Robin and Hilary Butler of Bowen Island, British Columbia, initially discovered and became involved with The Komera Project for one simple reason: their daughter founded the organization. They visited Margaret in Rwanda several years ago while she was working for Partners in Health and The Clinton Foundation in Rwinkwavu. Starting in South Africa, they traveled north to see what Margaret, Paul Farmer and the rest of the team was up to. As such, the Butlers’ involvement with Komera began when the organization was simply an annual Girls’ Fun Run in Rwanda, and they “naturally grew into it as it grew.”

For the past two years Robin and Hilary have organized a run to coincide with their island’s end-of-summer festival. This year, however, Bowen Island will host two runs: an informal one on June 19 with friends and neighbors to coincide with their daughter’s trip to Rwanda for the Komera Global Run, plus their larger annual Rotary Run for Rwanda on August 24. Although their June 19 run will mainly serve as an introduction to the larger Bowen Island event, the Butlers believe that the Komera Global Run is a great idea that unites Komera supporters around the world. As Robin eloquently stated, “The sun never sets on Komera.”

They believe that girls’ education, health and empowerment are important issues for three reasons. First, because “the evidence is in.” Educating girls reduces early pregnancy and the difficulties that accompany it. Secondly, the education girls receive is given back to the rest of the family, therefore lifting their entire family.  And thirdly, on a humanitarian ground, girls are the most oppressed, under-utilized segment of the population. Particularly in countries like Rwanda with a high rate of poverty, but indeed everywhere, giving girls the opportunity to attend school lifts the entire community around them.

And this is what The Komera Project aims to accomplish: giving girls the opportunity of education to lift themselves and their families from poverty while creating a global network of young leaders. This “constructive good” is what makes the Butlers so proud of Komera and hopeful for its work in the future.

 If you would like to sponsor the Komera Global Run on June 19th you can make a donation here!