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Meet our Batang Champion: Nicole

One of our Batang Champions for the month of February is Nicole, our hopeful dreamer. Nicole, 14, is currently studying at San Jose National High School in Tacloban City.

Nicole describes herself as a jolly person who loves to laugh and crack jokes with her friends and family. She shared that she is most happy when she is with her family and close friends. But even though she is a happy person, it doesn't mean that she is not experiencing any challenges and problems in life.

Nicole shared that before FundLife came to their community, she already had mental health issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. She would feel so sad and depressed. She admitted that the pandemic really changed her life. One of those affected aspects was her studies -- the shift from face-to-face to modular or online classes. She even admitted that there came a point in her life during the pandemic when she thought of just giving up on her studies.

"I just felt hopeless about the situation. I was anxious about my studies since nothing was for certain. How am I supposed to achieve my dreams if this was the situation? I believe most teenagers like me have gone through that face since the pandemic started," Nicole shared.

Nicole lives in one of the relocation villages located in the northern part of Tacloban City. Their house was washed out because of Typhoon Haiyan, so she and her family had to move from the center of the city to the North to live comfortably, even if it meant traveling for more than an hour to get to her school when face-to-face classes were still ongoing.

Regular days during the pandemic meant staying at home, answering her modules, and doing nothing but hold her phone for long hours of the day. She would feel restless and longing for anything worthwhile to do.

That's when FundLife came into their community. Ever since she joined the community-based sessions, she has felt happy and excited. For her, participating both in the football and educational sessions, helps her be physically fit while also gaining friends within her community, as well as players from the adjacent neighborhood.

"Because of the educational sessions, I became more responsible and respectful toward my teammates, my coaches, and the people in our community. The sessions somehow changed my bad habits and untoward behavior, such as uttering bad words whenever I'm tempted," she confessed.

She also expressed how the program helped her become productive in her studies since she gets to practice time management. She makes sure that she answers her modules early to attend the training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The program helped me recover from the mental health concerns I have been facing since the start of the pandemic. I was also given a hope to continue fighting for my dreams.

"Through FundLife, I became more responsible for my roles in life: being a daughter, a student, and a player for Fundlife. It is an honor for me to become one of the Batang Champions for this month, and I promise to keep up my good work and inspire my fellow teammates and schoolmates to continue with life and achieve their dreams."

With the start of the limited face-to-face classes in March, FundLife will still be conducting the football and educational sessions by adjusting to the players' schedules to keep them in school and in shape for physical activities.

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