While the nation may have recovered from the initial shock of the catastrophe, victims still struggle to carry on with life from the rubble. Hundreds of families still live in makeshift tents and temporary shelters. A large number of children still go about their school and play time on barefoot.
As Tacloban's children rebuild themselves and their spirits through play and sports, MILO aims to let them feel that they are not alone, and encourage them to get active by giving 16,000 pairs of new shoes to the kids through its Help Give Shoes advocacy. Launched in 2010, Help Give Shoes is an ongoing campaign which enables every participant of the National MILO Marathon to donate a part of their registration fee to support the cause. MILO matches the total amount collected to provide shoes to deserving public school students. This year, as the leading beverage brand celebrates its 50th year in the Philippines, MILO will reach its target of turning over a total of 50,000 pairs of shoes for the schoolchildren.
This year, the little champions of Tacloban will be the recipients. The shoes will come with Messages of Hope which can be sent to the children of Tacloban in a number of ways. Avid MILO drinkers can write a message of inspiration on a foot cutout at the Help Give Shoes booth during the MILO Marathon qualifying races and National Finals. Netizens can get involved by sharing their inspiring messages, including the hashtag #MessagesOfHope, via posting on the MILO Philippines Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/milo.ph), tweeting @MILOPH on Twitter, or tagging @MiloPhilippines on Instagram.
This effort by MILO aims to ease the pain inflicted by Typhoon Yolanda that remains to be felt by the children. Rhana Homeres, a 12-year-old sixth grader from Tacloban, recounts her personal experience. “I stopped playing after the storm. I lost my shoes, my ball, and most of my playthings,” says Rhana. Grade Six student Gil Christian Babagay, also 12 years old, shares his fears. “I’m scared that it might rain hard again, and that something bad will happen to me. I think I’m even scared of people. Now, I don’t think I know what to do,” says Gil.
Physical activity is vital in the children’s road to recovery, stresses Dr. Ma. Lourdes “Honey” A. Carandang, Play Therapy Pioneer of the MLAC Institute for Psychosocial Services, Inc. “Being active through play and sport is essential in helping kids overcome trauma,” says Dr. Carandang. “The children of Tacloban need to enjoy their games and sports once again. This will enable the children maintain a joyful, youthful and positive outlook in life.”
Andrew Neri, MILO Sports Marketing Manager, urges everyone to help the children take the next steps and show them that the Filipino community is cheering them on. “There is a great need to help the children of Tacloban take that all-important first step towards winning at sports and in life,” says Neri. “As we fulfill our aim to help these kids to heal from the devastation that the typhoon brought in, the messages of hope will surely raise their spirits, and inspire them to carry on striving for their dreams.”
Through sheer resilience, the children of Tacloban have taken the first step to healing. The foot cutouts and messages filled with inspiration are symbols of hope. What more can thousands of Messages of Hope do for the little champions of Tacloban? Share your messages of inspiration, help give hope, and see the difference it can make.
For more information, log on to the MILO Philippines official website (http://www.milo.com.ph) or the MILO Philippines Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/milo.ph). Follow MILO on Twitter (@MiloPH) and Instagram (@MiloPhilippines).
The MILO brand is the world’s leading chocolate malt beverage that can be prepared with hot or cold milk or water. Given its popularity it is a “must have” product for food service operators particularly in Asia, Africa and Oceania.
MILO also promotes participation in sports through its Summer Sports Clinics, MILO-B.E.S.T. Center Training Program, MILO Marathon, and MILO Little Olympics. The leading beverage brand believes that these contribute to the holistic development of Filipino champions in sports and in life. 2014 marks MILO’s 50th year in the country.
About the National MILO Marathon
The National MILO Marathon is an annual marathon event open to amateur and professional runners. From its humble beginnings in 1974 as a single marathon race in Metro Manila attended by 747 participants, the National MILO Marathon has grown to be the biggest, longest, grandest national running event in the country attracting more than hundreds of thousands of runners across the country.
The National MILO Marathon has grown into a globally renowned running event having been certified by the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and hosts foreign marathoners from Kenya, Ethiopia, and other countries across the world. The race is organized by RunRio, Inc.
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