Over 15,000 people from all walks of life participated in a non –competitive 18 kilometre Health Walk, dubbed, “Life Walk” organized by the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), on Saturday, 24 March, 20012, at Abossey Okai, Accra.
Life Walk is one of the major social events of the ICGC held every year in Accra and other parts of the country. It was started in March 2005 and has been running for eight (8) years and has become the longest running and largest single health walk in the country.
The purpose of it is to promote the health and physical well-being of ICGC congregations and members and also to provide an avenue for generating funds internally to support the church’s social and community development projects.
Before the start of the walk, the participants were taken through an aerobic exercise in preparation for the 18km walk which began at exactly 5.37 am, led by the General Overseer of the ICGC, Pastor Mensa Otabil.
The walk started from The Christ Temple ( Abossey Okai) through the Obetsebi Lamptey Circle, to the Graphic Road, National Theatre, The Independence Square, Osu Police Station, Vertinary Junction, La bone Junction, Danquah Circle, Police Head quarters, Nima Police Station, through the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, back to Obetsebi Lamptey Circle and finished at the Christ Temple, Abossey Okai, Accra.
Addressing the participants after the walk, Pastor Otabil congratulated the participants for taking part in the walk and stated that in the first place it was good for their health. He also advised them to be health conscious and cultivate the habit of exercising regularly.
He reiterated that apart from promoting the physical well –being of participants, Life Walk is also used to raise funds to support the church’s social development projects in selected communities.
He intimated that as part of the church’s anniversary celebrations every year, ICGC supports an institution or community with social intervention projects as her contribution to the development of the people and the nation at large.
“Last year, we committed ourselves to two (2) projects in that regard. First we did the interior and exterior painting of the Central Mosque at Abossey-Okai and its ancillary facilities including the fence wall. Secondly, we gave the Childhood Cancer Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital GH¢5,000.00 every month towards medication and treatment drugs, especially for patients who could not afford the cost of full treatment”, he noted.
Pastor Otabil stated that the feedback received from the hospital authorities at the end of the year was overwhelming and compelling, adding that before the intervention of ICGC, only 25% of children who reported with childhood cancer at the hospital were not able to go through the full treatment due to the high cost of treatment.
“Following our intervention, however, not only did the number of reported cases increase every week, but also 100% reported cases received full treatment”, he added”.
In addition to supporting the Childhood Cancer Unit and increasing the amount to GH¢ 6,000.00 every month, ICGC is undertaking a 1 – year community educational project with the Abossey Okai 1&2 Junior High Schools.
The main objective is to assist the schools to improve on their abysmal performance recorded at the 2010/11 Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) as reported by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
Under the project, seventy (70) JHS 2 students of the school will be given free tuition in seven (7) subjects including Mathematics, English Language, Social Studies, Religious and Moral Education (RME), Integrated Science, Basic Design in Technology (BDT) and Ga.
The subjects will handled by volunteer trained professional teachers mobilized from Christ Temple and the classes will be held at the Educational Blocks at Christ Temple on Saturdays and on weekdays when schools are on vacation; starting this Saturday, 31st March, 2012 till the students write the BECE in April,2013.
Each student will also be given a free school bag with exercise books, Mathematical set, pens, pencils and free meals.
“As a church and non-profit organization, the major sources of income for ICGC include tithes and offerings, pledges and donations. However, funding for the church’s social development projects is raised through special events organized periodically by the church for its members and the general public. These include health walks, health fairs, fun games, Easter family programmes and children’s Christmas celebrations, among others”, he concluded.
The widely –patronized “Life Walk 2012” attracted some ICGC assemblies and congregations, Students from Central University College, Accra Polytechnic, University of Ghana, Meridian Pre-University, Management and staff of some corporate organization, the general public as well as both the elderly above 70years and children above 6years.
In the male adult category, Ezekiel Afelik came first clocking 1hr. 30min.42sec, followed by Yaw Donkor, who clocked 1hr. 33:38 sec.
In the female adult category, Hannah Addow came first clocking 2hrs.15min.5sec, followed by Joan Agyekum, who clocked 2hrs. 25min.6sec.
Pastor Otabil clocked 2hrs. 40min.26sec.
In the Pastor’s Category, Min. Emmanuel K. Ampofoh (Bujumbura Assembly) came first clocking 2hrs. 9min.00sec followed by Pastor Benjamin Abenser (Prayer Temple, Sarpeiman) clocking 2hrs. 12min. 32sec. Rev. Reichess Osei-Bonsu (Christ Temple) placed third making a time of 2hrs. 15min.43sec.
In the children’s category, Master Divine Quartey came first with 1hr.55min.20sec while Miss Sandra Boadi did it in 2hrs.33in. 16sec.
Master Charles Nelson and Benjamin Botchway both six and seven years old respectively were the youngest children to finish the walk.
Major Sponsors for this year’s Life Walk include:
- Nestle’ Ghana Ltd.
- Voltic Ghana Ltd.
- PNT Pharmacy Ltd.
- Fan Milk Ghana Ltd.
- Dannex Ghana Ltd.
- Plaxo Klein Ltd.
- Puma Sports Ltd.
- Capital 02 Ltd.
- Ecobuild Ltd.
- Vanderpuye-Orgle Estates Ltd.
- Fortis Aqua Construction Ltd.
- Ghana Education Service
- National Ambulance Service
- Zoomlion Ghana Ltd.
- The Media