The PAWA supporter family ranges far and wide. Both women and men who feel passionately about supporting girls’ education across Asia are part of the Pan Asian Women’s Association, raising funds for this valuable cause. Wesley Masters is one of two PAWA supporters running the 2018 London Marathon to help PAWA create a floating school for the girls of the Haor region in Bangladesh.
PAWA Chair, Zehan Albakri, sets the scene for us of how this decorated soldier came to be involved with PAWA.
Zehan says, “Wes spotted the PAWA stand at the Super Heroes run at Regents Park last year and emailed us out of the blue to say he really wanted to do a challenge for PAWA. He had just completed a challenge for CALM – a charity for young men with mental health issues/depression.
“Phyllis Hatfull, our Vice Chair, and I met him for coffee and it was great to hear about the challenge he did for CALM and we spoke about what he could do for PAWA – he would like to do a much bigger ambitious challenge (ie travelling to Asia on foot with no money !) but is starting with the Marathon first. He has a young daughter so understands the need for girls to receive equal opportunities and also experienced, while in the army in Afghanistan and Pakistan the discrimination that girls faced so he seems very aware of our cause”
My name is Wesley Masters and I am a student in my third year of a sport science and nutrition degree, and I work part-time as a fitness coach for a company called British Military Fitness, which is run throughout a number of parks over the UK.
I am running London Marathon 2018 to help raise funds and awareness for PAWA. I approached PAWA to ask if I could fundraise for them over a number of activities this year, which I have had to limit to just the Marathon until further notice.
Making a positive impact for girls’ education and others
I believe women should have the same rights to education as men. The floating school project is associated with the Marathon. I hope to have a positive impact on the lives of others every day of my life, so it is hard to quantify that into a figure for you so I just hope to raise as much as I can, and to keep circulating gender inequalities to help bring about social change.
I would describe myself as an athlete with a high aerobic capacity but my sport is Rugby League. I have been running since I was 16. The marathon will be challenging as it is for most, but it will sit around a 5/10 in difficulty for me as it only lasts a few hours.
A Passion for Sandwiches
We asked Wes to tell us something quirky about himself and this is what he wrote: I would describe myself as quite unusual, as to how I process information and my perceptions on normality. It doesn’t make for interesting reading but people have often asked how I can easily do things they would typically find extreme, to which I would say I react to situations differently to most. But maybe the simplest thing to say about me is: I really like sandwiches.
Be part of the Floating School project
If you would like to support the Floating School project and/ or our marathon runner Wes Masters, you can donate to this great cause at http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/pawalondonmarathon
Or you can donate direct to PAWA via the PAWA Donate page.
Photos: PAWA archive and Wes Masters LinkedIn
Wes Masters has a background in the military, having been a soldier decorated with the Military Cross for his gallantry and courage, when he saved the life of his friend under fire. He is now a trainer with British Military Fitness.
PAWA Magazine, is the online magazine of PAWA, the Pan Asian Women’s Association. The magazine shares news and stories of PAWA People and Projects supporting girls’ education across Asia.