Nell English’s Challenge: running for a cause

During 2014/15, Nell English studied the Master in International Political Journalism at UPF Barcelona School of Management, directed by Christopher Tulloch. Her interest in exposing international issues was evident, but we could not imagine how much until she told us about her latest project: to run 724 kilometres in Zimbabwe in 17 days to support the mentally ill in this African country.

Nell will start from the city of Harare, where she was born 27 years ago. Her aim is to reach the Victoria Falls in 17 days, completing 724 kilometres from Harare and crossing Norton, Kwekwe and Lupane.

Nell is dedicating her challenge to the Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health (ZIMNAMH) to raise money for the mentally ill in Zimbabwe. ‘In the United Kingdom, mental health issues are maybe more recognized, but in Zimbabwe they lack a voice, and are unlikely to be the object of money raising initiatives,’ Nell explains. ‘I want to break stereotypes about how mental health is treated and perceived by society because I think it is misunderstood worldwide and here in Africa too. Those who suffer from illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are often outcasts of society. There is little media attention and little social willingness to support it as much as other causes related to animals or children for example.’

Nell’s objective was to raise 2,000 dollars for ZIMNAMH. She opened the crowdfunding campaign Ambessa Run on GoFundMe to do this, and so far she has already raised $2,320. All the money raised will go to ZIMNAMH. 

She has fond memories of her time in Barcelona where she ran the Barcelona Marathon in 2013, and remembers her colleagues and lecturers from the Master in International Political Journalism well. ‘A mix of academics and professional journalists,’ she says. She hopes they all remember her and will help her cause. At UPF Barcelona School of Management, we wish her much luck and success in her challenge.

To sponsor Nell with a donation for ZIMNAMH, please visit this website.