MANILA – Three ONE Championship athletes recently visited youth living in metropolitan Manila for an outreach activity in partnership with Young Focus, a local NGO. ONE Championship™ (ONE) is the largest global sports media property in Asian history.
As Global Citizen Athlete Ambassadors (GCA), mixed martial arts athletes Angela Lee, Brandon Vera, and Eduard Folayang, spent time with children from Smokey Mountain area. They sent a message of hope and the importance of access to education to the children. They also toured the area, met community members and visited Young Focus centers which cater to children from infancy, preschool, up to the tertiary educational level.
“Today was an experience unlike any other. I am truly humbled and honored to have walked these streets, laughed with these people and shared so many smiles with everyone on Smokey Mountain,” Angela Lee said. “For me and my fellow Global Citizen Ambassadors, Brandon and Eduard, this is truly the most rewarding thing. We love giving back to our communities!”
Young Focus founders Paul and Ann Wijgerden have over 1,500 children from the area participating in the program. Athletes not only helped children of all ages in their various classes, from English to Mathematics, to Music and Dance but also inspired them by sharing their own personal stories and reinforcing the importance of education. The day finished with a martial arts demonstration.
Young Focus in the Philippines provides underprivileged youth in the Tondo, or “Smokey Mountain” area the chance to develop themselves intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Through education, Young Focus addresses poverty directly by giving the next generation the best possible opportunities in life.
“Young Focus and its students are a great example of what we can achieve when a community is able to prioritize education for all. It was exciting to see their work firsthand today and hear directly from students whose lives have been changed by the power of education,” Wei Soo, Co-Founder of Global Citizen said.
Added Soo: “At Global Citizen, we’re thrilled to team up with ONE Championship and its fans throughout Asia, and encourage world leaders to invest in education and give millions of people around the world the tools they need for a better future.”
Filipino-American Brandon Vera, also a Global Citizen Athlete Ambassador and a mixed-martial arts champion, said: “Hanging out with the children was an awesome privilege.” The experience made him appreciate everything a lot more and has motivated him to give back, even more, when he can. He also said that if he is able to help these kids, it meant the world to him.
“I have been fortunate enough to be raised in an environment where I never had to face what these kids have to deal with on a daily basis. If only to inspire them to work hard and study hard so they can chase their dreams, then I’m all for it,” he said. “Hope is important because even just a little bit of it goes a long way. Thank you to ONE Championship and Global Citizen for allowing us this opportunity.”
As part of the partnership with Global Citizen to encourage fans to become Global Citizens and take action, ONE athletes will continue to play their part in driving this social movement as well as supporting local initiatives that provide access to education to tackle extreme poverty.
Eduard Folayang, also a GCA Ambassador, said that his visit to Smokey Mountain was an amazing experience. He felt for the hardship that his countrymen were experiencing now, particularly the youth. “As a ONE Championship athlete, it is my honor to be able to give back to the Filipino people,” he said. “I’m sure the entire world would also love to be a part of this movement, so I encourage everyone to check out Global Citizen and how each of us can help in our own little ways.”
ONE Championship recently partnered with Global Citizen which aims to harness the power of its platform to engage millions of martial arts fans around the world to support initiatives and find solutions to the issues associated with extreme poverty. They will collaborate across 24 live ONE events scheduled in 2018, and various outreach activations throughout Asia. Fans will have the opportunity to take action and engage with specific policy areas including, education, food security, hunger and nutrition, global health, and gender equality and empowerment.
The first action ONE fans can take will be centered on global education. Fans will be able to call on donor countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and India, to attend the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) replenishment conference in Dakar, Senegal on 2 February 2018, and make a commitment to GPE to support better education for all. Currently, 264 million children around the world are missing out on an education. Over half are girls, and over 75 million have had their schooling disrupted by conflict or natural disasters. At the replenishment conference, the GPE will raise much-needed funds that will allow it to continue to support quality, inclusive education to hundreds of millions of children around the world.
Headquartered in New York with offices in Canada, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Global Citizen was founded in 2012 with the goal of building the largest platform where people can learn about issues, take action on what matters most, and join a global movement working to end extreme poverty by 2030.
Since then, millions of Global Citizens around the world have taken over ten million actions, which includes millions of emails, tweets, petition signatures, and phone calls targeting world leaders to end extreme poverty by 2030. To date, the actions by Global Citizen’s global community, along with its high-level advocacy efforts and various partners, have resulted in 130 commitments and policy announcements from leaders, including financial aid valued at over US $35-billion, that is set to affect the lives of over 1.3 billion people.