Manila, Philippines, July 06, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- On its fifth year, World Vision Run has again gathered thousands of its supporters to run and make a difference in children's lives.
More than 5,000 runners and supporters trooped to the Blue Bay Walk in Pasay City on Sunday for the annual charity event -- this year, focused on improving the health and nutrition of children. Participants ran in 3k, 5k, 10k, and 21k categories, while younger runners, aged up to 12 year old, joined the 500-meter dash.
“This is our fifth year, and we are happy that people continue to run with us and help secure a better future for children in need. Indeed, we are not just running for our own health, but for children as well,” Jun Godornes, World Vision Director for Resource Development said.
Proceeds of this event goes to World Vision’s nutrition programs and interventions in areas where chronic malnutrition is most prevalent. For almost 60 years in the Philippines, World Vision reaches out to about 100, 000 Filipino children, giving them access to education, health care, protection, and other community development initiatives.
Fun, family experience
From the start, World Vision Run has been dubbed as a "fun, family event," as many families opt to spend their weekend by running together for a good cause.
Martial Ceniza, one of the runners, said he has been joining World Vision Run with his whole family for two years now.
"It's good to have my wife and two daughters running with me, we really find time once a year to help make a difference in our own little way," Ceniza said. He ran the 3k race with his wife Maila and 17-year old Bianca. His five year old daughter Max also joined the 500 meter dash for children.
Martial also said he wanted to do more, so he signed up to sponsor a child and help support World Vision programs for children and their families.
All the runners received a technical shirt and giveaways from event sponsors, while 21k finishers received a specially-crafted medal.
World Vision’s celebrity ambassadors and advocates likewise supported the worthwhile cause. Joining the run were Miriam Quiambao, Sam Concepcion, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Christian Bautista, Marc Nelson, Suzi Abrera, Camille Prats, and Kim Atienza.
Other celebrities who joined the run were husband and wife running enthusiasts Yael and Karylle Yuson and Dingdong Dantes.
Quiambao shared that the run not only allows her to stay healthy and fit, but more importantly pushes her to fight for advocacies for children.
"We want to stay true to a commitment to make sure every child lives life to the fullest, and they have access to their rights and needs," said Quiambao.
Meanwhile, it was the first time for Prats to join a running event. She shared how her Mars co-host and friend Suzi Abrera helped her train for it.
"This is my first run and I am so happy that I did it with Ate [Suzi]. My first run being for a good cause is also what makes it even more special," says Prats, adding that she would train to hopefully run a 10k next year.
Efren Gonzales, a former World Vision sponsored child, shared how he overcame a debilitating disease and pursued his passion for running.
The 18-year-old was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bone in his childhood. The aspiring athlete found himself limping for weeks and had totally lost control of his legs.
"Takot na takot ako noon, akala ko hindi ko na matutupad yung pangarap ko bilang atleta," Gonzales reminisced.
But Efren was determined to run again. With the help of World Vision and donors, he was given treatment and has since fully recovered. He is now a bemedalled athlete, representing his province of Zambales in the Palarong Pambansa.
Run for health and nutrition
In line with this year’s theme, World Vision also highlighted its advocacies and promoted interventions that ensure children get the right nutrition in the first 1,000 days and get the best start in life.
Participants were made aware of the problem of malnutrition in the Philippines, and how most children suffer from stunting -- which hampers the full physical and mental potential of children, and make them more prone to death and disease.
They also engaged in activities to see how they can help alleviate the problem in their own simple ways.
"World Vision works with partners to break the cycle by making good nutrition for women and children in the 1,000-day window a policy priority," said Kathrine Yee, World Vision Advocacy Manager.
"We are campaigning for the passage into law of the The First 1,000 Days bill. It seeks to promote the health and nutrition of Filipino pregnant women and their children in every barangay, through programs and interventions that include pre-natal services, benefit packages, provision of micronutrient supplements, and intervention of high quality complementary food," Yee added.
World Vision prioritizes interventions that help children to be well-nourished, protected from infections and diseases, and have access to nutritious food, safe water, good hygiene and essential health services.