As part of its advocacy to create safe spaces for children both online and offline, PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) through the “Better Today” program, have partnered with Football for Humanity (FFH) to promote safe spaces for children to play, 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.
“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 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.”
Over 50 children aged 7 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.
“It’s great, we need more of these events, more awareness, more supporters, more people that promote and organize [football]. I can speak from my own experience; football was my safe space. Whenever I got to play on the green carpet, I felt safe, I felt happy,” Shrock said.
“Happy children make happy adults. And happy adults make a country progressive and powerful,” said Belle Tiongco, co-founder and VP, FFH. “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, and supporting them when they play. It’s a great experience that the children will not forget.”