The SOL Foundation further assists FundLife International Philippines and supports in particular the “Football for Life Academy”; the activities will also help equip highly vulnerable children and youth with psychosocial life skills to respond to personal and community protection issues through play-based and mentorship sessions using the power of football.
Problem to be tackled
The “Football for Life Academy” is a direct response to the ongoing educational crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 impact on children’s access to schools and organised team sports. Around 30 months after the start of the pandemic, children had still not returned to full-time face-to-face education. This has disproportionately impacted the most vulnerable children from the most marginalised communities in the Philippines. The height of the impact resulted in children being out of school for over 720 consecutive days, making it the longest educational lockdown of any country in the world and representing the single largest educational shutdown since World War II.
Up to 2022, FundLife International Philippines has been able to directly impact over 86’000 vulnerable children from all over the Philippines through regular programming and access to support during short-term emergencies. In addition, FIP has delivered over 200 youth empowerment festivals, sports events and delivered capacity training for 1’280 schoolteachers, youth leaders and community workers about the use of purposeful play to support development of vulnerable children.
In the centre of the co-operation is the “Football for Life Academy”, the project has identified the four strategic purposes:
- to bring children and youth back to education, to inspire them to keep on learning and stop further school-drop-outs,
- to improve confidence, life-skills, and academic performance of at-risk children through the mentorship approach,
- to restore/create play sessions in communities where they either have stopped since COVID-19 or have never taken place and
- youth offenders’ demographic only: support youth to re-enter education and/or provide them with pathways to training and/or decent employment.
It is anticipated to reach the beneficiaries through dedicated and regular face-to-face play and mentorship-based learning sessions across ten public schools from ten vulnerable communities; the communities are selected ensuring the programme is reaching those who can benefit most from the intervention, mainly to improve their academic performance and inculcate the value of education through purposeful play.
With a continued support from The SOL Foundation, FundLife International Philippines will be able to further grow, improve and implement the Football for Life Academy programme, in its 3rd generation; the programme delivery is seen as critical – post COVID-19 – to restart children’s appetite to go back to school and also to provide them with social interaction, purposeful play and sense of purpose in resuming their regular activities.
FundLife International Philippines was created with a vision that every child deserves a right to dream and a mission to equip children with the tools they need to reach their full potential. The non-profit organisation believes that all children deserve quality and equitable education, and that holistic learning happens outside of the classroom, by learning through experiential learning and ongoing mentorship.