Fairplay For All Foundation
|Motto||A level playing field on and off the pitch.|
|Founded||Quezon City, Philippines, 2011|
|Type||Non-profit, Interest group|
|Services||Education sponsorships, football team, drop-in center, microfinance, urban farming, alternative education|
|Fields||Children's rights, Education, Poverty reduction, Sports|
|Roy Moore and Naomi Tomlinson, founders|
|Mission||To sustainably break the poverty cycle.|
The Fairplay For All Foundation (FFA) is a non-stock, non-profit, non-government organization working in the community of Payatas, known for being the country's largest open dump site, located in Quezon City in the Philippines. Its main objective is to help children living in poverty and engaging in child labor break the cycle of poverty through football. Its programs include a grassroots football team, Payatas FC, and a drop-in center for children living in the area. With its name reminiscent of Fair Play campaigns in football culture, FFA’s vision is to achieve a “level playing field on and off the pitch”—that is, providing equal opportunities to everyone, regardless of social status or background.
With the rising popularity of the Azkals, the Philippine National Men’s Football Team, football quickly gained popularity in the Philippines. Roy Moore, a British national and graduate student, had previously done volunteer work in the country and saw this as an opportunity to form a team in Payatas as many of the kids were interested in learning to play. In January, 2011, Moore coached a training session at the local basketball court, attended by around 80 kids from Payatas, its neighboring community Kasiglahan, and Mango Tree House a children’s home run by what would soon be FFA’s partner charity, the Asian Students’ Christian Foundation (ASCF).
During this time Moore was introduced to Naomi Tomlinson, who had previously done volunteer work in Mindanao and also founded Triple E, a fund raising charity based in England that aimed to help street children in the Philippines. This led to a partnership between Moore and Tomlinson and the founding of the Fairplay For All Foundation.
Football: Payatas FC
In 2011, British national Roy Moore started a football training program in a barangay basketball court in Payatas. Moore saw the rising popularity of the Azkals, the Philippine national football team, as an opportunity to reach out to the community while also developing grassroots football. The first session was flocked by 80 kids from Payatas and surrounding areas like Kasiglahan and FFA's sister charity's children's home, Mango Tree House. Kids from Kasiglahan formed Kasiglahan FC, which later on became independently coached, while the girls from Mango, now called Mango FC is still coached by Moore. As the first project of FFA, it has helped the charity establish roots within the community and get to know the children as well.
Payatas FC's vision for the children of Payatas goes beyond sports; it is their way to break the cycle of poverty as well. Moore said in an interview for an online international publication, "Often in situations of poverty people lose the ability to dream. Over time, being in the same place, they get used to the same routine; they get used to the same system. Being able to go outside of Payatas enables the kids to see the different ways that people live in the Philippines. It enables them to see different situations and realise that there are ways to break that poverty cycle."
Players of Payatas FC have been invited to participate in training clinics by the Azkals, the Philippine National Men's Football Team, Global FC of the United Football League, as well as LA Galaxy with international football superstar David Beckham. Some members of the Azkals such as Lexton Moy, Juani Guirado, Rob Gier and Nate Burkey have visited Payatas to join the children during training. Lexton Moy was one of the earliest supporters of Payatas FC, who recently ran a marathon to raise funds for the team to get their own jeepney, a form of local transport which would take the kids to and from tournaments and training events. Juani Guirado shot a promotional video for the Azkals with one of the players of Payatas FC.
Through word of mouth, Payatas FC has captured the attention of local and international media, who have produced documentaries and features on Payatas FC. This includes international sports magazine show FIFA Futbol Mundial, GMA News TV's Brigada hosted by award-winning journalist Jessica Soho, among others. One of the U8 players also filmed a promotional video with Juani Guirado of the Azkals. Payatas FC and the FFA were also featured on international and local print and online media outlets such as Yahoo! Sports, GMA News Online, InterakTV, The Manila Bulletin, and The Guardian’s International Development Journalism Competition 2013.
News of the football team spread and eventually sponsors donated more football and training equipment such as balls, cones, goals, and hurdles. Selected footballers were also given a chance to get an educational sponsorship through donors from the Philippines, the UK, and around the world.
Since Moore's first training session with the kids of Payatas, Payatas FC now has a regular pool of boys and girls of various age groups, one of which has been selected to join the training camp for the U14 Philippine Women's National Team. The team has so far won eight tournaments, while usually making it to the semi-finals in others, competing with other grassroots football teams, teams from more privileged areas and schools, or both,. They have won a total of eight tournaments usually making it to the semi-finals in most instances.
The drop-in center, which is run by one of FFA's co-founders Naomi Tomlinson, is FFA’s safe space for children living in the area, for them to be able to get basic nutrition, basic education, and time to play and have fun. The center, which opened in early 2012, allows the charity’s management and staff to assess each child’s life situation in order for them to provide necessary intervention and/or assistance. Usually when the child comes from a loving family but cannot afford to send them to school, the child is given an education sponsorship. In cases of abuse or neglect, the child is referred to a sister charity, the ASCF. In that sense, the center serves as a halfway house for the children, in order for them to get used to a constructive environment where they are taught basic values as well as respect for rules, to avoid the usual culture shock that comes with moving to a children's home.
The center is also a place where children can attend informal alternative learning classes, character building activities, art classes, and practical classes (such as bread making). Currently the drop-in center accommodates around 20-40 children per day, with the number expected to increase once the construction of their new facility is completed. The children who come to the center are from different backgrounds—some of them are working children and out-of-school youths, while some are already going to school but come to the center to be with their friends or to supplement their education through the classes.
Public education in the Philippines is free, although the cost of transportation to school, food during classes, school supplies, books, and uniforms are not. Because of the financial situation of the families FFA works with, a lot of them cannot afford these additional expenses, while some children do not even have the time to go to school because they need to work. The education sponsorships, which entitle each student to a monthly allowance coming from sponsors in the Philippines, the UK, and all over the world, is how FFA addresses this need. FFA currently sponsors 47 children, which may increase with additional support.
Street Child World Cup
FFA is also the official organizing body of the Philippine team for the Street Child World Cup. Moore is the Coach for the Philippines team, organizing scouting tournaments with invited teams every month, while Burrows is the Manager of the team. The boys and girls teams will be selected from these tournaments, future training sessions of selected players, scouting trips to provinces outside of Manila, and exhibition games between teams from Manila and the provinces.
The final selection of eight boys and eight girls will then represent the entire country at the Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The girls team from the Philippines is also the only girls team from the whole of Asia to compete.
Nutrition is one of the most pressing needs for the people in Payatas. Without a marketplace for fresh fruits and vegetables nearby, most of the residents resort to canned food or junk food, which is cheaper, but leaves children highly malnourished, and in some instances even unhealthily overweight because of the high sugar and fat content. To address this, the Fairplay For All Foundation have built an urban farm on the rooftop of their new drop-in centre. By utilizing technologies such as aquaponics and hydroponics, FFA’s urban farm will produce affordable and healthy fresh vegetables for the kids who come to the drop-in center and for their baon store. In the future, the project will expand to the parents who can build small urban farms on their land to supplement their nutrition and income.
People living in areas like Payatas rarely have access to financial instruments such as credit and savings. Through FFA’s microfinancing programs, families of the children the charity works with can avail of low-interest or interest-free loans, usually for medical emergencies or for starting small businesses. Any income generated is then reinvested for future microfinancing needs.
Payatas FC has had difficulties in securing a regular training venue, as they are only able to use the barangay basketball court twice a week, which may sometimes even be cancelled or pushed back due to other engagements in the venue. Given the lack of time, all of the children train at once meaning one coach must train all 60-80 kids at the same time. For the football players to reach their full potential, FFA aims to secure their own land for a futsal court, where they can train on a more regular basis.
The Fairplay Academy will then also construct a pre-school for the brightest and poorest children in the area. Every year this will expand a grade eventually becoming a full Elementary and High School, offering scholarships for University. The main purpose for this is because of the poor quality of education in Payatas, whereby there are typically 60-100 children per classroom and teacher. The teachers are also notoriously under-paid, under-trained, and over-worked. As such it is not uncommon for half of the class to attend only once or twice per week, or even drop out entirely, by the end of the school year. Due to the lack of proper observation, many children also graduate from one class to the next still not even knowing how to read or write in their native tongue. The Fairplay Academy will be a place for quality education, limited classroom sizes, dynamic learning and teaching methods, and ultimately a place for the children to excel. this will then become a symbol to the government of the benefits of investing in such poor, urban communities - the value of education in such environments - and the potential of the children to succeed if the right facilities are provided.
Within the Fairplay Academy compound also, there will be a large urban farm. This urban farm will grow a huge amount of vegetables and produce to be sold and to supply the charities baon store (small takeout shop selling affordable and healthy snacks and light meals), carenderias (small cafes), and eventually a restaurant outside of Payatas. All income from this will be invested in the school and the other social work of the charity.
Thus, the Fairplay Academy will tackle the problems of poverty in a holistic and sustainable manner, generating much of its own income through corporate sponsorship of the football program and the urban farm produce. The Fairplay Academy will be the next level for all of the projects of the Fairplay for All Foundation.
- Roy Moore, founding president and Executive Director of FFA, is the coach of Payatas FC. Roy, who hails from Lancashire, England, has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of York and is now taking Graduate Studies at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, in Political Science. Roy is also a freelance writer and hosts FTW, a sports talk show on GMA News Online. He also had a stint as a goalkeeper for Laos FC, a team in the second division of the United Football League.
- Naomi Tomlinson is the founding Vice-President and a Director of FFA. Tomlinson is the founder of Triple E, FFA’s funding agent in the United Kingdom. On a daily basis, Tomlinson runs the operations of the drop-in center, one of FFA’s flagship projects. She previously volunteered in FFA’s sister charity, ASCF, and later in a home for abused girls in Mindanao. She studied Catering and Hospitality at New College Durham and completed an Access to Nursing course at Darlington College.
- Jacques Palami, FFA’s secretary, is a Filipino from Tacloban, Leyte. He is currently based in Quezon City, and is a film and media studies student at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He participated in VSO, a volunteer exchange program working in the Philippines and the UK.
- Jaron Genota is FFA’s treasurer. He is based in Manila and works closely with the Philippine National Team’s management.
- Araceli Socorro, from Iligan City, Mindanao, is an alumna of the University of the Philippines-Manila, with a degree and a professional license in Physical Therapy. She is the former publications committee chair of the Philippine Physical Therapist Association, the government recognized national association for physical therapists. A licensed Bobath Pediatric Therapist, she is the current manager of Hong's Children Center for Cerebral Palsy after more than 10 years of experience working with children with special needs.
- Crisann Celdran Crisann is a breast cancer survivor who set up ICanServe Foundation as a breast cancer awareness and early screening charity. With Fairplay for All Crisann is a valuable board member contributing particularly to the drop-in centre and education programs.
- "," The charity's own website with full explanations of the projects and links to press and publicity.
- "Jumper Boy," an entry to The Guardian's International Development Journalism Competition 2013.
- "Sipa ng Pag-Asa," a segment on Brigada, a news documentary show on GMA News TV.
- FIFA Futbol Mundial
- FTW: Updates on the Fairplay For All Foundation, from GMA News Online
- FTW: Grassroots Development for Philippine Football, from GMA News Online
- "Roy Moore: Payatas FC" on TEDxDiliman