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Play for Goals: A collaborative project

Copyrights: Football for Humanity

Play for Goals: A collaborative project

"Mens sana, in corpore sano" - a healthy mind in a healthy body. Few Filipino children would know what these words mean, but for good friends Chris Thomas and Quintin Pastrana, it was a call to action.

Quintin says, “Reading saved my life.” Chris says, “Football saved my life.”

Both stories are true. Both men testify to the life-changing powers of education, and sport. Both men believe that one is incomplete without the other. Read. Play. Be healthy. Thrive.

Thus the two friends set out to make the vision come true. They were going to change a community by sharing what was most valuable in their lives. They will build a library, fill it with books, and let the children read or learn to read, and dream.

Near the library will be a football pitch, the enclosed, five-a-side kind that both loved to play in and which is considered the most popular style of football in the UK and Europe. Chris is British. Quintin spent time in the UK. Both are avid footballers.

The children will spend time in the pitch learning football, and playing it, after their study time. Some of the boys will dream of being Messi, or Ronaldo, and being part of the national team. The girls, on the other hand, dream of “going to other countries.”

Soon they are joined by another young man with a passion for health - promoted through a system that converts water into the pure, clean, fresh water that we all need for drinking. We are all 60% water. We all need to drink more and more water, for good health. So many communities, so many children, who do not have clean water to drink, in a nation of 7,641 islands. And for those who engage in strenuous physical activity, hydration is extremely important.

So when the children play, they can always go to the water facility where they can enjoy clean potable water—as much as they want, for free,” advised Carlo Delantar, the 27- year old country director of Waves for Water, an international NGO that promotes and builds clean water systems. Carlo was recruited by Chris and Quintin to complete the trio.

We call the campaign “Play for Goals.” By ‘goals’ here, we are referring to the UN Sustainable Development Goals to which we align our organisation’s objectives, “ explained Chris Thomas.

Thomas, who is president and founder of Football for Humanity, pushes for sport - football in the small-sided pitch - to pursue “good health and well-being.” Quintin, founder of Library Renewal Partnership, builds libraries in support of “quality education.” And Carlo, who makes sure that the water supply for the entire village is nothing less than 100% pure and clean and healthy, advocates “clean water and sanitation.

The group now has the opportunity to achieve a good part of the SDG’s, with an integrated approach that includes a proper library, a football facility, and a potable water system.

Fortunately, there are also many kind-hearted individuals in this world, and a few of them were inspired by the vision of these young men who wanted to make a significant, sustainable change. With pledges of support behind them, the trio set out to implement their vision.

 

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 19:58