Mission 29.2 started with one woman’s love for running and a deep desire to run with purpose.
In 2008, Martha Walker traveled to Ouanaminthe, Haiti to serve children in an orphanage. She departed from Chicago with high hopes of making a difference in the lives of children, but instead, it was a 6-year old boy named Wilderson who stole her heart and changed her life forever. It became clear to Martha that without a better education, these children would grow to struggle greatly in life and it was this understanding which forced her to commit to working for educational justice within this community long term.
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Although education is seen as a benchmark for success in life around the world, most Haitians do not have access to, or simply cannot afford a quality education. Of the 8.7 million inhabitants of Haiti, over 50% are illiterate. Statistics like these are a difficult reality for many parts of the world, but they've driven people like Martha to find ways of being part of the solution.
Having experienced numerous fundraising challenges during the early years , Martha found a new way to raise awareness and support by combining her passion for running with her desire to serve others. Her plan was to organize the first Marathon in Ouanaminthe, Haiti as an avenue for raising funds for educational needs.
Who would have thought such a radical idea would come to fruition just one year later. The Haiti marathon of 2011 was the first of its kind. Due to several logistical challenges, the race ended up being 29.2 miles long. Rather than push forward with their own "26.2" agenda, the group welcomed the additional miles. Not only would this unique distance become our official name, it also stands as a faithful reminder for our team and participants to come with an open minded attitude while serving alongside communities such as Ouanaminthe.
To date we have raised close to $30,000 for educational needs in Haiti. Mission 29.2 continues its dedication to fulfill Martha's dream of educational hope for all children.