Since 1946 the united nation’s Children’s Fund, more commonly known as UNICEF, has been striving to alleviate the plight of disadvantaged children worldwide. While Thailand has come a long way in tackling the problems faced by its underprivileged youngsters, there is always more to be done. Which is why this month LINE Thailand has joined forces with UNICEF Thailand to organise a charity fun run to raise funds for children’s causes. The run takes place on September 30 at Rama IX Park, starting at 4:30 am. Phichet Rerkpreecha, head of corporate affairs at LINE Thailand, tells us more.
What is the ultimate goal of this charity run?
The ultimate goal of the UNICEF LINE Run is to raise money that will go towards improving the quality of life of underprivileged and disadvantaged children across Thailand. With this event, we also want to raise awareness among the general public about the need to help and assist. All proceeds will be donated to UNICEF and their various initiatives. We believe that the popularity of LINE Friends characters will help to attract people to this event and create a greater sense of awareness. At the same time, our new technology, LINE Beacon, will keep all runners engaged by providing interactive live information during the event.
What drove you to collaborate with UNICEF?
LINE has actually been working with UNICEF on a global scale since 2015. Through our strategic partnership with them, we have been able to leverage LINE users to raise funds and increase awareness of the global issue of destitute children. The activities with this synergy have been well received.
What makes this run different from other charity runs?
The UNICEF LINE Run is the first such charity event in Thailand to introduce popular LINE characters such as Brown and Cony, among others, as the main theme of the event. Participants will receive official LINE products including running jersey, water bottle, special LINE sticker sets and a Brown medal on completion of the run. The UNICEF LINE Run has three distance categories— 2.5km, 5km and 10km—so it offers a fun challenge for both recreational runners and serious athletes. The routes and individual progress can be followed using LINE Beacon, which works via Bluetooth. The beacons will provide real time running performance and distance reports to runners automatically via their mobile phones. Refreshments will also be provided on the day and we have prepared additional entertainment activities for children.
What challenges did you face in organising this event?
It took us about a year to plan everything from A-Z. This is LINE’s first charity run and it will be one of the first that uses API and Beacon technology. Using such new technology for the first time can be difficult of course, but we have received good cooperation from all relevant parties to ensure that the event will be successful and run smoothly. Using these technologies and bringing in our LINE Friends characters should make the run unique and exciting for everyone involved.
How many people are expected to participate?
The more people we can encourage to take part, the more help we can provide for children in need. Right now we are expecting to have about 8,000 to 8,500 runners join the charity run.
Will this become a yearly event?
This is our first charity run but definitely not our first charitable activity. As a company LINE will continue to give back to Thailand and the public.
Visit unicef.or.th/supportus/campaign/unicef-line-run to learn more.