COMPASSION AS A CALL TO ACTION

“Compassion is not just an attitude but a call-to-action.”

–POPE FRANCIS

Since the launch of SPORT AT THE SERVICE FOR HUMANITY we have celebrated those organizations and individuals who embody the Six Principles – COMPASSION, RESPECT, LOVE, ENLIGHTENMENT, BALANCE & JOY. Throughout the course of this year, we will share stories that demonstrate how the Six Principles are being used as a rallying cry around the globe. This month, we look at the Principle of Compassion and its power as a meaningful call-to-action.

Compassion

So much of the good in the world is rooted in Compassion. Pope Francis calls Compassion a “privileged way to promote justice.” Recognizing that when we show compassion, we empathize with others and in turn are better able to understand the challenges they face. Through this understanding we gain clarity on how we can support them in their struggles and ease their suffering.

Compassion was what compelled Marko Kasic, a nationalised British citizen who was a child refugee in the 1991 former-Yugoslavian civil war, to take action that led to the founding of FundLife International.

Marko was in the Philippines in 2013 when the devastating Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit the country, wiping out whole communities, specifically the small town of Tacloban. His Compassion for the children of this region was his call to action.

FundLife International: Transforming Adversity into Opportunity

Marko witnessed firsthand the devastation Typhoon Haiyan caused, not just on infrastructure, but the havoc it wrought on the people who suffered through it. Their suffering reminded him of the isolation and helplessness he felt as a child and he felt compelled to do something.

Taking from his own experiences and love for the sport of football, Marko came up with the idea of using football to bring hope and joy back to the young people of Tacloban. In the midst of losing everything after the typhoon, FundLife was able to give children a positive relief, and a way to rebuild their hopes and dreams.

FundLife’s vision is for every child to reach their full potential, a goal that is not a reality for many of the children it works with. In the Philippines, approximately 1 in 5 children born outside of Cebu City and Manila grow up in intergenerational poverty. In Leyte and Samar, the region where FundLife has been working since 2014, the poverty rate is 47%.

Based on the success of FundLife, Marko created the FundLife Leadership Academy (FLA) Education program. The FLA Education program offers a play-based curriculum that combines sports and classroom sessions, to prepare children for future challenges in their schools, their communities and one day, their workplace.

Since FLA launched in 2014, it has reached over 20,000 children across Leyte and has delivered over 30,000 educational and sporting hours. In schools where FLA is delivered, the dropout rate has decreased from 21% to less than 1%.

In 2018, a total of 4,546 children ages 7-19 were engaged in FLA Programs, of which 3,238 were male and 1,308 were female. They participated in afterschool football sessions and Champion’s classroom sessions.

“FLA teaches continuous action and discipline to hold on to positive values so kids can develop their resilience. One mark of resilience for kids is their ability to bounce back physically, emotionally and psychologically from calamity and gather that zest to pursue their dreams in making their lives and that of their families better.”

-MARKO KASIC, Fundlife Founder and Managing Director

Beyond Football for Life, Fundlife has created and implemented numerous initiatives all rooted in the idea that through the power of Sport and Play, children can be inspired to Dream, encourage them to Believe and empower them to Achieve. To learn more about FundLife International, their coaches and the incredible difference their Compassion makes to their community, click here to watch their video.

FundLife & Sport for Humanity

In 2018, John Paul (JP) Masubay, a 24-year-old football player, coach, mentor and youth leader from Tacloban, Philippines, was one of four young leaders selected to take part in the SSH YOUNG LEADERS Mentoring Program. This program, supported by ISPS HANDA, aims to prepare athletes and young leaders in sport to “Win in Life” and inspire their communities through the power of their example.

Throughout the course of the year, the young leaders, under the tutelage of their mentor, will acquire the leadership skills to become international role models who are capable of harnessing their Compassion to change sport and the world for the better.

Since October, JP has been working with his Global Mentor Victor Montagliani, FIFA VP/Concacaf President. The learning and experience that JP is gaining from his global mentor and participation in the SSH program will enhance and strengthen JP’s abilities as an FLA mentor and leader, providing him with skills that he can share with his peers and colleagues.

“I feel so lucky that I was chosen to be part of this program. This is a big opportunity for me because I will be mentored by someone who is successful in life. I am expecting to learn more applications on how to use sports to help communities cope with the hardships in this fast-changing world, especially the children who are forced to grow up fast instead of enjoying their childhood.”

–JOHN PAUL MASUBAY, FLA Coach and SSH Young Leader

Designing a Life Guided by Compassion

SPORT AT THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY was born out of the idea that “faith and sport” in partnership can bring about positive social change. We challenge you to design your life around SSH’s Six Principles. Start each day with an open heart and embrace COMPASSION as a call to action. When you see others in need of support, consider what you can do to make a difference. In particular, consider how you can harness the power of sport to create positive change for those in your community who need it most.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

MAHATMA GANDHI

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