We are delighted to announce the successful completion of the SiGMA Foundation Camino de Santiago challenge of April 2023. The group has managed to raise an impressive sum of €50,000 to support the Foundation’s upcoming charitable projects.
The SiGMA Foundation’s 4th Camino expedition
The group completed their pilgrimage and reached the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Their efforts were not in vain, as they undertook this journey to raise funds for charity. Through their hard work and dedication, they have raised an impressive sum of €50,000 for charity.
This expedition is a temporal and spiritual journey that starts months before you actually walk the Camino and slowly slowly builds up to an emotional climax, making you feel so much richer emotionally while building strong solid bonds with your colleagues. If you have the slightest chance of doing this – drop everything else and go for it. Believe in yourself – Dr Kris Borg, Advocate, hiker and SiGMA Foundation contributor.
The culmination of this event marks the end of the Foundation’s fourth Camino challenge in less than three years. The SiGMA Foundation has been organising the Brown’s Camino de Santiago challenge for several years.
This hiking program brings together groups of people for a once-in-a-lifetime trek through rural northern Spain. In May 2022, 27 members embarked on the journey from Sarria, trekking 120km through Spanish farmlands and forests to reach the fabled Santiago de Compostela cathedral. This iteration of the event alone raised an astonishing €135,000.
Another group of 28 embarked on the same journey last September, raising €60,000. In total, funds raised from both expeditions and another from September 2021 totalled an incredible €250,000.
It’s close to impossible to put into words but you start with a feeling of excitement and a fear of the unknown … to some soreness and uncertainty on whether you will make it through. But surely enough with the encouragement and the camaraderie that you make on the way, time flies and you’ve come out of it with a new group of great friends and a set of skills that you’ll never forget – Jessie Busuttil, SiGMA Events Coordinator and Foundation contributor.
The money was used to provide education for 1000 children in Ethiopia by financing the construction of a 3-in-1 school complex in Bonga, Ethiopia. The complex consists of a kindergarten, primary, and lower-secondary school. The school’s metaphorical ribbon was cut on January 23rd, 2023 coinciding with Keith Marshall’s birthday!
“This has been a great experience, on a personal level as well as within the group context. Team spirit was superb throughout and we achieved what we set off to achieve perfectly. Super happy,” commented Yowi Farrugia, another elated hiker from the group and a long-time contributor of the SiGMA Foundation.
This challenge embodies what the SiGMA Foundation is all about – bringing folks from completely different walks of life together for a common cause. We build friendships and kindred spirit, we build teams, we build fundraising platforms, we build projects in Ethiopia, we build lives. As simple as it is effective. Apathy versus empathy – which way will you sway? Choices. Choose well – Keith Marshall, Chief Philanthropy Officer, SiGMA Foundation.
Raising €50K: Fundraising and charity missions
The funds raised will serve as the lifeblood of the Foundation’s ongoing charitable missions, namely the Women Empowerment Project in Jimma-Bonga, Ethiopia. This initiative aims to create positive change in the lives of women living in poverty in the region by establishing a modern skill development centre that will provide training in areas like information technology, cookery, hairdressing, tailoring, and embroidery.
The Women Empowerment Project will directly impact 500 women between the ages of 20 to 45 years annually as its primary beneficiaries. Additionally, the project will indirectly benefit over 2,500 communities in the Bonga area each year. Overall, 75% of the project beneficiaries will be women and 25% will be men.
The project requires a projected total investment of €710,321.67 with €200,000 pledged by the Foundation. To reach this goal, the Foundation is planning a range of fundraising events and will collaborate with partners who share its vision.
Furthermore, some of the funds have been set aside to finance 40 cleft-lip and cleft-palate reconstructions for children in Colombia. For this initiative, the SiGMA Foundation has partnered with the good souls at the Premier Care foundation.
Join the SiGMA Foundation and Brown’s for Camino this September
Brown’s Group of Pharmacies and the SiGMA Foundation are partnering once again for another Camino de Santiago expedition. The Foundation is planning its fifth expedition in September 2023 with the aim of bringing along 30 people. The funds raised from these expeditions will be used to further assist in bringing to fruition the dream of the Women Empowerment Project in Ethiopia.
Unsure if the SiGMA Foundation is the right platform for you to express your charitable spirit? Check out our latest documentary which chronicles the Foundation’s recent mission and adventure in Ethiopia.