Monday, August 22, 2016

UNICEF Heroes for Children Run 2016…

How important are the first 1,000 days in a child’s life?

According to Ms. Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF’s country representative, “For 70 years, UNICEF has worked to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged, vulnerable, and exclude children around the world. Despite the many gains, the lives and future of children are still in jeopardy. In the Philippines, one out of three children under age of five, suffers from chronic malnutrition – the effects of which can be permanent, irreversible and even fatal after two years of age. UNICEF believes every child should have a fair chance at life.” 

Coach Rio Dela Cruz, Ms. Lotta Sywander and Ms. Anne Curtis, UNICEF Brand Ambassador
That is why, for two consecutive years, UNICEF have pressed-on to its goals to address the prevailing malnutrition problem among children which started even before they are born, which includes in the first 1,000 days of a child. The First 1,000 Days Program covers the prenatal and early childhood interventions to prevent undernutrition, including quality care for mothers, proper nutrition and complementary feeding, and life-saving treatment for severe acute malnutrition. 

According to UNICEF, everyday, 95 children die from malnutrition in the Philippines
Last year, there were around 3,000 runners participated in the UNICEF Heroes for Children Run and with the successful turn out, UNICEF raised the goal a notch higher to further strengthen the advocacy and more support will be raised to fund this noble cause. According to coach Rio Dela Cruz of Run Rio Inc, the official Race organizing Partner, all the proceeds of this event will go to UNICEF, so that more children will experience the fullness of life, a basic right many poor Filipino children often times misses out. 

Ms. Anne Curtis, UNICEF Brand Ambassador 
Ms. Anne Curtis, UNICEF brand ambassador for more than seven years, decided to elevate her involvement with the organization last year by starting the UNICEF Run for Heroes. The idea of coming out with a fun run for UNICEF was triggered by a deep compassion she experienced when she had a short visit with one of UINICEF assisted community in Tacloban, Leyte. 

21k Finishers shirt...
 During her short immersion, she witness how the mothers with their babies are being taken cared-off by health professionals. UNICEF made sure that pregnant mothers get their pre-natal check-ups and babies get vaccinated. These mothers are also given nutritious food, vitamins and minerals, and that health systems are in place so that these basic health services are administered effectively. In her time with them, Anne experienced a little R&R with the children in pre-school and spent time teaching kids in their school work. She even candidly mentioned that if she’s not a celebrity, being with these children and helping them is an occupation she wanted to do. 

Ruth Floresca of WriteBreathLive and Ms. Anne Curtis
Anne’s visit to Tacloban, even though short, moved her to launch a fundraising event, thus UNICEF Heroes for Children came to be. The organization in its 70th year in the Philippines have helped thousands of poor children all over the country. But there are thousands more who are deprived from the help they needed and there is so much work to be done. The UNICEF Heroes for Children Run hopes to raise more awareness and support so that these children in vulnerable stage received all the health and nutrition they needed to become productive citizens of this nation someday. 


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