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Davao City, Philippines

Play for Goals: Advocating for football, peace, and positivity

May 06, 2019 - Monday 12:05 PM by Daniel Joaquin

Article Banner Image UNPOPPABLE. Children from all over Mindanao play with the maintenance-free balls given to them during the Play for Goals launch at the Tionko Football Field in Davao City on April 27. Photo by Daniel Joaquin

Over a thousand ‘unpoppable’ footballs were distributed to children from all over Mindanao on April 27 at the Tionko Football Field in Davao City.

This was through Play for Goals, a program formed through the initiative of Football for Humanity with the help of its major partners, Maharlika Sports Development Institute (MSDI) and the Mindanao Peace Council.

The Play for Goals campaign was officially launched on Saturday through a short program headed by Football for Humanity Founder and President Chris Thomas and Vice-President Belle Tiongco.

Kevin Goco of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF); Danny Moran, CEO of the Henry V. Moran Foundation; futsal Hall of Fame awardee Vic Hermans; and MSDI Executive Director Edgar Te graced the short opening ceremony as well.

In a short speech directed at the children present during the ceremony, Hermans said they can be just like him if they work hard enough under the supervision of the right people.

He added that foundations like Football for Humanity in his home country helped him become who he is today.

Such foundations also give conflict-affected children an avenue to play and enjoy their youth.

Key leaders from various Davao NGOs such as the Mindanao Peace Council, various chapters of the JCI and Rotary clubs, Gawad Kalinga and SOS Children’s Village, the local government of Davao, Ateneo de Davao University, and other groups coming from as far as Kidapawan successfully pooled resources to implement an orderly and systematic distribution of the balls which came in vibrant colors of red, fuschia, and basic white.

Lisa Tarver, Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer of ball donor One World Play Project, said, “We believe all children should have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential through play.”

“Access to play is critical for all aspects of a child’s development, especially for youth living in challenging environments,” she added.

The ‘unpoppable’ balls given to the children are maintenance-free and do not need to be inflated.

Another part of the Play for Goals campaign’s first project in Davao City is a 20 by 30 meter football cage in Zonta Village, Barangay Tibungco.

The establishment of this cage will allow children of all ages to participate in five-a-side games of football that will engage the entire community and provide the children with a fun pastime that will teach them important values they will be able to use later in life.

Apart from the cage, Football for Humanity has also partnered with Waves for Water to provide the community of 151 families with fresh water delivered straight to their homes through a hose.

The football cage is expected to be completed halfway through the month of May and along with it will be the completion of a mini library, also for the children of Zonta Village.

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