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This fundraiser ended on 12/06/11

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Pat Diaz is racing across the Himalayas to support impoverished communities in Ethiopia.

Family, Friends & Colleagues,

As you may know, next month I will be participating in RacingthePlanet's Nepal 2011 ( along with my twin sister Sarah and a good friend, Rando Coughlan. In 2009 I, along with two good friends (Steve Kodish and Shawn Harmon), took part in RacingthePlanet's Gobi March, a 6-stage, 250km (150 mile) self-supported footrace, in China’s far west Gobi desert. As part of our involvement in the Gobi March, Steve and I raised more than $10k for a lung cancer research foundation in memory of our fathers. This year I hope to have even greater success by raising $22,800 for another cause near-and-dear to my heart, the Little Voice Foundation (, a Canadian-registered charity focused on providing housing and education to children living on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My goal is to raise enough money to sponsor 20 kids for an entire year!

UNICEF estimates that there are as many as 150,000 children living and working on the streets of Ethiopia's capital city. Of that number, maybe 45,000 have families to go home to after their excruciatingly long workday. For those children who have families, they are often the sole provider of the household, many of them also caring for one or more family members battling HIV/AIDS. However, the others face long nights on the streets avoiding dangers such as beatings, rape and robbery. Education is a luxury very few can afford.

Enter Little Voice. In February 2006, Little Voice established a small primary school with the goal of offering its 200 seats for free to children from poor families and to those living on the streets. They now operate two primary schools with 350 students ranging in age from 3 – 13 years old. The Little Voice programs such as their Home for Children, Scholarship program, Vocational Training program and Women’s Business Initiative have grown to reach more than 1,000 individuals and families in a very impoverished area of Addis Ababa.

During my first few days in Ethiopia in 2009, I had the pleasure of meeting and befriending the co-founder of Little Voice, Jenna Hoyt. Throughout my eight months in Ethiopia I witnessed the positive environment she and her Ethiopian colleagues create and sustain for kids living on the streets of Addis Ababa. All funding for Little Voice is done through private donations. Your contributions will be greatly appreciated and have a direct impact on the lives of these children.

Thank you for your support!


Information relating to the RacingthePlanet's Nepal 2011 can be found on the race website (, but a few quick facts are listed below:

• Nepal 2011 will start on the 20 November. It is a 7-day, 6-Stage, 250 kilometer, self-supported endurance foot race.
• It is part of the roving race series which moves to a new location each year. Nepal is the fourth roving race – the previous locations were Vietnam, Namibia and Australia. In 2012 the roving race will take place in Jordan in May.
• Nepal 2011 is a self-supported race; competitors must carry everything they need for the seven days on their back. The average backpack will weigh 9 kilograms / 20 pounds.
• Two hundred competitors from more than 35 countries will take part in Nepal 2011.
• The course is in the foothills of the Annapurna Mountain range surrounding Pokhara.
• The maximum altitude reached will be 3,200 meters / 10,500 feet.
• Total elevation gain across the full course is 9,000 meters / 29,500 feet
• Roughly 77% of the competitors are male and 23% are female.
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