Children shouldn’t have to grow up hearing gunfire every day, says UWindsor alumnus Jaydee Tarpeh (BSc 2016). That’s why he has begun a campaign to raise $100,000 for children affected by war.
“One out of every six children lives in a country affected by war — that’s 420 million children at risk,” he says. “They’re living under constant threat.”
It’s a threat Tarpeh understands. He grew up in Liberia during its first civil war, which killed some 250,000 people in the West African nation.
“There’s nothing normal about a kid’s life when every day they’re hearing gunfire,” he says. “I know how much that can impact a kid. Not too long ago, I was one of those kids.”
He has launched Jaydee Runs for War Child Canada, which will see him run 77 km (48 miles) over 48 hours, one weekend each month for a year. He is seeking sponsorships to support War Child, a humanitarian organization dedicated to helping children and their families overcome the brutal impact of violence. The charity’s founder, Samantha Nutt, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Windsor in 2016.
“They do important work and they need the money,” Tarpeh says. “Actually, the cause needs a lot more money, but this is a first step.”
He takes his runs on the selected weekends as four miles every four hours, even overnight.
“This challenge mimics some aspects of living through war, such as waking up and running in the middle of the night, not sleeping fully, or walking for days on end,” he says.
Now CEO of Xenia Education, which provides tools to ease the transition to Canadian universities for international students, Tarpeh served as president of the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance during his undergraduate career.
To make a donation to his War Child Canada fundraiser, visit the campaign website.