Road to Rio update from Team Philippines organiser
Posted on the 5th April 2013
So it’s less than a year to go now before the Street Child World Cup in Rio and the Philippine SCWC committee is really starting to feel how close it is! Through the Fairplay for All Foundation we have already started the process of holding local tournaments and spreading our message of hope for street children. The dream continues to spread our net much wider across the Philippines for the 2014 team and in doing so touch many more lives than we did in 2010!
What Football Means to the Children
Football is a great outlet to allow children the chance to dream about a future free from the poverty that they experience in their day-to-day lives. The Fairplay for All Foundation works in Payatas, no rx the site of the largest open dumpsite in the country where many people, for sale including children, scavenge through the rubbish to make a livelihood. One of the projects run by the Foundation is coaching a football team in the area, known as Payatas FC. For some of the children football is a fun pastime they can play with their friends, for others a potential route to an education scholarship, while for others it is a way out of gangs or drugs. For all of them, though, it is a chance to dream about a better future.
Ricardo, former captain of Payatas FC U12 team said “[Sana] manalo po [kami] lagi. Para magkaroon ng mukha ang Payatas, hindi lagi yung sinasabi na basura lang ang Payatas.”(I hope we always win so that we can change the face of Payatas, so that the people don’t say it’s only garbage there). The children have that drive and determination to show regardless of where they have been born, regardless of who their parents are or how much money they have, they can achieve and be successful. They have that drive to show that whatever their circumstances, they are somebody.
On the pitch, Payatas FC have now won seven competitions in the last two years and a few players have been scouted for the National youth teams. Off the pitch, many of the players are improving their grades in school, with sponsors lined up to get those out of school off the streets and back into education. Several of Payatas FC’s older players are in the running for the Philippine Street Child World Cup team.
A Nationwide Program: the Philippine Team
For those of you familiar with the geography of the Philippine Islands you will appreciate that the logistics of a multi-city program are significant due to the distance and water between the 7,102 islands of the Philippines. However the issue of street children is by no means limited to Manila and we would like to extend our program beyond the Capital City.
However, funding for the Philippine team remains an ongoing challenge for us. With the initial program funded and our social campaign selected, we are now very much focused on raising enough money for the next year with Brazil as our target. We remain very positive in our endeavors and, as the committee includes a couple of veterans from the 2010 campaign, we still have a few tried and tested tricks up our sleeves! We also continue to be very grateful of the support from Rod, Karin and Joe in London!
Thoughts of 2010…
As I conclude this update from the Philippines I wanted to take some time to reflect back to South Africa three years ago. At the weekend, I was leafing through some of the memorabilia that I had saved from the 2010 program and I happened across this press cutting from the lead up to the Philippines Brazil match. This was really the point of the tournament that captured the national interest in the Philippines. Just imagine how the excitement will be when the whole tournament is played in Brazil. Rio, I hope you’re ready for us!
I am somebody. I am Damian, a member of the Philippine SCWC committee who believes that no child should ever have to sleep on the streets.
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