25 October 2015 – Close to 3, 000 participants, including children and persons with disabilities, showed support for the Heroes for Children Run. The first major fundraising initiative of UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children, Anne Curtis, the event aims to raise funds for the benefit of UNICEF’s ‘1,000 Days’ campaign.
One of UNICEF’s priorities is to promote access to essential nutrition and health services during the first 1,000 days of life-from conception up until their first two years. This is a critical window of opportunity within the framework of Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), which provides the foundation to shape a child’s growth and development with benefits that last well into adulthood.
“Children have a right to proper growth and development. by investing in early childhood development, we are giving the children and the nation a better and more productive future. We welcome Anne for her dedication and commitment in pushing for awareness and support for this important stage of a child’s life,” UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander said.
As part of this campaign, a series of legislative advocacy forums with the House of Representatives and the Senate were held. These aim to gather support for policies and programs covering essential nutrition and health services, ensuring these are adequately supported, funded, and delivered with quality to give every Filipino child the right start to life.
“I’ve always held a soft spot for children,” says Anne, who ran with the children present during the event. “In our country, more than 3 million children are stunted. Studies show that many children in the Philippines do not live past their fifth birthday because of undernutrition. This run is where we can all come together as heroes to provide children with the best start in life.
“This event is just one of the many I have planned as a UNICEF Celebrity Advocate. It’s a small step in creating a better future for children, but it’s a start of a long fruitful journey towards that,” Curtis added.
The run featured a 500-metre dash for kids (age 12 and below); 5k, 10K, and 21K.
Organised through running partners Leadpackand Takbo.ph, the Heroes for Children Run is presented through the support of SM Mall of Asia, PSBank, Double Dragon Properties Corporation, Enervon, SM Accessories, Belo Essentials, Cherry Mobile, Jack’n Jill, Century Tuna, Toy Kingdom, SM Cares, Gatorade, Dole Philippines, McDonald’s, Teleperformance, Lifeline, Discovery Suites, Crisp on 28th, Sprout, PMX Audio, Philippine Star, Businessworld, Nyxsys Philippines Inc., Chris Sports.
To know more about the run and unicefs programs, visit www. unicef.ph or call 758-1000 (Mondays to Friday,
9:00 a.m. To 6:00 p.m.).