KUALA LUMPUR – 4 DECEMBER 2014 - On November 15th 2014 at 9am, 1200 students set off on a run that lasted 24 hours and ultimately covered a distance of 47,954 KM, the equivalent of the distance between the Poles and back. These students represented over 50 different schools from three cities in Asia – Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Singapore. They were participating in the 24 Hour Race, a relay Race set up by youth organization Running to Stop the Traffik (RTST) for young people combating modern slavery through endurance.
The 24 Hour Races are a youth movement as much as a sports event for 60,000 youths engaged over the few months leading up to the Race, with various TV and radio interviews and fundraisers to raise both awareness and funds for slavery and the event. Onsite entertainment for the Kuala Lumpur race included live music, a carnival that included zorbing, various stalls offering different cuisines and a silent disco happening all day alongside the Races. The event was featured live on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, generating more than 100,000 impressions over the 24 hours.
The Kuala Lumpur 24 Hour Race alone was represented by 260 student runners and over 300 students marshalling and organising the event. Together the runners in KL ran a total distance of 6,027KM and are currently still fundraising to support the cause.
“The race in Kuala Lumpur was excellent. It gave students in Malaysia an opportunity to expand their knowledge about slavery and actually do something about it. The race grouped students of all talents, whether they were in the sports team or band performing, and it was a youth movement in Malaysia that brought students with different backgrounds from different schools to unite with one vision in mind: a world free form slavery” said Kasumi Higewake, Director of RTST Kuala Lumpur.
“Slavery issues are a silent issue, not many people are aware of it in today’s society but it’s a current issue and we feel that it is our responsibility to be the leaders of the near future to create a society without slavery issues,” she added.
Kuala Lumpur’s top male team representing Nexus International School ran a total distance of 244 km and the top Female team from the International School Kuala Lumpur covering 214 km, with a total distance of 456 km. The top school in Hong Kong was the Hong Kong International School, where the top male team ran 314 km, and the female team 276 km, covering a total distance of 594 km. The Singapore American School's top male team covered 264 km, whilst the females clocked in at 219 km, running a total distance of 483 km.
VIP guests for the Kuala Lumpur race included the supportive sponsors such as Mr. B.K Gan, President of the Taylor’s Education group and Ms. Lou Yeoh of Frogasia, a YTL Company. Also present was Mr. Anderson Selvasegaram, Executive Director of Persatuan Kebajikan Suara Kanak-kanak (SUKA Society) to educate all participants and supporters about Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.
This year, Running to Stop the Traffik supports 5 beneficiaries, including Freedom Matters, APLE Cambodia, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, HOME Singapore and SUKA Society who perform grassroots prevention and rehabilitation work in Malaysia, Nepal, Northern India and Cambodia. All the charities have been chosen and vetted by the students. Since it’s inception in 2010, RTST has also worked with AFESIP Cambodia and the Esther Benjamins Trust, which is based in India, instating India’s first law banning children to be trained as circus performers.
RTST would like to extend greatest appreciation to the sponsors of the Race for their utmost support:
Asia’s leading serviced office provider The Executive Centre and global investment firm Bain Capital, Bud
On Creation, Kingdom Wear Hong Kong, Rip Curl Malaysia, Kappa Hong Kong, Salamon Shoe Wear, Pestle Mortar Clothing, FrogAsia, and Taylor’s Education Group as well as their affiliated schools.
Running to Stop the Traffik ambitions to bring the 24 Hour Races to 10 cities in Asia, engaging 250,000 youths in the movement in 2015. The work is not done yet, modern slavery is an ongoing issue that requires constant vigilance. So look out for the many future happenings conducted by Asia’s leading youth movement combating slavery. Event photos can be found at the Flickr account the24hrrace.
Members of the public can help by downloading the android app Run For Freedom RTST (produced by Frogasia) and for every person that takes the quiz and shares it, Frogasia will be donating RM1 to the cause.
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