Christian Runners Smash £100k Trafficking Centre Target

Runners, walkers and cyclists have raised more than £100k to help fund a rescue centre for victims of human trafficking in Uganda.

Christian charity One By One set up the ‘Running For Mercy’ campaign in May and June and more than 200 volunteers took part across the world. One fundraiser trekked the Kenya/Uganda border, a team from London completed 250,000 steps in a day and a school teacher ran up Ben Nevis in a ‘ultramarathon’ challenge. Volunteers in their 80s took part as did several children.

Churches throughout the UK got involved, including Rotherham Elim church, where more than 70 people from their congregation came together to ‘March For Mercy’, walking 5km throughout the town after a Sunday service.

The culminate total raised so far is a staggering £112,000, with further donations set to come in.


The money will go towards the set-up costs of The Mercy Centre in Jinja, Uganda, a residential restorative care facility for girls who have been trafficked. The campaign was launched following the tragic rape and murder of a three-year-old girl named Mercy in Pakistan near to One By One’s offices.

CEO Becky Murray – who started the charity more than a decade ago after a girl she bought flip flops for assumed she wanted sexual favours in return – ran 5km every day in May for the challenge.

“We had people in Australia, Canada, Dubai and of course the UK support us,” she said.

“When we heard the story of Mercy, it broke our hearts. We couldn’t sit back and had to do something. We hope this will be the first of many Mercy Centres around the world. Mercy must never be forgotten and her legacy has to live on. Girls who are exploited need professional support in a loving environment and then we believe healing can come.

“Thanks to everyone who took part in Running For Mercy. We never thought we would raise £112,000 – God’s people have once again shown their faithfulness and generosity to the call.”

One By One already has centres in Kenya and Pakistan and Uganda, where staff also train health professionals and police officers. Its Dignity Project – which provides girl at risk of trafficking with reusable sanitary pads – has reached over 40,000 girls.

Reports in Uganda claim young girls are openly sold in the cattle markets of Karamoja for as little as £1. Estimates suggest that 2,057,000 children are involved in child labour in the country and that as many as 18,000 children are victims of sex trafficking.

Check out www.onebyone.org for more information.

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