With immense gratitude, I am pleased to share that Stirpe, Stones & Associate Clinical and Forensic Psychology are Love4Gambia’s newest corporate sponsors. The Stirpe part of the equation is Dr. Tania Stirpe, a Queen’s and University of Toronto graduate and registered psychologist. Her colleague Stones is my uncle (in-law) George. When I began racing in 2005, George and his wife Liz were just the second couple that I knew who belonged to the “club” of marathon finishers. At this point in my early racing career, before my introduction to the Halifax running community, the “marathon club” seemed elusive and special. I wanted to be a part of it. So I made it happen. George was one of the first people I wanted to talk and celebrate with after my first full marathon in 2006.
George is a dedicated distance runner who, as long as I’ve known him, has been equally dedicated to the pursuit of his PhD and his clients at Stirpe, Stones & Associates. I imagine his training schedule on the fridge, next to his dissertation-writing schedule. While maybe not immediately apparent, I see some parallels between the work of George’s Clinical and Forensic Psychology practice and the work of the Nova Scotia-Gambia Association (NSGA) in West Africa. George’s firm practices with a vulnerable population of individuals with mental illness and addictions as well as the criminally accused. Forensics is a highly specialized field of psychology, where services are tailored to fit unique clients. Across the Atlantic Ocean, on another continent, and in a different context, the NSGA works with vulnerable individuals: young girls trying to negotiate condom use; women gathering firewood in the land-mined Casamance region; pregnant women in polygamous marriages at high risk for malaria. Our services are tailored to fit unique community needs.
George has been behind me since I began racing. Once again, he is behind me as I prepare to run across The Gambia. Thanks to George for his ever-present support and for his company’s generous sponsorship which will help me help vulnerable youth in West Africa.