Over $80,000 raised to feed Cambodia kids

By Jecolia Tong

MORE than 700 people showed up yesterday morning at East Coast Park for a 2km walk which culminated in a fair, and they helped to raise over $80,000 for underprivileged children in Cambodia.

The Walk The World event, held annually by express-delivery company TNT, consumer-goods company Unilever and global science-based company DSM, was organised in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP).

WFP is the United Nations' front-line agency in the fight against global hunger. However, those companies were not the only ones doing their part for charity. The event was held in more than 100 countries yesterday.

In Singapore, funds were raised through the sale of coupons, which could be exchanged for drinks and food, or used to play games at a fair set up at the event. There were corporate donors, such as Swiss bank BSI, which donated $30,000.

Walk The World began eight years ago, with the idea seeded here by TNT.

The concept was proposed to the WFP by TNT chief executive Peter Bakker, and was the first of such initiatives undertaken by the company as part of its corporate social responsibility scheme.

About $60,000 was raised in Singapore alone last year through this event. Internationally, Walk The World last year raised enough money to feed 14,000 underprivileged children for one year in countries such as Malawi and Tanzania.

TNT's target amount for Singapore this year was $60,000 but, as of yesterday, funds raised have surpassed that amount.

Funds will go to the School Feeding Programme in Cambodia, which provides food for schoolchildren. This encourages people to send their children to school, and it is hoped that promoting education will help many break out of the poverty cycle.

The event was open to the public, but most who turned up to show their support were from TNT, Unilever, Credit Suisse and BSI - the main corporate participants.

Many of those present - such as Ms Jennifer Hewit, the vice-president of the information-technology department at Credit Suisse - were with their families. Ms Hewit was with her husband and their two-year-old son, Tyler.

She said: "It's good to teach your children that not all children in the world have it as easy as they do."

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