SINGAPORE Corporate groups will be donning slippers on the way to East Coast Park this November 4. The reason is Project Happy Feet Slipper Race, a fundraiser to support education programmes for underprivileged children. The inspiration for the race are the children who have to walk barefoot or in a pair of slippers for over 3km just to go to school.
Organised by Singapore-based Project Happy Feet, the 4km walkathon will also be held for the first time in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on October 21, at the Anh Sao Bridge Park in Phu My Hung, District 7.
Last year's Singapore race had a turnover of 1,800 registered participants, about 50 per cent were composed of executives. Organisers at Project Happy Feet are optimistic that they will exceed the 2011 figure.
“Companies see this as an innovative way to engage their employees in CSR,” said Terence Quek, communications director and founding member of Project Happy Feet.
Hewlett Packard Singapore, the event’s principal partner, has employees organising the race and registering fellow colleagues. MagiKats, a Maths and English homework coaching centre, has rallied over 200 participants including staff members, clients and friends. The Financial Women’s Association has also registered 50 of their members, mostly from Singapore’s finance sector.
Other participants in this year’s derby are the Young National Trade Unions Congress and the South East Community Development Council. Last year saw Standard Chartered, KPMG and ST Electronics sign up for the activity.
Project Happy Feet welcomes sponsorships, corporate partnerships for event organisation, outreach intiatives and employee registration – any form of contribution that companies wish to make to champion the cause.
“What’s unique about this event is that the cost is entirely covered by sponsorship from corporate partners,” said Quek, “And any spill over in sponsorship goes to the fund.” This includes registration fees (SG$35 or US$29 per person) and donations.
Beneficiaries of this year’s Singapore race are This Life Cambodia’s Lower Secondary School Development Program, which is focused on developing community competency through sustainable solutions for schools; Compassion Fund, a Singapore-based crisis response fund for students from low-income families; and Singapore Community Chest’s SPED Financial Assistance Scheme, which provides financial assistance to needy students from special schools.
For the Ho Chi Minh City Race, social enterprise KOTO, which combines a non-profit restaurant with a culinary and hospitality training programme for street youth; Vietnam Association for Protection of Children’s Rights, which seeks to protect children from child abuse and champion their rights; and Loreto Vietnam – Australia Program, which is dedicated to reducing poverty by providing educational opportunities for underprivileged and disabled children, are supported.
Registration for the Singapore race ends on October 21, while Ho Chi Minh City's closes on October 20, but companies looking to join in on the fun can consider next year's event. Group bookings are accepted for 20 participants or more.
To register or find out more information, visit www.phfslipperrace.org