“Race for Survival reminds people to cherish their lives!” “This race will help us be healthy, and it doesn’t matter who wins.”
On June 27th, 2014, 20 students from Wenxin School in Minhang District in Shanghai were discussing what “Race for Survival” is and how the children could not only be involved in the event but also play a leading role in organizing it. These 20 student representatives had all been elected by their classmates from children in grade 3 and 4 at Wenxin School. Along with their classmates, they will be participating in Save the Children’s annual “Race for Survival” on behalf of China’s children on October 17th. They will complete a 21.098 km relay race to publicise the important role of frontline health workers in remote, rural areas of China in ensuring child survival, and call for more support for them from the public.
“Race for Survival” is a worldwide event sponsored by Save the Children. Children organize and participate in the event themselves with help and support from adults around them. They are involved in every part of the planning, and play the role of organizers, athletes, referees, time keepers, photographers and audience.
Save the Children believes that children, with their own needs, interests and stake in the future, should be active participants in shaping the issues that affect them. Children come up with new ideas, share unique perspectives and learn to make good decisions about their lives. Save the Children in China has been part of the global “Race for Survival” since 2011, and more than 1,500 Chinese children from Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Xinjiang, Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan have participated in the race. Along with children across the world, they have spoken out on the important issues that concern them.
Most of the students at Wenxin School have come to Shanghai as migrants. The school participated in the race for the first time in October 2013 and has already got good experience in event organization. To help the children understand more about “Race for Survival”, and prepare even better for the race in 2014, Save the Children in China supported the school to conduct this child-led workshop.
At the workshop, the student representatives discussed what Race for Survival means to them. They also planned how to mobilize their peers through class meetings. “We believe that we can organize a great race through our hard work!” they said.