Children run in Africa4 marathons in 4 consecutive days in 4 countries: this is the challenge that the Director of the International Social Service (ISS) Switzerland is preparing to take up in West Africa from 28 to 31 July 2016. Olivier Geissler will start a race in 4 stages from Gambia to Guinea Conakry through Senegal and Guinea-Bissau to raise awareness of the issue of migrant children and collect funds.

Many children and young people move around West Africa driven by poverty, lack of access to education or basic health care. Some are victims of exploitation networks, abuse or carelessness. In vulnerable situations, they often have no possibility to find a stable environment that would offer them future prospects.

Through this initiative, ISS and its partners wish to draw attention to this population of children and encourage the authorities, civil society and communities to develop new measures of protection and support.

All funds raised will be dedicated to improving the lives of children and vulnerable families in the four countries crossed.

ISS has been active for over ten years in West Africa and supports a care mechanism for children between the fifteen countries of the region called West Africa Network for the protection of children (WAN). It aims at the social and professional reintegration of children and young people in vulnerable situations, victims of trafficking or other forms of exploitation. Until now, nearly 6,000 children have been cared for and supported.

You can follow the marathons on the dedicated Facebook page.

Read the full press release in English

It is also available in French and in Portuguese:




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