6 June 2009 — Finalists for this year’s Miss Earth Singapore showed up at the inaugural “Bare Your Sole” Barefoot Walk 2009 by Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Singapore to render their support towards HFH’s humanitarian work. For the first time in Singapore, a massive barefoot walk took place to raise awareness of the plight of needy children in Third World nations, whose bare feet risk cuts from broken glass and infected syringes.
The event, held at Pasir Ris Park and organized by HFH, Singapore Management University (SMU) and Victoria Junior College, registered a turnout of some 800 participants which included celebrities such as Paul Foster from the cast of Mediacorp’s Red Thread, Liang Shijie and Mr Frederick Fielding from Mediacorp’s Fighting Spiders.
Mr S.Dhanabalan, chairman of Temasek Holdings, who is a patron of HFH, and Nominated Member of Parliament, Eunice Olsen who is also HFH’s Singapore Goodwill Ambassador, were presented as Guests-of-Honor to grace the event. Both were also barefooted and walked part of the 5km route.
A patron of HFH for the past five years, Mr Dhanabalan said he was happy to be part of this innovative program that reminded Singaporeans of the fact that there are many people around the world still living in poverty, and that these people needed help.
“There are people who are so poor that they cannot even afford a decent pair of shoes,” said Mr Dhanabalan, “we hope that through this simple act (of walking barefooted), it will encourage more people to join us in fighting poverty around the world.”
Olsen echoed similar sentiments as she related her experience of a 3-day expedition to Batam with HFH this year in March 2009. She was part of an all-women’s team that worked on a build-a-house project for a poor family. That deepened her involvement in helping the poor and needy.
As a former beauty queen — Miss Universe Singapore 2000, there is little to dispute about her exemplary lifestyle for the aspiring finalists of Miss Earth Singapore 2009 who were able to exchange exclusive moments with Olsen before the flag off.
In her usual encouraging style, Olsen praised the pageant for their support towards HFH’s humanitarian cause. She further added that it was great that a pageant was standing for something.
One of Miss Earth Singapore’s finalists, Valerie Lim said she found the event meaningful and a great avenue in giving back to the community. She also expressed her deep respect for Oslen as a successful role model that she could learn from.
|PHOTOS: Nigel Tan|