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This episode features the Chairman and Co-Founder of The Refugee Life Foundation Rush Darwish (pictured above), who shares with us how and why The Refugee Life Foundation started, and the Running Refugees Relays shortly thereafter to fill a great need. Rush's calling: "he works to help disenfranchised children from war-torn countries gain access to free medical care. Over the years, he has helped to raise over a million dollars for needy children through the formation of various fundraising efforts focused on 5K races and marathons." He is a natural leader for this cause and serves on the Board of Directors of AMVOTE PAC, an organization dedicated to promoting voter registration, voter information and voter empowerment. Rush is an avid runner, marathoner, and Iron Man Triathlon Finisher, and works especially hard to support refugee families. He hopes to expand the relays to be unique events that partner social justice, advocacy and help of our most vulnerable people in the world. Team celebrates just after completing a marathon each, on Nov.4th: From upper left: Mark, Randa, Steffi Vogel, Alex Vernon, Jorge Garcia, Moody Elbarasi and Matt/Eila.
This episode also featured four of the runners on our Relay team, Matt and Eila Buszco who ran/walked their miles in the mountains of Vietnam, where they do grassroots work supporting local farmers markets and independent farmers. They share their experience in Vietnam and why refugees and other people in movement are important to them. Second, Andrew Frey ran both Running Anthropologist's monthlong "5K A DAY" challenge and the final weekend of the Running Refugees Relay, which finished the challenge just before our US elections. Andrew is a british marathoner who came to the US as a Fulbrighter and stayed with his family to be an infectious disease researcher at the University of South Florida. He shares some of his thoughts on the international refugee crisis and why he joined, as well as differences between a traditional marathon and a 262 mile team relay! Finally, Kristy Powell Wynn joins us to talk about her Runners World Running Streak of just over 170 days, shooting to break 200 before 2020. Kristy is an inspiring member of the running community and shares her experiences in several challenges, running from her home town of Atlanta, GA- and why she believes in this particular cause. She offers some words of wisdom for others setting out on long distance challenges! Pictured Below: Kristy (top), Eila and Matt (middle), Andrew Frey (with son Ryker) finishing their miles in the RRR...
The 5k a Day remembrance gave us a chance to honor those who have passed in 2020, as suggetsed by members of our Running Anthropologist community. These included health care workers and teachers who passed from Covid, along with pastors and distaster relief workers, those who serve the elderly and children, as well as those who serve others in addiction counseling/recovery work. Lastly, we included several individuals (representing many) who died for no good reason whatsoever from police violence or racial profiling in the United States. Finally, our final weekend we took up the Running Refugees Relay to finish with a 262 mile journey across Florida. Due to Covid and travel concerns many ran virtually, but about half of us did our miles on the ground in Flordia, and started on the coast in Tampa Bay, Florida- journeying northeast to our other coast near St. Augustine. We are grateful to all who have supported this fantastic cause, and encourage you to learn more at www.runningrefugees.com. We will post more updates about upcoming teams and relays in the spring on our facebook page @runninganthropologist! Until then, Happy Running!