On a rainy Wednesday afternoon in the Philippines, the heroes and ambassadors of ONE Championship hit the streets of Mandaluyong City to shed some light on the kids of the Gawad Kalinga community on Barangay Barangka Drive.
But in the end, it was the kids who shined most.
On November 5, Team Lakay’s Danny “The King” Kingad and Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang – alongside ONE ambassadors DJ and Kim Jina – spent the afternoon with 100 kids aged 7-16 through ONE and Global Citizen’s community outreach program.
“I’m really happy to be here. What we’re doing here, we want to inspire them, and I appreciate how they’ve all listened. Just seeing them really happy, it makes me happy as well,” Adiwang said.
“Back in Baguio, we also went through this. We were also inspired, and I believe that there are a lot of them can be successful.”
After a brief tour of the community, the program kicked-off with a group sharing activity, dividing the children into four small groups where the athletes and the talents talked about their humble beginnings.
The program then shifted to physical activity, as the athletes taught the basic drills of boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu.
Of course, the night would not end without having the kids getting to hit the mitts – and they certainly did not go home disappointed as their ONE heroes gladly became their trainers for a brief moment.
“When you see these kids getting inspired, it’s a different feeling. It inspires us as well because it’s one of the few things we can do to give back to the community,” Adiwang said.
“Just seeing the potential in them is an amazing feeling and I’m just glad to be a part of this.”
At first look, ONE and Global Citizen’s partnership with Gawad Kalinga could not have been a better collaboration.
GK is a Philippine non-government organization finding solutions to the country’s crippling problem of poverty. Since 2003, GK has been instrumental in building housing for the less-fortunate throughout the Philippines.
What makes this organization truly special is how they instill values and empower the families and children to rise above poverty.
Sports have been a powerful tool for GK members in setting the lives of their kids straight – they have even formed a youth football club called GK SipaG FC, derived from the Filipino words sipa, which means kick, and sipag, which means hard work.
That is why when ONE and Global Citizen wanted to partner with them for this program, they did not think twice.
“It’s really heartwarming. It’s different from what we usually do. We share our knowledge in our sport, which is football, and ONE is doing that by promoting martial arts as well. As an athlete, it’s a big thing to learn different sports,” Arvex Malatbat said, one of the coaches of SipaG FC.
“I believe that all these kids have potential, we all start from nothing before we reach our dreams, and this is a big way for this kids to try and unlock their dreams.”
ONE Championship and Global Citizen have been partners since January 2018. Their goal is to end poverty by 2030.
The two giants look to touch millions of people in Asia through various outreach activities while raising awareness about the importance of education, nutrition, health, gender equality, and empowerment.
In the meantime, ONE returns to martial arts for ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS in Beijing, China on November 16.
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