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A different kind of medal for Family 2K Race finishers

This year's 3,000 2K medals were hand-made in Africa to help local economy

People who cross the finish line of the 2K Family Race on the May 29-30 Ottawa Race Weekend (ORW) will be presented with a very different kind of medal this year.

Run Ottawa has teamed with International Children's Awareness Canada (ICA) to create a special hand crafted medal designed by Cameroonian artisan Bantu Freeman and produced by a group of women in the Lebialem Valley, an isolated region of the country located in West Africa.

The women have constructed a total of 3,000 medals made from agejiga seeds, coconut shells and bamboo shoots. To ensure efficient production they formed a working co-op. Their efforts have injected $10,000 into their local economy, a geographically remote region of the country whose population is also marginalized due to limited means to earn a livelihood.

“Providing women with this empowering opportunity has had an immediate and positive impact on the lives of families in the region,' says Edward Smith, President, ICA, who has been working with Run Ottawa since last year on the initiative. "Funds earned have already provided food, medical care, school fees, clothing and other necessities of life.”

It looks like most of this year's unique hand-made medals will be scooped up. With six weeks to go before the 2K Family Run, the race is already more than half sold.

“Teaming with ICA and the Women's Jewelry Project has been a great experience for Ottawa Race Weekend," said Jim Robinson, General Manager, Run Ottawa. "The medal is a symbol of how families can help others while enjoying an outdoors event together. If our race sells out this year, we're considering expanding it next year to help even more families in the Lebialem Valley.”


Learn more about the Women’s Jewelry Project and the Lebialem Valley in Cameroon.

High resolution photos of the medals are available.

News release



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