RECOGNIZING that the toll from the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic comes in many forms, taekwondo national athlete Pauline Lopez is expanding her efforts to other concerns, specifically doing her part in coming to the aid of girls in vulnerable communities.

Through FundLife, an initiative which has been providing food relief to families since COVID-19 started to make its presence felt in the country in March, Ms. Lopez hopes to join in the push to spotlight other realities as well of the highly contagious respiratory disease.

“As we all come to terms with the reality of COVID-19 and staying at home to save lives, I am choosing to stand with all girls who are not lucky enough to have food security, a safe shelter that is free from abuse and violence and who are unable to access education,” said Ms. Lopez, a bemedalled athlete at the University Athletic Association of the Philippines with Ateneo de Manila University.

“I am using my platform #StandWithGirls and raise awareness for all girls who are living in poverty and/or are at risk of violence in the place where they should feel the safest — their homes,” she added.

Ms. Lopez has teamed up with fellow 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Joane Orbon of karate and FundLife International for the effort in the battle against COVID-19.

To further expand the conversation on what they want to achieve and drum up support for the program, Misses Lopez and Orbon will be holding a live session on Instagram on Saturday, May 30, at 10 a.m. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo