In February,2011, FFA started a football team in Payatas. Payatas is one of the poorest areas in Manila, Philippines, and it is the site of the biggest open dump site in the country, where all the garbage of the City ends up. Upwards of 250,000 people live on the outskirts of this dump site, maybe half of them rely on the dump site for their income – as truck drivers, working in junk shops or more directly scavenging to find things to sell, recycle and even eat. FFA has found that the people here are incredibly hardworking and intelligent, they just lack the opportunity to break the poverty cycle.
Football has really become popular in the Philippines recently with the success of the national team, the Azkals. So, FFA decided this would be the perfect place to establish a football team as the kids are really energetic and passionate about football. For two years now the kids have been training. At the first session there were over 80 kids lining up to play which, on a single basketball court, is pretty much impossible. Most of those original kids still join the training sessions, broken down into girls’ and boys’ sessions, but still it’s not enough as the kids would play every day if given the chance.
Football isn’t just a way to exercise or pass the time, it teaches teamwork, dedication and determination. More than that, in the future we are looking to establish facilities for indoor football for more regular training sessions so the kids can reach their full potential as the team has won 7 tournaments so far and some of the younger boys and girls have the potential to go very far.
Football is a great tool to build communities and relationships throughout the area, I’m privileged to be a part of that success and hope you enjoy reading about the journey! With the right sponsorship we can really make a difference in kids lives and together we can be a part of something good.
Source: Roy Moore – FFA Co-Director
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