By: Suphamat Phonphra, BABSEACLE Events Coordinator
On 12 January 2014, over 400 runners, walkers and volunteers from all corners of the world took part in a Half Marathon, 10K and 5K run/walk as well as a 3K fun run/walk. These events make up the Trio For Justice, a family-friendly event that is now in its fifth year and hosted by the not-for-profit access to justice and legal education organizations, Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEACLE) and BABSEACLE Foundation.
The 5th Trio For Justice was attended by many of BABSEACLE’s and CLE Foundation’s partners, sponsors, volunteers and members of the general public from Thailand as well as international participants coming in from as far away as Australia, the USA, Germany, Hungary, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Canada, to name a few. Some of the sponsors present were Herbert Smith Freehills, International Thai Foundation, Tai Tais Without Borders and Chiang Mai Lanna Business Service.
This year’s Trio For Justice raised over 710,000 Baht (US$ 24,500), which will go towards funding BABSEACLE and BABSEACLE Foundation’s many projects, and those of their partners, aimed at widening access to justice and supporting the development of justice/clinical legal education in the region.
The 5th Trio For Justice was attended by people of all ages and nationalities, including many students from local schools as well as a group of students from the Northern School for the Blind under the Patronage of the Queen. Before each of the runs we held a warm up aerobics class which everyone got involved with and the runs were followed by a raffle and a quiz about the work of BABSEACLE, BABSEACLE Foundation and their partners, as well as the meaning of access to justice and legal education.
The 5th Trio For Justice was preceded by the Pre Trio Dinner held at the BABSEACLE house the night before the run. The dinner, which was co-sponsored by Ashurst, a global law firm with a long history of supporting pro bono and access to justice initiatives, offered an opportunity to meet other runners, become familiarized with both BABSEACLE and BABSEACLE Foundation, and the Trio For Justice. It also provided a hearty meal in preparation for the next day’s running and walking. The dinner was fully organized and run by volunteers and team members from both BABSEACLE and BABSEACLE Foundation, with help from women from the local Myanmar temple Wat Sai Moon. There were cultural performances, speeches from partners and presentations about some of the projects BABSEACLE and BABSEACLE Foundation are involved in. Lindsay Ernst from the Faculty of Law at Hong Kong University and also one of the Tai Tais Without Borders said, ‘The Trio For Justice is the perfect mix of excitement, adventure, fun, passion and happiness. Life is good when you are fighting for justice on a runner’s high!’
The Trio For Justice is one of the flagship events in the fundraising calendar of BABSEACLE and BABSEACLE Foundation. It also helps to create significant awareness and promote dialogue about many of the social justice issues that the two organizations deal with on a daily basis. BABSEACLE and BABSEACLE Foundation partner with civil society, government, businesses, law firms and university partners to improve the quality of legal education throughout the Southeast Asia region. They also conduct various community teaching sessions and outreach programmes to directly assist disenfranchised people to become aware of and protect their rights.
Our Events Coordinator Bee, is excited to apply what she has learned from the last Trio For Justice to make the 6th Trio even better. Given her valuable experience with the event, Bee has been able to establish more effective forms of advertising, using an amalgamation of printed media, online platforms and the help of local businesses to promote the event. This year, Bee looks forward to making the 6th Trio For Justice more popular through the vast advertising campaign she has created, with the help of interns and volunteers. Bee thinks that last year’s event owes its success to the collaboration between the staff, volunteers, and interns who worked together to create an exciting event.
The 6th Trio For Justice will take place on the 10th of January 2015 in Huey Tueng Tao Park in Chiang Mai and will be combined with BABSEACLE’s 4th Access to Justice Public Interest Fair. The Access to Justice Celebration Dinner will take place at the BABSEACLE Volunteer House on the evening of the 10th and the BABSEACLE house will host an access ot justice themed movie night under the stars on Sunday the 11th. Please register for the Trio For Justice as a volunteer, we would love your help! For information, please visit: www.trioforjustice.org. Or contact the event co-ordinator SuphamatPhonphra: [email protected]