Running the Race: Levina’s Marathon

Levina and the boys celebrate after complete their race.

In February, a team of 20 from Mosaic’s partner, Building a Caring Community, participated in the Kilimanjaro Marathon 5K Fun Run. The Kilimanjaro Marathon draws 9,000 runners of 40 nationalities to Moshi, Tanzania to run together in the shadow of the tallest mountain in Africa. It is a great opportunity for the children and young adults of BCC to run and socialize with old and new friends alike as they seek to break down barriers and advocate for a more inclusive Tanzanian society.

One of the runners, Levina Maanga, is the only girl in the young adult program. She is strong, intelligent, and creates beautiful cards to earn income through a recyclable papermaking program.

She has come a long way from when she started at the center seven years ago—she couldn’t walk, talk, or feed herself. Originally, Levina was not going to join the run because staff was concerned she would have difficulty making the distance of five kilometers.

But Levina was determined. She wanted to participate so she trained with the boys at the center to prepare for the big day.

On the morning of the race, Levina and the rest of the BCC team waited anxiously near the starting point for the race to begin. When the race started, everyone grabbed a hand and began running. Groups of bright red shirts could be spotted throughout the five kilometers, encouraging each other. We know we run further when we run together.

Levina arrived at the finish line on the morning of the race with a radiant smile on her face. She has gained confidence creating cards, earning money and proving herself up to any challenge. She knew she could do it, and she did.

After the race, one of the Young Adult Job Coaches, Patrick, was sitting with Levina and asked. “So what do you think about next year?” She replied, “I want to do the 21 kilometer race!”

We have no doubt she will.

We are grateful for those who support our mission to create possibilities that exceed everyone’s expectations!

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