Creating safe spaces for children both online and offline is one of the advocacies of PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc. This is why they partnered with Football for Humanity (FFH) to empower youth through sports.
Together with MVP Sports Foundation, Smart Sports, FFH, and JCI Manila, ‘Better Today for Kids Playground’ is the culmination of PLDT and Smart’s month-long initiative on mental health in time for the recent World Mental Health Awareness month.
“We believe that sports can become an enabler for strong mental resilience and well-being, which is fundamental to our much broader digital wellness advocacy,” said Stephanie V. Orlino, AVP and Head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart.
“This drives us to collaborate with like-minded individuals and organizations such as FFH, to generate collective impact and promote a culture of empathy among our communities,” she added.
Over 50 children aged seven and above joined a morning of games and football drills with FFH coaches and Azkals Development Team Captain Stephan Shrock at the Ateneo de Manila University football field.
“Play is a child’s right. Play can transform. Sports command discipline, it commands concentration, and the best thing about sports is that you live in the moment. And Better Today for Kids Playground is totally in sync with what we do: providing safe spaces, giving the children resources, supporting them when they play. It’s a great experience that the children will not forget,” FFH vice president and co-founder Belle Tiongco said.
PLDT and Smart were also invited to speak in a panel organized by FFH and Virtual Soccer Schools to speak about the ‘Power Move Project’ and how it could serve as an example for international youth organizations in the United Kingdom.