing countries. Students have already seen the results of their work.

"The girls go on the website, and then they pick (which initiatives to support)," said Jansen. "At Christmas, we bought four latrines and some goats and papaya trees — little things the girls wanted to get.

"We had $400 that we used (from fundraising during) the International Day of the Girl in October. We let the girls decide where they wanted to spend it.

"They take ownership of the project."

With the low cost associated with putting on an event like a run, Jansen said the bulk of the money taken in will go to Plan Canada.

"I’m not making fancy packages or anything," she said. "It’s not really costing anything, so all the money will go straight to the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign. We’re not keeping anything for ourselves or our programs."

Registration for the event is underway. Those looking to sign up can do so at any Winnipeg Running Room location, at http://www.events.runningroom.com/site/?raceId=9049, or by calling Jansen at 204-669-9412 ext. 2960. Early-bird prices ($10 for the walk, $20 for the five-km run and $20 for the 10-km run) are in effect until May 3.

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