Every spring, we start raising funds for an initiative particularly close to our hearts: the Benin Summer School. This year, our software department challenged the company to raise the ambitious amount of 10,000€ - and even introduced some friendly competition in pitting Materialise headquarters against all our offices combined. So if we were going to be successful, it was clear that we couldn’t just stick to the traditional Run4Benin, the race we run each year to raise money for Benin.
Every year Materialise organizes the Run4Benin – a company-wide 15km race along the fields surrounding the buildings of our headquarters. It’s a fundraiser organized to sponsor our Summer School in Benin – an initiative which enables local students with management potential to do a university degree and consequently stimulate entrepreneurship in Benin. This year our Medical department was in charge of the organization – and they decided to do things a little differently.
In early August, I reached Benin with my partner Lotte, Materialise CEO Fried Vancraen and Executive Vice President Hilde Ingelaere. The goal for the next month was to conduct a summer school at the hospital in Papané, with 17 students—the best performers from four high schools in the region—and guide them through the developmental projects they had chosen to work on. At the end of three weeks, three students would be chosen to receive a scholarship to aid their further education. Looking back at my notes over the following month, I think we had as much to learn as the students did.
Late every summer at Materialise, there comes a day when professionally dressed people suddenly transform into runners in full gear. That’s when you know it’s the day to Run4Benin. The race, which takes a route through in the green fields around Materialise HQ, raises funds to co-organize a summer school in the small West African country Benin. It also gets people off their office chairs and into their running shoes, which is great.
Run for Benin is a yearly Materialise event to collect money for Benin, a country in West Africa. The run is hosted annually at Materialise HQ, but this year Materialise Malaysia also took part in hosting a run to help with the fundraising.