AS of 2012, 10.4 million children have been victims of human trafficking – and a group of students from HELP University are hoping to help put an end to it.


The recent Light A Life: End Child Trafficking charity run was organised by members of the university’s Child Development and Psychology Club to raise awareness about child trafficking among Malaysians.

Held at Central Park in Bandar Utama, Selangor, the run was participated by over 500 runners who came to support the cause.

Nadia Surya, head of the organising committee, said they were first inspired to run the event when Change Your World, a social enterprise fighting against modern-day slavery, visited their college.

“After doing some research, we realised that child trafficking is a serious issue that is happening around us, so it was very important for us to take part in the fight against it,” said Nadia.

The event was a huge success for the organisers, with a larger turnout than expected.

One of the runners, Jeanne Tan, said: “I didn’t have much awareness about child trafficking, but I now know much more thanks to this event.”

The run, which lasted approximately two hours, flagged off at 7:30am.

There were three different categories – a 3km fun-run as well as 5km and 10km competitive runs.
At the finishing line, booths were set up selling various items, from handmade yogurt and ice-cream to T-shirts and IT gadgets.

Change Your World co-founder Kelvin Lim also turned up to support the cause. He said the lack of awareness is the main reason why child trafficking is increasing drastically, with most members of the public not aware of how human traffickers even operate.

“Trafficked victims are usually trapped in houses, not jungles. Most rescues happen because there was someone keeping an eye out. They make a call, and save a life. Just one call and anybody can be a hero,” said Kelvin.

“One man can only do so much. If I do it all by myself I’d be tired, but if I build leaders in numbers, that’s when I feel empowered and many more can be saved. If one person can save one life, can you imagine what would happen if one million people got involved?”

Change Your World’s slogan is “Engaging Creativity to Save Lives”. Creativity, said Kelvin, is the “most powerful media”. That’s why events like Light A Life which have a creative theme should be encouraged.

“The saddest thing is most people don’t think they are creative. But everything we do sparks creativity. This whole event right here is inspired by creativity, which can in turn save lives.”
Datin Chan-Low Kam Yoke, the group CEO and co-founder of HELP University, also lent her support to the campaign, saying all funds raised from the run will be handed over to Change Your World.

“If all of us turn a blind eye, (traffickers) will have the upper hand to do whatever they want. We should all keep an eye out for things like these, so that the perpetrators will be more hesitant to make a move, thus reducing the trafficking rate of children,” said Chan-Low.

This story was produced by members of the BRATs young journalist programme. For more information, log on to To find out how you can join the BRATs, email

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