Through the Mini Heart Project, underprivileged children will get to experience a simple dose of luxury — through proper sanitation
Last Tuesday, the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards and DDproperty team set off to visit the Right to Play office in Bangkok, Thailand, with boxes of donations in hand.
The recent partnership with the Right to Play foundation is part of a long array of CSR initiatives organised by the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards since 2006. This time around, they collected bathroom and grooming amenities, including small bottles of shampoo, soaps, and slippers from their almost monthly work-related travels, along with old clothes and toys to donate to the children and communities in need.
According to Kevina Maddick, Right to Play programme director and country director, the basic human right to hygiene and sanitation is considered a form of luxury with the families they work with.
“When we think of our luxury shampoos, conditioners, and all the things that we are lucky enough to have access to if we have a good job and better socioeconomic situation, the money that those people get a lot of the time cover rice or vegetables or basic essentials to live so it seems that it is a luxury to have those things.”
Maddick said that they have been using the power of play to help underprivileged children develop life skills, as well as understand basic hygiene and sanitation.
Through games, drama, art, and other activities, children are taught how to keep themselves clean and learn the importance of hygiene so they don’t pass diseases to one other. The foundation will also raise awareness about non-communicable diseases and how to prevent them by keeping the environment and play spaces clean.
Right to Play, founded by social entrepreneur and four-time Olympic gold medalist Johann Olav Koss, serves underprivileged children in 20 countries all over the world. They operate in 20 locations only in Thailand, with the primary goal of giving the young ones a chance for a better life.
As the official charity partner at the 14th annual PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards, they aim to further their cause by encouraging developers to expand their corporate and social responsibilities, helping them bridge the play equity gap through safer play spaces.
When asked how the property developers can help them achieve their goals, Maddick suggested giving children access to play spaces, instead of restricting the facilities to residents.
“They don’t need to be playing in railway tracks or in the canals or in dangerous places where there are debris or construction materials that haven’t been cleaned up. I would encourage property developers to be mindful of this when they’re developing play space areas or recreational areas,” she further clarified.
She is also asking the real estate industry to “think a little bit about what else is going on around them and not just be focused on their own lives because there are children who [they] can easily help. It doesn’t have to be money — it can be a thought, it can be an action, it can be a consideration for children especially around Thailand who are less fortunate than others.”
With the Mini Heart Project by PropertyGuru, the foundation can use the awards shows as a platform to engage with the developers and encourage them to give back to the community.
Jules Kay, managing director of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards, said that the CSR initiative “has inspired us to think that we should be doing this in all the countries we are in.”
For next year, the company is planning to hand out more CSR awards for each market.
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