What was the biggest change in 2017 for you?
This was the question we asked our Officer in Charge of each department at Fairplay. 2017 was a big year for us, as we reached more students, more mothers, more families, and grew as an organisation more than ever before.
Big news at the start of the year for our School was that the Department of Education accepted our registration as an Alternative Learning School. This means students studying with us can take the ALS exams and earn their High School diploma with us. The students themselves progressed remarkably well too as our researchers, who joined mid-way through the year, could measure the academic progress of the kids. Each quarter (three months) the students progressed by about 15% of the Functional Literacy Test score. This test measures the rough level of students to place them in the appropriate level for the Alternative Learning System. In short, the students roughly progressed by about a full grade level each quarter.
Meanwhile the students voted to change the name of the school to the Fairplay Academy. With negative experiences of school before (traditional environment, strict teachers, corporal punishment and shaming), the students wanted to express the difference they feel in their environment.
Our full-time scholars at the Fairplay Academy doubled this year from 15 to 30 students. This is in addition to the 43 students we sponsor in public schools. The Fairplay Academy will also accept another 30 students this year as we look to gradually reach more students while ensuring the quality of education and the model itself continues to get better and better.
From our administration and support department, key to this growth was our adoption of the Entrepreneurial Operating System. This is a system of organisation made by Gene Wickman to ensure goals and targets, weekly scorecards, and much more are organised so we can be more accountable, efficient, and successful. We have tweaked the system slightly to be more appropriate for the NGO world and this has really helped ensure everyone is on the same page and what we are working towards is clear. This was with the help and mentoring of StraightArrow Managing Director Ia Del Rosario- Gust who also officially joined our board this year.
As a testament to our organizational growth, we’ve established a completely new department for community development. Two social workers and two researchers work hand in hand to support the social welfare of everyone involved in Fairplay and to ensure we have reliable data and information about the community and how well our projects are working.
This has meant health profiles have been established with all our full-time students, including dental, medical, and optical checkups for students and staff, and reliable data is being gathered about the underlying causes of the problems in the community. More about that in 2018.
The year also saw our biggest partnership to date. NIVEA’s overwhelming generosity has allowed us to renovate the Fairplay Cafe to be bigger and better than ever before. It’s timely too since two new mothers joined the Fairplay Cafe staff this year and the extra breathing room is welcome. The Cafe cater for more . Our sales in Payatas doubled over this time as more and more people got into our healthier, affordable, and delicious dishes.
NIVEA also helped us build the Payatas Sports Center into a true sporting ground. From a bare futsal court, the facility now has bleachers (with roofs), an office space, a security guard house, restrooms and space for a second futsal field. With these in place, we plan to host more training sessions, leagues, tournaments, and begin social business plans to ensure running costs are taken care of sustainably.
We’ve also been hard at work in scouting for candidates for Team Philippines for the upcoming Street Child World Cup in Moscow this 2018. The tryouts for the team have already been concluded and we’ll be announcing the candidates by the end of the month! You can see the quick advert for Team Philippines here.
Interested in Supporting Fairplay?
If you want to join the growing number of people supporting Fairplay there’s always something you can do to help. If you’d like to give some of your time (volunteer), finances, and/or skills of your company or of yourself, then let us know in the contact form below.