The 24 Hour Race is an international youth-focused endurance event aimed at combatting human trafficking. Since 2010, the 24 Hour Races have engaged more than 1,500,000 youth worldwide in the fight against human trafficking, and raised more than USD300,000 for anti-human trafficking charities in the process. Locally this race is being organized by Running to Stop the Traffik, a charity driven by the talent, commitment and compassion of young people. The majority of its participants, directors and organizers are students and young adults who believe that through education, interaction and participation, young people can develop a strong social conscience and become active, positive influences in tomorrow’s world.
Kuala Lumpur held its first race at Nexus International School , Putrajaya from 9am November 15th to 9am November 16th with over 250 runners participating from various schools. Together, the students in KL ran a total of 6,027 kilometers for 24 hours non-stop, which was equivalent to the distance between Malaysia and Dubai. Under the horrendous weather, either extremely hot or rapid thunder and rain, the students continued running for 24 hours. Between the 3 cities (Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur), there were about 1,500 students involved and together they ran over 20,000 kilometers to end modern day slavery.
Money raised locally through sponsorship will go to The Suka Society. The Suka Society (Voice of the Children) is a Malaysian NGO that works on behalf of children who are victims of abuse, abandonment or human trafficking. It seeks to protect those children and advocate for them before the law. It also works to ensure the full recovery of the victims through education, development, and therapy programs, and provides training those who work closely with children. It is active throughout peninsular Malaysia and in the island states of Sabah and Sarawak.
Unfortunately there are still millions of women, girls, boys and men being captured, traded, and sold across international borders today. There are many statistics regarding the actual numbers, but no one really knows how many because many are afraid to admit that they are a victim. They end up as workers in dangerous and unhealthy conditions, domestic servants with little or no pay, or sex slaves. Often they lose their passports and identity papers as part of the process of enslavement, leaving them afraid of authorities who often are part of the abuse cycle. The shocking truth is that much of this goes on in broad view of people in civilized cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Assisting Race Director Kasumi Higewake, of Taylor’s Garden International School in organizing this year’s race are, Khadijah Malek, Francis Calalang, Sarah Jabir, Nicole Lee, Shu Mae Teh, and Tabinda Shah. For more information, please visit www.24hourrace.org or by writing directly to Ms Higewake at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Stephen Wise