- Kimberly Lopez
Restoring the Right to Play and Education for Youth in Leyte
On March 25 and 26, 2021, FundLife successfully organized its first 'New Normal Educational Festival at Barangay Libertad, Palo Leyte.
The festival served as a culmination activity for the conducted 23 small group community-based educational sessions– a COVID-19 centered psychosocial engagement for vulnerable children affected by the COVID- 19 pandemic. A total of 25 children, 14 of which were girls, participated in various games facilitated by FundLife youth mentors to evaluate their learnings from the sessions they attended. Some of the games that the children joyfully participated in were: the modified Tag-It game and Healthy lifestyle amazing race about how children can avoid getting infected from COVID -19. They also played completing picture puzzles about child rights and child protection and a game show about Drug Use, Misuse, and Avoidance.
The children also enjoyed the games that tackled Gender Equality, Safe Space, Leadership, Self-awareness, and Financial Literacy. Throughout the event, the team ensured that children wear a face mask and sanitize their hands every after games or activities. They were also assigned to designated areas to make sure that they maintain 1-meter physical distancing. “Before the Community based Educational Session of FundLife, children like us just stays in each of our homes because of COVID-19. We feel bored and left with nothing to do. Since I was young I do not have any interest in any sports. But, when FundLife started the educational sessions in our community I did not only learn to love Football but it (educational sessions) also developed my confidence and good attitude. We also became aware of how children can better respond
to COVID-19,” said John Rey, one of the regular attendees of the sessions.
The tournament does not only signify the success of the team’s perseverance in making a safe space for children. It is also a celebration of being able to provide support for children's mental wellbeing while trying to cope up with the negative effects of the pandemic.
“We are one!” just like the children’s cheer, indeed through the community support, the passion of the youth mentors, and the commitment of the children to learn, the pilot initiative was completed. FundLife together with the BLGU of Libertad Palo will now focus on how to maintain this good practice for longer implementation.