Gawad Kalinga partners with the Philippine Football Federation in launching the “SipaG” program

Gawad Kalinga

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Gawad Kalinga is partnering with the Philippine Football Federation in launching a grassroots community development program for underprivileged Filipino youth.

Dubbed, “GK SIPAG”, the program was launched at the Amici’s restaurant in San Juan Greenhills. GK, a non-profit foundation that has built over 2,000 communities nationwide, was selected by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to receive funding for its grassroots football program under the AFC’s Dream Asia Movement.  At the launch were GK Executive Director Jose Luis Oquiñena, PFF President Nonong Araneta, and Danny Moran of the Henry V. Moran Foundation.

GK Executive Director Luis Oquiñena mentioned, “We are thrilled to be partnering with AFC and the PFF in using football as a tool to end poverty.  GK has always brought a holistic approach to community development, and sport plays a big role in molding  the values in our communities.  We chose football because of its power in teaching our youth the values of teamwork, selflessness, and bayanihan.  I am glad that AFC and the PFF are partnering with us to ensure that our football program will have even greater impact in the communities where we work.”

The SipaG program will initially be rolled out in 10 GK sites across Metro Manila. The GK sites are based in areas in Baseco, Smokey Mountain, Payatas, Sitio Ruby, Pasig, Mandaluyong and Quezon City.  SipaG will work with close to 500 participants aged 7 to 16.  The GK sites will recruit children into the program, and all participants will be required to attend GK’s regular weekly values formation sessions as well as enroll in school.  Their health and grades will also be monitored for improvement.

“GK has been using football as a tool for its Child and Youth Development program since 2005.  Ed Formoso and Danny Moran of The Henry V. Moran Foundation,  helped us start the project, and this eventually grew into a program were kids outside of GK villages wanted to join GK because of football.  Once enrolled, we required the kids to attend weekly values formation sessions, attend school, and maintain satisfactory grades in order to play. We also have targets for the parent’s involvement in their activities, so that the entire community is involved”, said Kevin Goco, Head of GK SipaG.

Philippine Football Federation President Nonong Araneta said “We decided to support this program with the AFC because of GK’s track record of success.  We were also impressed with GK’s holistic approach to developing communities, which really goes beyond the game.  The PFF will support GK through technical assistance and logistical support.  In addition, players from our National Team will serve as ambassadors to the program.”

Alex Tayamora, a resident from GK Sitio Ruby was one of the first participants of the GK Football Program.  He started playing football at age 12, when the Henry V. Moran Foundation and former women’s national team head coach Marlon Maro began working with GK in setting up its grassroots football program.  Coach Maro took Alex under his wing and transformed him into a successful student athlete taking up BS Computer Application in De La Salle College of St. Benilde on a football scholarship.

Coach Maro, who will serve as the Technical Director of SipaG mentioned, “The story of Alex Tayamora is a big reason why I continue to support GK as a program for grassroots development.  We go right into the slums, recruit children in their communities, bring them through values formation sessions, and train them to play on the street or basketball court.  More importantly, we are using the sport to save lives and develop role models for the community”.

The goal of SipaG is to eventually work in at least 20 sites across Metro Manila.  It also has plans of expanding its reach to GK sites based in Visayas and in conflict areas in Mindanao.

Danny Moran of the Henry V. Moran Foundation mentioned, “GK is the perfect partner for promoting development through sports.  They have the infrastructure and villages in place, complemented by holistic programs in community development.  Our foundation supported the idea of using GK and football as a formula for building a nation, and we are extremely happy to see more partners come on board to promote development through football.”


One Comment on “Gawad Kalinga partners with the Philippine Football Federation in launching the “SipaG” program”

  1. […] Gawad Kalinga partners with the Philippine Football Federation in launching the “SipaG” … ( […]

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