Prior to ONE Championship: Global Superheroes, Asia’s biggest martial arts promotion held an athlete outreach activity that saw ONE Championship athletes visit youth living in Tondo, Manila.
Global Citizen Athlete Ambassadors ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, in conjunction with Young Focus, spent time with children from the Smokey Mountain Area, while spreading a message of hope and the importance of access to education.
Young Focus is a local NGO in the Philippines that provides underprivileged youth in the Tondo, or “Smokey Mountain” Area of Manila, 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,” Global Citizen co-founder Wei Soo said. “It was exciting to see their work firsthand today, and hear directly from students whose lives have been changed by the power of education.
“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.”
Athletes toured the area, met community members, and visited Young Focus centers which cater to children from infancy, preschool, all the way up to the tertiary educational level. 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.
“It was such an amazing experience, of course. You really feel for the hardship my countrymen are experiencing now, especially the youth. As a ONE Championship athlete, it is my honor to be able to give back to the Filipino people,” expressed Folayang.
“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.”
“Hanging out with the children was an awesome privilege. It made me appreciate everything a lot more and has motivated me to give back even more when I can. If I am able to help these kids it means the world to me,” reflected Vera. “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.
“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.”
“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. For me and my fellow Global Citizen Ambassadors, Brandon and Eduard, this is truly the most rewarding thing,” shared Lee.
“We love giving back to our communities! We can’t wait to be back!”
ONE Championship also invited 100 Young Focus students and staff to attend Global Superheroes, held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena later on in the night.