Dream Big Pilipinas Tournament and Drop-in Centre Update

It’s been a little while since my last blog so I wanted to update you all on some things with us at the Fairplay for All Foundation.

Things are going really well overall, a lot of great progress lately, though it’s been extremely busy. I think the last day off I had was at least a couple of months ago, maybe more, but there’s lots to be pleased about.

Dream Big Pilipinas

Nica May MVP picture
That’s Miguel Bermundo on the left and Zee Perez in the centre, presenting Nica May with the MVP award for the girls’ division

With the football side of things we were invited recently to a well run tournament at the University of Santo Tomas. Miguel Bermundo, who runs the program Dream Big Pilipinas. They have a football, academic, and scholarship program and organized the tournament at the University of Santo Tomas. The event was also sponsored by Starbucks and so we were kindly given snacks throughout the day.

Payatas FC in the Tournament

There were twelve teams for the U14 boys division, including our boys, and then four for a friendly girls division as Payatas A and B played against Dream Big Pilipinas A and B. Once the games started things ran smoothly and both our boys and girls did well in the group stages. The boys won their three group games to go to the next round, and our girls did well finishing 1st and 3rd in the group.

The boys were up next in their quarter final match and after a close game with Jeepney FC I think it was, we won on penalties, the first time I think the boys have won on penalties as they’re a bit like England when it comes to penalties which admittedly must be my fault :p Meanwhile the girls had their Semi Finals and both won their matches so they met each other in the final.

Next up, the boys were against one of the Dream Big Pilipinas teams. Unfortunately we didn’t perform too well and the other side were better, after they beat our boys 2-0 in the end. It was another lesson for the boys in why attitude is usually more important than

Girls playing UST
Payatas Girls v Mango Girls in the final

skill, as they had become a little too complacent after their earlier wins.

Then it was the finals for the girls. With both our teams in the final I decided not to coach after the whistle and let the captains of each teams sort out the substitutions, tactics, and everything else during the matches. They did a good job and the game finished 2-2 with some good football on display. It went to penalties and the girls from Mango kept up their winning streak on penalties (they’ve won every penalty shoot out they’ve been in) so they were champions and the girls from Payatas were runners up. It was a fun day overall and it was good for the U14s to get more game time as they’re often not able to play in competitions given different age requirements and registration fees. However for this tournament there weren’t any registration fees and it was a well organized day so the kids had a great time.

Drop-in Centre  

Then the drop-in centre is coming along massively! It’s already being decorated as almost all of the structural work has been completed and Naomi has been doing a great job organizing that. The drop-in centre is our place to assess the kids’ needs individually and we’ve had huge support recently to more than double our education sponsorship scheme from 20 to 47 now.

The current building is very bad though. It’s rented, floods during the rainy season as the house wasn’t taken care of properly before we moved in, and the only reason it’s liveable to begin with is because we put a lot of effort into making it so. The new place is going to great as it’s much bigger, is our own place, and we don’t have to deal with anyone else who is difficult. We can assess more kids, expand the education program, and start out urban farm on the roof of the building – which in turn will supply our sari sari store of healthy merienda. Check out a before and after below.

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Drop-in Centre Before
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Drop-in Centre Almost Completed

For that, we give a huge thank you to Alasdair Thomson in particular, as he helped us raise the bulk of the budget for that. But I’ll talk more about it all in the blog after next and explain a lot more about what it enables us to do then.

Next up will be a blog about the Philippine team for the Street Child World Cup as we have a tournament this weekend, which includes teams from Dream Big Pilipinas, Nayon ng Kabataan, Haven for Children, Gawad Kalinga, and Josie’s Angels, as we look to combine the teams to form the best team to represent the Philippines.

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