AN EPIC feat of endurance from an accountant will help give 79 orphans in Zimbabwe the opportunity to continue attending primary school for a second term.

Michael Dix (pictured centre) braved the first hot days of summer on Sunday, July 22, to run two full marathons in the space of a day – a total distance of 52.4 miles. Staggering the runs into eight 6.55mile laps, he completed the huge mental and physical challenge in 11 hours and 49 minutes, raising more than £1,500 in the process.

Now, that money will be turned into school fees, uniforms, stationery and food for the orphans funded by Creating Better Futures, a Reading-based charity.

The founders along with members of Reading Family Church are preparing to head out to Zimbabwe later this month to support the work. The charity has a Ronseal title: it was set up by volunteers to create better futures for orphaned and vulnerable children through child sponsorship, access to education and meeting basic welfare needs.The work aims to provide a long-term commitment to each child, improving their lives and opportunities. Although the charity was launched in February, the founders have been supporting children in Zimbabwe for the past decade. They have a dedicated team of volunteers on the ground with direct links to schools and orphanages.One of the founders, Chris Poston, is excited about taking fellow church members out to the project later this month. “It’ll be life-changing and it’ll be amazing,” he said. “I think they’ll be a huge culture shock too. The support around us has been immense.” Although part of the ministry involves shipping donations to Zimbabwe, Chris isn’t necessarily looking for any more at this time. “We’ve already got a lot to take,” he explained. “The most pressing need is keeping the children in school and healthy for the long term. This can be done by sponsoring a child for just £15 a month or regular giving.”Chris will be travelling to Zimbabwe along with other members of the church and they will keep people updated on their ministry.

“We’re hoping to keep a blog constantly updated while we’re out there,” he said, adding with a smile. “If we can get an internet connection.”

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