24 Hour Race: How YOU can stop human trafficking

Every day, 5,500 men, women and children become victims of slavery. But in just one of those 24 hours, we can begin to change this. How?

This is what the 24 Hour Race is all about.

24hourrace.org

Every year, 600,000 to 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders. Approximately 80 percent are women and girls. Up to 50 percent are minors.

The list of statistics goes on. But what does this mean to us? And why should we care?

These aren’t just numbers. These are mothers, fathers, daughters, sisters, brothers, sons, and they are all being sold, abused, manipulated, and exploited.

These victims are forced to live in a foreign country against their own will, forced to live their lives in complete fear, and forced to meet the demands of complete strangers just to stay alive.

They are left destroyed and broken with no freedom to say “no” – a simple word that many of us take for granted.

Whether it’s human trafficking for the purpose of human organs, forced labor, or sexual exploitation, there are people out there – no different from us – who are being treated as nothing more than slaves.

Photo by Ira Gelb. Creative Commons license.
Photo by Ira Gelb. Creative Commons license.

Slavery may be legally abolished, but the same phenomenon clearly still exists. What’s even more appalling is that there are more slaves today than at any time in human history.

We must stop this global crime and start calling “human trafficking” for what it really is: slavery.

So what can we do about this?

The 24 Hour Race movement is a youth-led organization dedicated to ending modern-day slavery through raising awareness and funding charities. Since 2010, the 24 Hour Race movement has engaged more than 100,000 youths and raised more than $550,000 for beneficiaries.

This year, the 24 Hour Race in Singapore will take place at Gardens by the Bay on Nov. 14-15 starting at 9 a.m. It will be happening at the same time as 24 Hour Races in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

24hourrace.org

At SAS, we have a number of students who are already involved with the 24 Hour Race, not only as past and current runners, but also as active committee members who are in charge of organizing this huge event.

Aileen Lim, a senior, is the Director of Advocacy and Impact, junior Seo Young Lee is the Business Development Director, junior Clara Fong is the Head of First Aid, and junior Alexandrine Lawrie is the Head of Schools & Liaison.

Why have they joined?

Aileen said, “To know that there are kids just like me and my friends who are currently victims of this phenomenon is heart breaking.”

This has moved her to take action. Aileen participated in the race the last two years as a runner and team leader, but now she has an even bigger role as a Director.

“After doing it for a couple of years, I became committed to the organization. I have been given so many opportunities in my life; I wish everyone could have the same opportunities. This organization allows me to use the opportunities I have to help the less fortunate kids out there to give them the chance they deserve in life.”

Currently, there are 10 team leaders from SAS who have signed up for the race, including Suphakorn Khongchan, Paul Olsen, Ingrid Liu, Jack Luba, Vanessa Smiley, Chris Huang, TK Hwang, Bryce Yoder, Kyla Jacob, and Alexandrine Lawrie.

11996904_10204799595858862_8682392062901869647_nTeams are still in the process of being formed, as each team leader is responsible for recruiting eight runners.

Though SAS has many team leaders, the Canadian International School in Singapore already has 19 team leaders so far. Our SAS team leaders are still in need of more runners.

Each runner’s target goal is to fundraise at least $250.

Aileen said that the 24 Hour Race “aims to donate all funds to charities that provide protective, rehabilitative, and investigative services, in order to abolish modern slavery and help those that are in vulnerable situations around the world.”

“We hope to double the number of people involved from last year and double our funds raised here in Singapore to give to the charities.”

Be sure to get in touch with one of the team leaders or directors if you would like to get involved and help make this happen.

Other positions are available for those who want to help ensure that this year’s event runs smoothly. People interested in marshalling and managing the race day activities can apply here, and certified first-aiders may apply here.

Don’t miss out and join the collaborative effort in fighting modern-day slavery now!

To learn more about 24 Hour Race movement, find out through their website.

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