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12 April 2024

French kids in Dubai run in ‘fight against hunger’

By Majorie van Leijen

Every year, all French school children around the world leave their school desks to run in their ‘fight against hunger’.

Yesterday, the three French schools in Dubai – Lycée Français International Georges Pompidou (LFIGP), Lycee Francais International Dubai, and Lycee Franco-Libanais, held a marathon to raise money for the cause.

“Last year, we raised Dh61,363.50. I think this year’s marathon might have resulted in over Dh100,000,” says a proud Michele Sukhrieh, one of the teachers at LFIGP.

“The idea was introduced 13 years ago. All schools in France participate in the race on May 13. But because it will be too hot here in Dubai, we have the marathon a little earlier.”

Children are tasked with finding sponsors weeks before the marathon.

These sponsors promise to give a certain amount of money for each lap that the student runs. After the race, the students meet up with the sponsors to collect the money, explains Sukrieh.

“I believe there was one student who ran 13km in the one hour the marathon lasts,” she says.

This year’s funds go to Bangladesh. The money is collected Action Contre la Faim, a French organisation that is striving to fight against hunger in distressed countries around the world. The focus of the program is on children suffering from malnutrition.

It is the third consecutive year Dubai’s French schools are represented in the marathon and from LFIGP alone 600 students participated yesterday.

“We are hoping to include other schools next year. Although it is a French initiative, it would be great if schools with other nationalities participate,” adds Sukhrieh.