Run for the Future – Teens take the lead in children helping children initiative
14 September 2022
They maybe young but they have the foresight and heart to look beyond themselves and reach out to others. Students from Sunway International School’s (SIS) Interact Club organised the virtual Run for the Future 2021 to raise funds for Dignity for Children Foundation (Dignity). Over RM25,000 were collected.

KUALA LUMPUR, 25 June 2021 – Age is truly no barrier if you want to do something positive. This proved true when a group of students aged between 11 to 18 participated in a student-led fundraiser despite the constraints of movement control.

The group of 70 students from Sunway International School’s (SIS) Interact Club took it upon themselves to raise money for Dignity for Children Foundation (Dignity) in support of Dignity’s goal of providing quality education to refugee children and those in the B40 group.

Spearheaded by 14-year old Caitlyn Lee, President of the Interact Club, and her Vice President, Edward Liew, the duo came up with “Run for the Future” – a virtual run that serves the dual purpose of helping members to keep fit during the Movement Control while giving back to society.

Rain or shine, indoor or outdoor, these students took part in the Run for the Future to raise money for those who are not as privileged.

Using a mobile application “Pedometer & Step Counter” to track steps, Run for the Future requires participants to walk or run as many steps as possible daily over a two-week period. The participant with the highest number of steps at the end of the event will be the winner.

The fund-raising element kicked in when participants approached friends and families to sponsor their efforts by pledging to run/walk a targeted number of steps.

Caitlyn Lee, President of the Interact Club revealed: “We had to really think out of the box to reach out to students and give them a reason to join this ‘children helping children initiative’.

“As incentives, we came up with a few reward systems that are appealing to students. For instance, community service hours proportional to their efforts, certificates of achievement and attractive prizes for the top three winners.

Vice-President of the Club, Edward Liew, chipped in: “Over and above that, we worked to encourage teenagers of our age to step out of their comfort zone, to innovate and take the first step in making a good change to our community, no matter how small or big it may be”.

Throughout the two-week period of the virtual run, a daily leaderboard was set up to motivate participants to consistently keep fit and push themselves to the limit. Participants’ step counts were tracked daily and they were informed of their daily achievements via a WhatsApp group. This serves as a great motivational platform especially when schools had to shut down due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
CHEESE! Over 70 participants took part in SIS Interact Club’s Run for the Future 2021 fundraiser.

The virtual run raised a collective amount of over RM25,131 when it ended. The two-week period also saw over six million steps being walked and/or ran!

The top three winners of the fundraiser were 13-year-old Dillon Choo who raised RM1,671 with 367,862 steps, followed by Nima Rostami who raised RM1,244 with 311,160 steps and lastly, Yuri Fukushima who raised RM1,065 with 266,382 steps. The youngest participant of the event was 11 whilst the oldest was 18 years old.

Of the over RM25,281 raised, RM15,000 will be used as a six-month partial class sponsorship for 15 students. The money will be used to underwrite education fees, healthcare and hygiene needs, nutritious meals, sports and physical development for the 15 students.

The balance of RM10,000 will go toward Dignity’s Farm School to sponsor the building of two units of multipurpose bamboo huts for the school.

And, it looks like nothing is going to stop these far-sighted and selfless teenagers! The coming semester will see yet another fund-raiser by the SIS Interact Club. Stay tuned!

Article appeared on The Star.

About Dignity

Our work began in 1998 in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur with only 20 students then. Dignity is now a learning centre with more than 2,300 children ranging from 2-19 years old.
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