PUTRAJAYA: The fight against human trafficking will get a boost when students from several high schools in Malaysia will take part in a 24-hour-race in November to raise funds for the cause.
The Malaysian leg of the “24 Hour Race”, held in Nexus International School in Putrajaya, will take place simultaneously along with races in Lugard Road on The Peak in Hong Kong and Gardens by The Bay in Singapore on Nov 15.
The race, hosted for the first time in Malaysia and in its fourth year in Hong Kong, is organised by youth-run organisation Running to Stop the Traffik (RTST).
“Human trafficking is a silent issue. It’s happening around us but many are not aware of it. Today there are many ways for us to read about the issue, through social media and books.
“It would be great if people can also come together to help us and raise awareness about it,” said event organiser and A-level student at Garden International School, Kasumi Higewake.
The United States downgraded Malaysia to the lowest ranking in its latest annual Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Report that was released in June this year.
Among the Malaysian schools taking part are the Alice Smith School, the International School at Desa Park City, Garden International School, the International School of Kuala Lumpur, Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, Nexus International School, Tenby International School, Sekolah Sri Tenby, SMK Sri Bintang Selatan, Taylor's College Sri Hartamas and IGB International School.
In each country, 20-30 school teams of seven to nine runners will take part in the endurance race relay, taking turns to run non-stop laps for 24 hours.
Over 250 runners will be taking part and 800 students are expected to attend a carnival held in conjunction with RTST.
Overall, the race will involve more than one thousand runners from over 50 schools in all three countries. It will commence at 9am on Nov 15 and end on 9am Nov 16.
All the proceeds of the race will be channeled to anti-trafficking NGOs and divided based on a project-by-project basis, said Higewake.
Among the beneficiaries of the event are Persatuan Kebajikan Suara Kanak-kanak Malaysia (Suka Society), Freedom Matters, Action Pour Les Enfants (Aple) Cambodia, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation and Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (Home) Singapore.
All the beneficiaries are involved in prevention and rehabilitation work for human trafficking victims in Malaysia, Nepal, Northern India and Cambodia.
Those interested to donate may also visit the Just Giving website: http://www.justgiving.com/company/runningtostopthetraffik/
For more information on the race, log on to www.24hourrace.org