Nov 19, 2018

5 Years Since Haiyan: We Need to Do More


5 Years Since Haiyan: We Need to Do More

Dear FFLA friend,

Greetings from the Philippines!

November 8 marked the 5th anniversary of the world’s strongest storm, Typhoon Haiyan. For the many who were in the Philippines on that day, it is a date that we will never forget. Manila was dark, tress swayed violently as the rain fell. It was adverse, but nothing that prepared us for what was happening in Eastern Visayas. The destruction Haiyan left behind was horrific; over 7,000 deaths, 16 million affected and over 1 million houses destroyed. Today, over 5,000 families who lost homes still wait to be rehoused and replaced. As Jack Sim would say, ‘bureaucrazy’!
On November 8 five years ago FundLife did not exist. We were nothing but a vision to champion greater opportunities and education for the hundreds of thousand children living in the slums of Manila. That day changed everything. We suddenly became naïve experts. For a brief moment, as is true for any global calamity, the world cared. Tacloban and other affected areas were given unprecedented financial aid. All too often, this aid never reached the communities, never gave agency to those who continue to rebuild their own lives. Never offered anything more than brief respite.
Five years on, long after the media and the international NGO’s left, FundLife is still in those very communities. We have seen what is possible when we invest in children, in communities, in educational opportunity. When we remove politics. We hope that we are able to learn from the devastation of Haiyan, and ensure we do better. We must change the way we respond and how we account for aid.
When we learn how to give agency, local organisations far better than FundLife can change the entire landscape of their communities. But they need opportunity – not aid. Five years after we started; our work is just beginning. Dreams are just starting to be cultivated – and these dreamers are no longer just the dreams of Haiyan Survivors – they are the dreams of the forgotten. Today we remember – not only those who lost so much five years ago, but also those who continue suffer every single day as we idle by.
But more than remember, we must act – if we do not, who will.


FundLife collaborates with Genesis Project from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)

FundLife programme director, Marko Kasic and former Arsenal in the Community Coach, Etienne Digout, visited BiH to conduct a seminar organised by Genesis to promote the use of “football and play” as a tool for inclusivity and peace building. The seminar, to foster and promote positive role models through sport, was delivered to 12 female and 12 male school children and 16 educators from across Central BiH. 

Taking place in mountainous town of Jahorina (one of the venues used in the Sarajevo 84’ Winter Olympics), the seminar included the introduction of football 3 methodology to school children instructing them how football can be used to promote gender equity, inclusivity, respect and fair play. Read more about the newly acquired partnership here!


Partnership with Giuseppe Football Club in action

In early August we reported that a new partnership had come to force – between FundLife and Giuseppe Football Club. We are happy to follow up on this on conclude that the partnership has been developed as strongly as we had hoped for!

To achieve our mutual goal, both GFC and FundLife came up with the Girls Community League to identify girls’ teams, whether they are playing football or futsal, and see how they can help them. Currently, GFC and FundLife are holding a futsal training program at the Sisters of Mary School Girlstown in the city of Talisay, Cebu, after finding out that they have a team but has not yet received formal training. Catch more details on this exciting project here.


FundLife participates in the Coaches Across Continents – Gawad Kalinga joint programme

FundLife and Coaches Across Continents (CAC) partnership goes way back – our CAC friends have come to the Philippines several times to conduct intensive trainings on football4good for our coaches. Today, we have grown our competence to a level when we can participate in CAC outreach programmes as equal partners. What more to aspire for!

Recently, our Community Impact Coach, Robelyn Villas, took part in a joint CAC-Gawad Kalinga programme. Read the wonderful story about her experience of working with Coaches Across Continents On-Field in the Philippines with CAC Community Partner, Gawad Kalinga, after the already exciting adventure of the FIFA Football for Hope Festival in Russia this Summer of 2018 in partnership with the World Cup!


Preparation for annual Sama-Sama Games is in full swing

In early December we are hosting our annual Sama-Sama Games in the City of Cebu. This will be the 8th event so far and it has been evolved a lot over this time period, however the main idea of the Games has remained unchanged: once a year we come together to celebrate unity and opportunity. This year, it is organized with the great support of Generation Amazing who share the same vision with us. Stay tuned for more information on how it goes!


Truly yours,

FundLife Team

More fun in the Philippines!
More fun in the Philippines!
Unity and opportunity
Unity and opportunity
Aug 20, 2018

Post World Cup Fever and Our Expansion to Cebu

FFLA delegation to FIFA Foundation Festival
FFLA delegation to FIFA Foundation Festival

Hi FFLA friends!

So… Two months ago, headquarters office of FundLife in Tacloban was buzzing with excitement and anticipation as we made our final preparations for the FFLA delegation's journey to attend the 2018 FIFA Foundation Festival in Moscow. As one by one we were ticking off items on our must-bring checklist; FFLA coach and mentor, Coach Rhobs, had already arrived in Russia, ahead of the entire delegation, to participated in the orientation and training for young leaders. Ever proactive and passionate, Coach Rhobs expressed how she wanted to share the most memorable moments of her trip including her first ever solo travel to Moscow, watching a World Cup match, and meeting other young leaders from different organizations coming from all over the globe to celebrate football as a catalyst for social change and development. So, here it goes, friends – the life-changing journey through the eyes of Coach Rhobs!

World Cup season has now come to a close. But even weeks after France (congratulations!) took home the World Cup Championship, we find ourselves still talking and reminiscing about Russia, the World Cup, and the unforgettable experience we’ve had at the Festival! Have a look at the snapshot of the festival here – a smile on your face guaranteed! What more – with the help with Vibe World team who travelled all the way from the USA, we’ve captured the heroes of this trip in a series of videos! How about you grab a coffee, sit down, relax and enjoy it! Teaser, Video abour Rhobs, Video about Nilda, Video about Daniel, Video about Yman, Video about Carl.


Amazing post-festival time: our own Mini World Cup and meeting with the Vice President of the Philippines

While the FFLA delegation was enjoying its time in Moscow, back at home our team supported by the Arsenal in the Community gave into the World Cup fever, too – and prepared for the Mini World Cup Tournament, which they pulled off brilliantly upon the return of the delegation to the Philippines. What a Cup it was! Congrats, Mexico and Japan, for the 2nd and the 3rd places, respectively… And the winner is… Well, find out the winning country here! :)

On August 2, FundLife International met Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo in a closed-door meeting in Salcedo Central Elementary School in Samar. During the meet and greet, FundLife founder and director, Marko Kasic, introduced the team, the coaches, and the FFLA players including two of the FFLA-Russia delegates to the FIFA Foundation Festival in Moscow. Exciting day by all means! Check it out here.


Department of Education and FundLife strengthen the productive partnership

On June 14, picking up from the success of the FFLA pilot implementation, FundLife International, in partnership with Department of Education (DepEd), resumed the programme’s second year of delivery in existing partner schools in and around Tacloban City. The secured partnership allows the FFLA programme to continue its work with students from targeted public schools in Tacloban City and across Leyte. Our progress with the DepEd is documented here.


FFLA Project Expansion to Cebu – thank you, Generation Amazing, for the trust and support!

Earlier in May, FundLife received confirmation that Generation Amazing will be extending their football for development initiatives to support the organization in amplifying the impact of its Football for Life Academy (FFLA) programme in existing partner schools and communities in Tacloban, and with new collaborators and beneficiaries in Cebu City. The set-up of the new project location took a couple of months and in early August, we launched the project in the City of Cebu during the 2-day Generation Amazing Cup! Read more about this fantastic event here.

Following the success of the Generation Amazing Cup held in Cebu, FundLife International and Giuseppe Football Club formalized their partnership through a Memorandum of Agreement. More details here.


We hope you liked a snapshot of our productive summer!

More good news to follow soon – stay tuned :)

It's kind of fun to do the impossible!
It's kind of fun to do the impossible!
Mini World Cup. Because we can!
Mini World Cup. Because we can!


May 21, 2018

FFLA: Final Countdown Until World Cup 2018!

FIFA Football for Hope Festival - here we come!
FIFA Football for Hope Festival - here we come!

Hello, our dear supporter!

Yet another update about the Football for Life Academy (FFLA) is here – so sit back, relax and enjoy the read as we sum up the most important news from the last 3 months.


All eyes on us as we prepare for the FIFA Football for Hope Festival

As we’ve already shared in our previous reports, the good portion of 2018 has so far been spent in sweet anticipation for the FIFA Football for Hope (FFH) Festival – an official event of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, during which, a FFLA delegation will represent the Philippines!

Of the 865 children who enrolled and completed the FFLA programme from 2016 to 2017, two female and two male players, alongside a youth leader, have been selected to travel to the festival in Russia. The FFH Festival will bring together 48 delegations from all over the world to gather in Moscow from 25 June – 05 July 2018, and will demonstrate to the football world, as well as to the general public, the impact that football can have in pursuing developmental goals such as education, health promotion, peace-building, social integration, and youth leadership.

Fingers crossed for a smooth trip and a meaningfully spent time in Moscow!


FundLife kicks-off a new financial literacy initiative for its coaches

In February, we kicked off a financial literacy initiative under the umbrella of the FFLA programme for our young mentors and community leaders. Dubbed the FundLife Savers Club, the project is designed to motivate FFLA coaches and mentors to be more responsible with their finances. 

Three months into the programme and we are happy to observe that the initiative is being appreciated by the participants. In fact, several of them have already started experimenting with saving. Kudos to you, and keep up the good work!


Cebu Thirsty Cup: our annual tradition

For the 4th time, FFLA sent girls’ and boys’ teams, headed by coaches Rhobs and John Rex to Cebu to compete in the football festival’s 15th edition. All 20 children who were selected to represent FFLA have never travelled outside of Leyte. And by taking these kids and letting them experience new places, meet new faces, and play outside their world, the programme opens their minds to the possibilities brought about by setting goals, working hard, and committing to achieve. Check photos here and some personal stories of our participants here.


First ever Summer Kickoff – why not!

We officially ushered in the summer months with a football tournament designed to promote play, camaraderie, teamwork, and unity. Also, to celebrate the achievements, lessons learned from failures, new friends gained, and new experiences earned over the past school year. 

Led by volunteer intern and Event Organizer, Doris Sassen from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), in partnership with FundLife International, the Summer Kickoff celebrated the start of the season by successfully bringing together 20 teams coming from different places and backgrounds, and with different experiences and stories to share.

Why don’t you check the post-tournament photos and infographic here.


Thank you for your continuous support!


FundLife team

FFLA delegation: World Cup 2018, see you soon!
FFLA delegation: World Cup 2018, see you soon!
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