FOOTBALL for Humanity Foundation (FFH), a nonprofit, nongovernment organization which aims to use sport and the power of play to inspire, empower and transform the lives of children affected by extreme poverty, natural disasters, and armed conflict, has gone a long way in its mission since being registered in 2017, and has continued to spread its wings to achieve its mission and vision.

Initially made its presence felt through the building of football infrastructure such as the unique small-sided, five-a-side enclosed spaces, establishing football development programs, conducting one-off football trainings and events, donating old and new football equipment, assisting talented but underprivileged youth to seek scholarships, and other charitable initiatives, FFH has dipped its hands in helping address educational, health, and well-being needs of different communities as well as promote peace and development.

One of the recent initiatives of FFH is Play for Goals which includes providing a library and a clean water facility to different communities in the country, beginning with Zonta Village in Barangay Tibungco, Davao City.

For this program, FFH has partnered with Library Renewal Partners and Waves for Water.

Late last year the foundation was awarded a donation of “unpoppable” soccer balls by One World Play, the creator of the unpoppable balls which were a solution for kids living in harsh conditions where standard soccer balls don’t last long.

This initial donation is currently being distributed via individuals and organizations who lead football development programs for Filipino youth.

After receiving the initial donation, the FFH was informed by One World Play that the foundation would receive 2,020 durable balls from Expo 2020 Dubai.

The donated balls represent Expo 2020’s aim to facilitate collaboration and the strengthening of ties within communities, while spreading happiness.

Aside from the Philippines, also receiving 2,020 balls from Expo 2020 Dubai, which has global football icon Lionel Messi as ambassador, are Jordan and Kenya.

For FFH founder Chris Thomas, the latest development in their push is something they are proud and excited about as it is truly in line with what they want to accomplish from the start.

“These are the very same values we promote in Football for Humanity, where our credo is ‘bringing nations together.’ It’s very inspiring and motivating to be part of a movement that cuts across countries, regardless of race or creed, to promote that dream of unity,” Mr. Thomas said.

Belle Tiongco, FFH co-founder, for her part, said this only serves to inspire them in continuing their efforts and chart the path they are currently on. “Football for Humanity is very fortunate, and thankful to be able to be the channel which will be able to bring the joy, and the power of football, to thousands of Filipino youth. These donations, these projects are a testament to the goodness of the human spirit, and that we are very proud to be associated with individuals and organizations, here and abroad, who build, who uplift, who reach out to inspire and motivate in the midst of difficulty and suffering. Football does bring hope,” she said. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo