Over the past year, I’ve seen all sorts of races being run for all sorts of causes and while I generally brush off these events as gimmickry or as a poor substitute to direct action.
I am not a big fan of big showy, celebrity driven calls for mass actions that get blasted on TV, Radio, and Print. It’s the Holden Caulfield in me that gets me snarking about such ‘events’.
However my almost automatic prejudgment of ’events for a cause’ was challenged last week after meeting Vicki Abaraham, President of Zonta Club of Makati Ayala.
A mutual friend introduced me to Vicki at a coffee shop at Rockwell and that’s when she started telling me about “The Run Against Trafficking” race being organized by the Zonta Club of Makati Ayala and Visayan Foundation Forum.
One of the things she told me that kinda struck me is this, “It seems a lot of people don’t give a second thought about saving whales or saving rain forests, but few people are raising a fuss about saving people.”
Right now, thousands of Filipinos are caught in a bad jam in Libya and the government is straining to find ways of evacuating them from the terrible mess.
The thing is, in other parts of the world, there are Filipinos that are suffering as unwilling workers in the sex trade, abused domestic and factory workers, or unsuspecting pawns in the drug trade.
Before I could blurt out that most of the Filipinos who leave the country under dubious circumstances probably deserve what they are getting, Vicki told me of the story of a three year old Filipina child who was recovered from Africa where she was made into a sex slave.
A three year old child! I mean, how could a three year old kid even know under what circumstances she was being taken out of the country?!!
That really got me riled up and what is even more shocking are the statistics: “at least 400,000 women and at least 100,000 children victims of exploitation”
Anyway, all things considered, what Vicki told me was enough to get me to sign up for “The Zonta Rat Race” and help in building up awareness as well as encourage more action against the $32 Billion illegal trade.