Blazing the trail of Angkor Wat, the HAGAR contingent took part in all race categories, from the half-marathon to the fun run. The air was vibrant with runners edging to go. Leading the pack in the 21km half-marathon were runners from Trident Trust Singapore. Set to make a tangible difference for victims, Team Trident Trust raised close to $20,000! Weeks before the race, they were baking cookies and selling sandwiches to garner support from colleagues. Dressed in their white Trident Trust shirt and donning the red HAGAR caps, they were a force to reckon with!
An annual event, the HAGAR Run for Freedom this year saw runners from the different HAGAR offices in Singapore, Cambodia, Australia, and New Zealand, coming together to race for a meaningful cause.
A day before the run event, everyone got together to hear about the work that HAGAR is doing in Cambodia and heard first hand, the moving testimony of a HAGAR beneficiary and the challenges that survivors face. Through the session, it was evident that the challenge isn’t going to be vanquished overnight but would require the cooperation of the local government, NGOs, corporations, and civil society. It’s not just women and children who are victims; boys and men are also targeted, lured with false promises of jobs and trapped on fishing boats for years as they are exploited and worked to death.
Despite the sombre reality, Team Trident Trust was clear about one thing – the run is just the start; they are keen to explore further partnerships and develop ideas on how Trident Trust can help on an ongoing basis. Sustainability is so critical to the work of NGOs especially when we are working with survivors who have gone through extreme trauma and abuse, where recovery is often long drawn and requires commitment.
For the beneficiaries participating in the run, being able to complete the race reminds them of their capability to emerge victorious over a task that seems daunting. To top it off, they each received a gift of running shoes and socks that were kindly sponsored by Under Armour – such wonderful icing on the cake, particularly when some don’t even have proper daily footwear. Thank you Under Armour for enabling them to run, and finish the race well!
The HAGAR Run for Freedom may be over but the work of rebuilding broken lives continues. If you would like to contribute and be part of the recovery force, you can make a donation or contact us to find out more.