Running for a purpose

A Projects Abroad volunteer who has been working at the Samoa Observer, Samantha Goerling, is giving back to Samoa for being such a wonderful host for the past six weeks.

The 18-year-old is doing this by running the cross-island road from the coast of Apia to Sinalei Resort on the other side of the island, hoping to generate donations to help the Samoa Victims Support Group (S.V.S.G).

“While I have personal reasons for doing this, Samoa has given so much in my short six weeks here,” she said. “So collecting donations for the Samoa Victims Support group will be my gift back to Samoa.”

This will be the longest run for the young Australian, with the distance being approximately 23km

“The only challenge for me would be my Asthma that I have had for five years now.”

The event will take place on Sunday morning, the day before she returns to Perth.

“For me it’s not about the time, it’s about doing it,” Ms. Goerling said

The volunteer hopes that the donations will be used to buy educational resources for the S.V.S.G school.

Samantha Goerling


“At the moment they have seventy students and are very under-resourced,” Ms. Goerling said

“The money will go towards buying the school a whiteboard or a chalkboard and then anything else that is left over will go towards all other educational supplies.”

For Ms. Goerling, she views every step she takes when running as a blessing and wants to share that blessing with others

“A few years ago I had bone surgery on my foot and I thought that I would never be able to run again,” she said. “Prior to the operation, running and sports had been a big part of my life.

“And when that was taken away it was quite devastating for me thinking I will never be able to run again.”

The young Australian made a miraculous recovery which changed her outlook on life

“Now that I can run again due to the miracle of modern medicine, I recognize that I am incredibly privileged,” Ms. Goerling said

“When I run every step is a gift and that’s why I love running. It’s also an amazing way to see places and to meet people.”

The young Australian has attended two fun runs here in Samoa which include the Falefa run and the B.O.C handicap series which was held in Apia last weekend.

Every Monday, Ms. Goerling had also committed to run with the HASH House Harriers. The same group will be joining her on Sunday to run sections.

“This is going to be an open Event for those who want to run. So anyone can join the run and do sections if they would like,” Ms. Goerling said.

“If they want to do just 2km’s then they can wait along the road that they want to run. Or they can start at 6am with me at the Coast.”

Donations will be accepted even along the cross-island road with a support car picking it all up.


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