With an estimated 35 million slaves currently in the world, and only 44,000 victims being helped
each year, it is clear that the issue of modern day slavery is very much alive, and a problem to be tackled.
This November 19, over 650 students from 30 different local and international schools will
play their part in raising awareness of this atrocity by racing around the clock in the Running to Stop the Traffik 24 Hour Race.
Returning for the seventh year, tea
ms of students will take over The Peak and race continuously on Lugard Road from 9am on Saturday
the following morning, completing laps of the 3.4km course as many times as they can in 24 hours.
Sponsored for every lap they run, students aim to up the stakes this year and raise a whopping $3.5 million, whi
ch will be allocated to charities, Right4Children and The Exodus Road, to facilitate the prevention of human trafficking and rescue missions.
It's not called an endurance race
for nothing. Students will be tested mentally, as they fight to stay awake during the challenging distances. Last year, runners from Hong Kong cumulatively ran over 38,106 km (more than the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole), to raise funds. From its humble beginnings in 2010, the student-run initiative has to date raised over $6.4 million to combat slavery via carefully chosen beneficiaries, namely Justice Centre, Chab Dai, Suka, Circus Kathmandu, Aim, Blue Dragon, and Home.
Part of the organisers' challenge has been busting the myth that slavery is a thing of the past, as this year's 24 Hour Race’s 16-year-old Business Development Director, Keshav Menon tells us, "Slavery is certainly a problem that continues to persist, but I believe that is starts with this first step of trying to raise awareness among young people on the severity of the problem and then explaining tangible methods to stop this abhorrent practice.
"The most important part of being a representative of the 24 Hour Race, for me, is that the runners have sufficient knowledge of who the Race's beneficiaries are so they have a grasp of why these charities are worth fundraising for. There is an abundance of charities that do a lot of great work, but the beneficiaries that the Race picks (after substantial research) are often ones that are underfunded, yet have a great track record of doing some fantastic work."
Well it certainly seems the message is spreading fast. By popular demand, the initiative has grown from an involvement of 180 students from eight schools, to more than 2,600 young young people from over 80 schools across four major cities, namely Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and for the first time this year, Seoul. More Hong Kong schools than ever before will be taking part in this year's race - so will we see you there?
Help support the cause by sponsoring a runner, cheering them on, or simply spreading the word. Click here
for more information and check out the Facebook page
. Let's get donating.
Read more! Check out our Guide to Hiking and Running Races in Hong Kong.
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