234 Ate Geraldine’s Futkal with Gawad Kalinga
Written by Board Member, Alexis Joy Po
U! Happy volunteers of all ages came to celebrate Ate Geraldine’s soccer-iffic birthday last Saturday with the kids from Gawad Kalinga’s Jansenville Subdivision in Cainta. Kids and volunteers alike learned and played the sport at their community’s basketball court. Led by Coach Peter or Kuya Pedro, as he’s fondly called, and his team of young futball players, Futkaleros, whose advocacy is to teach street soccer to uplift the marginalized communities. We became familiar with the word – “FUTKAL” which is coined from “football sa kalye” in Tagalog.
We even went through the drills. Yes, I was actually surprised we had to do them! Good thing all were agile and this warmed-up the hearts of the volunteers with the kids and vice versa as they pull-off the most easy to the most difficult of the exercises! Imagine foot and eye coordination and all those running and skipping! It was heart-warming to see the humongous smiles on their faces as each of the 35 kids surpass each challenging task as we Ate’s and Kuya’s guided them and cheered them on.
Adrenaline-filled highlight of the event were the friendly matches between the kids’ teams and the volunteers vs the coaches. Kids showed much competitiveness despite learning of the sport just a moment ago. In a country which celebrates basketball, we wanted to teach the kids another sport which they can play even with the limitations of space as long as they have a ball to kick and practice footwork with. This highly encourages teamwork and friendly competition amongst peers.
A birthday won’t be complete without singing the birthday song, we gathered everyone to sing for Ate Geraldine and distributed food packs of healthy tinolang manok and papaya veggie dish to everyone. Pictures would show that everyone had a real good time. Conversations with the kids ranges from tapping in their dreams and sparking hope to giving back to their community.
Missed out on this? Join us next time then for another purpose-filled fun event with U! Happy Events! 🙂