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Child poverty relay runs through Belleville

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BELLEVILLE, ON (15/06/11) Sponsored by World Vision, left to right, Zaya Kuyena, Brittany Dickson, and Bryce Dymond are running across Canada in a 71km per day relay. They hope to hit British Columbia by September and raise over $200,000. Photo by Steph Crosier

Steph Crosier

A runners relay making its way across Canada passed through Belleville Wednesday in order to raise money for Child Poverty in Canada.

One Nation Run team consists of Bryce Dymond, Zaya Kuyena, and Brittany Dickso. They are from all different ages and backgrounds believe that Child Poverty should not exist in Canada.

Their five-month trip across Canada is done as a relay between the three runners and the Canadian public. Dymond runs an average of 42 km a day, Kuyena runs approximately 20 km a day, and Dickson runs around four km a day. The rest is up to the public in order to reach a daily goal of 71 km a day.

“Our goal is to raise a toonie for person who hears about the run,” said Dymond. “We are hoping to engage with over 100,000 Canadians so that we can raise about $200,000. The money will go to World Vision Canadian programming, especially five needy projects that are located in urban centres across the country.”

Kuyena said they have learned a lot about the generosity of Canadians. Through every town they’ve stopped in they’ve been fed and had a roof over their heads every night.

“We’re billeted in each town,” said Kuyena. “People are welcoming us, not just into their homes, but into their families as well. So I think that those are the true colours of Canadians from east to west, especially as we move west. And that’s something that has really empowered us moving forward.”

This five-month trek has taken a year for Dymond to plan. He was a youth pastor for nine years when he saw children in southern Manitoba where child poverty is at its worst. With the help of World Vision, he was able to quit his job last July and plan the run. He doesn’t see this five-month run as a pause in his life; instead it is another phase of it.

Both Kuyena and Dickson are students who are giving up their summer for this journey. Neither on of them regrets it.

“I was a student at York University and I finished my fourth year in April,” said Kuyena. “I’m going to be taking the next few months travelling across the country, not many people get that chance.”

After completing the run, Kuyena plans to apply to some Masters programs. Dickson however still needs to complete one more year of a four-year early childhood education program.

“I have been a student at the University of Guelph-Humber,” said Dickson. “I just finished third year. I finished my exam and got in the van.”

If everything goes according to plan, by September the team will be in Edmonton. From there Dickson will head back to school for her fourth year.

Unfortunately since hitting Ontario support has lacked. So far in Belleville they haven’t had anyone run with them.

“News is still passing a bit slow so once again we hope to network people through social media, through word of mouth, and our website www.onenationrun.ca [2],” said Kuyena.

Favourite cities so far for the team include Corner Brook and Cape Spear, in Newfoundland and Quebec City respectively.

“Quebec city, and I have a bit of a romance,” said Dymond. “There is a restaurant, a fine establishment, called Saint Alexandre Pub in the old town and if you ever get a chance to go there, that is a great place for a day off.”

The trek has had its fair share of competition. So far there is a woman in St. John’s New Brunswick who ran a 10 kilometres in approximately 43 minutes.

“She wasn’t even sweating,” said Dymond. “Pretty impressive. So if anyone can beat 43 minutes than I’m sure Renee Embry will be travelling to run with us again.”

The place the team is most excited to go to is home.

“Toronto is home, GTA is home for us,” said Dymond. “So looking forward to home.”

There the team will be met by a police escort and over 100 runners.

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