Caging ourselves within the steel barriers of our imagination, or keeping our children from the light of day doesn’t do much in avoiding the predators that lurk within our society. Like they say, you cannot defend yourself from something that you are unaware of. It is for that purpose that the Dhiraagu Maldives Road Race was first initiated in 2007 – the thought of raising awareness on social issues among those who are unaware. Of the wrong doings in our society, of the dirt that is on the common man we think is decent and without flaws.
Every year, the road race focuses on one prime social issue to raise awareness about. Officially registered in AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races), — the first International run held in the country – this event provides the opportunity for Maldivian and International athletes to run together for a mutual cause. This year the theme stands as “Help Protect Children”. Some of the previous themes include campaigning against child abuse and domestic violence, all of which have been proven to be a great success.
With NGOs being able to participate in the event and raise funds, the race acts as a fundamental platform for those NGOs to raise awareness about certain social issues. Funds raised through the annual event are donated to organizations such as Tiny Hearts, ARC, Cancer Society, Care Society and Maldives Association of Physical Disabilities.
With the inception of the road race, Dhiraagu has made child protection and support a key focus in their Corporate and Social Responsibility Program. They have recently collaborated with ARC to launch a year-long program to raise awareness on online child safety dubbed “Surf Smart”. However, one of their biggest awareness programs was the workshop conducted for parents across the country back in 2013, educating them on how to recognize signs of abuse and how to report abuse.
In addition to this, Dhiraagu has also sponsored teachers at the “Kuda Kudhinge Hiyaa” orphanage in Villimale’. They also provide internet with parental control, free of charge for the orphanage and has established two computer labs along with a new library set-up for the children at the orphanage in 2013.
After many challenges faced due to the political unrest in the country earlier this year, the race was held on August 28th, kicking off from the same venue as every year – the Raalhugandu Area. Athletes ran across the beautiful coastline of the capital city Male’. The race ended with several prizes being handed out to winners from the various categories the race was based on.
There is no doubt that Dhiraagu is a company with a bold Corporate and Social Responsibility Programme. The company is perhaps the only company, who pays such attention to social issues in the country – and that is something we all are bound to be proud of.