Early in the morning on the 13th of February, Walk For Children took place at the Perdana Botanical Garden. It was hosted by ISKL’s very own International Club, which supports local charities such as Shelter Home Malaysia and Tasputra Perkim – both charities that aid disadvantaged children. As the crowd registered and warmed up to loud, pumping music, the walk-a-thon began in order to raise awareness for the organizations and the cause. Several walkers signed up for the 5K walk, while others partook in the 3K walk.
The last Walk For Children was hosted in 2012, and in previous years, the International Club sold candy grams to raise money and awareness for the charities. In September 2014, the club began to discuss the prospect of re-initiating the event in order to help the two children’s charities at a much larger scale. Planning the event was no easy feat, however. Teah ‘16, describes the walk-a-thon to be “the biggest challenge we undertook as a club.” Hosting such a high profile event with limited experience for such a cause required hours and hours of commitment. After just over a year, the club was able to get sponsorships from companies such as iConnectix and Asian Tigers, and spread the word through the media – using platforms such as newspaper articles, radio ads, interviews, Instagram, Facebook, and the Walk For Children website. Approximately 650 people took part in the walk-a-thon.
Nevertheless, the hard work paid off. As people from all over Kuala Lumpur gathered in the garden at the crack of dawn, including ISKL students, teachers, and parents. The event was even officiated by the Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Encik Khairy Jamaluddin. Free cereal was offered, but there was also a variety of vendors – from Deli Delights, to the Prom Com booth, to the MER-C stall. After 30 minutes or so of heart-racing warm ups, the walk-a-thon was off to a great start! First, the 5K walkers went, and then the 3K walkers. Marshalls were scattered along the path to ensure that there were no runners or any other kind of shenanigans. After the walk, the crowd was tired, but refreshed themselves with free drinks, and were awarded with goodie bags filled with drinks and food, and a certificate. As children jumped on the bouncy castle, and adults settled down, they were treated with entertainment. Several acts from ISKL performed. The IASAS Dance Team performed a set, the band “VUE”, composed of ISKL Juniors, performed covers of songs like Trojans by Atlas Genius, Cloud Nein graced the stage with their renditions of Valerie, Banana Pancakes, and Love Story. Everyone participating in the event had a blast. Radhi ‘17 says enthusiastically, “The event was great!! There was a lot of energy at the start of the race. I didn’t walk, but I had a lot of fun with some of the other venders and my own Prom Com while the participants were walking. The entertainment afterwards was really great! The band and the dancers were incredible and I really enjoyed the other half of it!” All in all, Walk For Children was a fantastic event. It raised awareness in a fun way, and got the whole community involved. As for whether it would be an annual event, Teah says, “Well, I don’t think the walk for children is an event ISKL can host every year. It really does require extensive dedication and commitment from both students and faculty members. However, hosting Walk For Children taught me a lot about organising and managing a complex, high profile event, and is an experience I’m very grateful for. If I weren’t graduating I think, I would host this event again. Organizing the walk for children is a great learning experience and I would want other people at ISKL to have that opportunity as well.”