The 5th Trio For Justice took place on the 12th of January 2014 in Huey Tueng Tao Park in Chiang Mai to raise funds to support clinical legal education and community empowerment initiatives.
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 CLE Foundation.
The 5th Trio For Justice was attended by many of BABSEACLE’s and BABSEACLE 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.
Annette Bain, Head of Pro Bono and Community at Herbert Smith Freehills said, “Many of us know of the great work that the BABSEACLE team do to raise awareness of access to justice issues through legal education. However to attend a community event like the Trio For Justice brought home that this is a grass roots organisation having a global impact – there were local people from Chiang Mai; law students, lecturers and others from across the region, and BABSEACLE supporters from around the world.”
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.
Thip Nouansyvong, the BABSEACLE Laos National Coordinator and lawyer with the Faculty of Law and Political Science CLE program, said “I was very excited to bring over 5 lecturers and 5 students from Laos to be part of the events. This is such a wonderful experience for both me and my team, allowing us to make connections with other law lecturers and law students in different countries. In addition, this is such a great experience for law lecturers and law students to learn about fundraising and how to communicate with the people and partners who supported them to attend the event and we definitely plan on attending this event next year too”
The 5th Trio For Justice was an all-inclusive fun event for runners, walkers and volunteers however, there were some excellent achievements and times recorded in each of the events. The winner of the Half Marathon was Corona Leibner with a time of 1.39.06, Patrick Henry came first in the 10K with a time of 00.51.05 and John Kosihish came first in the 5K in 0.24.38.
Nipaporn Lapsatian a student at the University of Phayao told us, “I like this event so much! I have never been to a running event before but I like this. I know about this event from my lecturer who suggested we go to Chiang Mai for a BABSEACLE and BABSEACLE Foundation workshop and to help at the Trio. I volunteered at the registration table and it was a good experience for me to meet people from around the world and now I have many friends from Laos, Singapore and Cambodia who I will see next year when I will come to run the 5K”
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.
Tracy Kahn from Tai Tais Without Borders (a group of pink-caped women living and working in Hong Kong who count supporting access to justice as one cause that they run for) said of the 5th Trio For Justice, ‘It was a very “happy” run — even after 21K, we crossed the finish line smiling, and carried the spirit with us back to Hong Kong. Members of our team have participated in races throughout Asia, and so far, the Trio is our favourite!’
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!’
Dickson Lau, a law student from Singapore, said, “The 5th Trio For Justice fundraising event was a thoroughly enjoyable and meaningful affair. Before the actual run, we had a fantastic dinner with cultural performances and wonderful interactions. The run itself was held in a scenic park; one of the most beautiful locations I have ever run in! The event was well organized with a breakfast stand, lucky draw and even a massage booth. We definitely went back to Singapore feeling enriched from our meeting and interacting with like-minded people passionate about access to justice issues.”
Bruce Lasky, Co-Founder and Co-Director of BABSEACLE and BABSEACLE Foundation, who has participated in all five Trio For Justice Half Marathon events, and recently completed the New York Marathon, has been impressed with the development of the Trio. “The event has been getting bigger and better every year: it is a lot of fun for all involved. It allows us to have conversations with many people in the community about our work and talk about the importance of promoting access to justice and strengthening legal education which supports such access.”
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.
Photos from the event are online and available for download, for a nominal fee/donation here. If you didn’t get a chance to purchase merchandise on the day and would like to buy a Trio For Justice t-shirt, reusable cup, calendar, postcard or badge, feel free to come to our office any weekday from 9am to 5pm or send us an email with your request. If you would like to make a donation or contribution to the Trio For Justice please click here or contact our Events Coordinator Suphamat Phonphra (Bee) at [email protected]
The 6th Trio For Justice and Pre Trio Dinner will take place on 10-11 January 2015 in Huey Tueng Tao Park in Chiang Mai and will be combined with BABSEACLE’s 4th Access to Justice Public Interest Fair.