KOTA KINABALU: The #StandTogether campaign received another boost when 10,000 people ran for kindness at the Unicef Borneo Marathon.
Many at the annual event yesterday also took the #StandTogether personal pledge to carry out an act of kindness every week for the rest of the year.
This is the second year Unicef Malaysia has been involved in the marathon, having introduced a 3km run for children with and without disabilities last year to promote inclusivity.
“Children with disabilities are so often invisible and excluded from mainstream events; including them in this special run gives them the experience of being able to join in a marathon right here in their state,” said Unicef representative to Malaysia Marianne Clark-Hattingh.
Including the #StandTogether bullying prevention campaign’s message of kindness in the marathon this year was a natural step for the collaboration, she added.
“I see bullying as a symptom of non-acceptance of diversity,” said Clark-Hattingh.
“No one should be excluded or stigmatised for their differences because those differences are what enrich our society.”
The #StandTogether campaign by SP Setia and R.AGE was launched last year with the aim of ending bullying in schools through kindness.
It successfully called for a National Kindness Week in over 750 schools across the country in the first week of April; with partners such as Unicef Malaysia, Digi, Petrosains, Teach For Malaysia, 100% Project and Study Hub Asia helping in the effort.
Unicef Borneo Marathon race director and Kinabalu Running Club president Datuk Dr Heng Aik Cheng said of the campaign and its message: “It is something we feel strongly about. It is especially important for young children who are growing up and for adults as well to work together and prevent bullying.”
The Unicef Borneo Marathon is supported by the Sabah Tourism Board, Sabah Youth and Sports Ministry, Kota Kinabalu City Hall, the police, Sabah Health Depart-ment, Sabah Education Department and the Public Works Department .