What We Are Doing

3000 children joined Race for Survival in Seoul 22 Oct 2015

Written by Nami Lee, Media Communications Lead, Save the Children Korea

Save the Children Korea hosted Race for Survival on Sunday, 4th of October. The race was renamed as ‘International Children''s Marathon’ in Korea since 2011. Under the clear autumn sky, 3000 children and families gathered together in World Cup Park, Seoul to demand a safer, healthier world for children. This year, to mark the 5th anniversary of the event, Save the Children Korea invited special guests for opening declaration, 10 children who joined the race for 5 consecutive years.

4.2195 kilometers of race course was made up of 4 different challenge zones. In every 1 kilometer, participants faced zones with different issues related to 4 main causes that lead the death of children under-5.
At the first section, named ‘Malaria Zone’, children passed a giant mosquito net with full of malaria mosquito balloons. We encouraged children to take the balloons off from the net to let them experience as if they were eliminating Malaria, one of the most serious causes that impacts under-5 mortality rate.

Hypothermia zone was the second section. This section was designed to let participants feel hypothermia for a moment and learn that this simple cause can lead a child to death. Due to water mist, the temperature inside the giant tent was way cooler than outside. When passed through the tent, by experiencing chilliness, children learnt that this mere ‘chilliness’ can cause death of a child.

Nutrition was the topic of the third section. In order to proceed the race, participants had to pass human-barrier. To pass the human-barrier, they needed to solve nutrition-related trivia, such as “what needs to be done to prevent child malnutrition?” Seems too difficult to answer? On the question cards, there were the answers right under the questions. Thanks to human-barriers who happened to be the staffs and volunteers from Save the Children Korea.

Last but not least, water zone was the final challenge of the race. Children learnt the importance of clean water by passing through the zone.

More exciting activities were waiting for the children even after the race. ‘Red-goat pin painting’ has been children''s all time favorite for last 5 years. Parents and children made long waiting lines to join activities like ‘Tug-of-War against Diseases’ and ‘Bucket Journey to find Clean Water''.

This year, to provide an opportunity to children to understand the importance of proper emergency response and medical support in emergency situation, we set a new activity section, named ''I am an Lifesaving Super Hero''. Children tasted Plumpy-nuts, attended small class to see the emergency kits and became a health worker to help children and mothers from preventable illness in emergency situation. 

7 year old Ah-hyun Cho, one of the 10 children who joined the race for 5 consecutive years, said “Though I know what the race will look like, I am excited to be here every year. It feels like I am actually doing something great for the friends in Africa.”

Race for Survival was organized as part of Save the Children’s EVERY ONE campaign. Over 4 million newborn babies die within a month every year and 2 million barely live one day. One child in 8 dies before his or her fifth birthday due to preventable and curable diseases. For five year in a row, Save the Children Korea has used all incomes from the race in training health workers and providing essential medical supplies in Ethiopia.