As we head into the new year and adjusting to the changing guidelines, we can look back on 2021 and be thankful it’s over but also thankful for some of the things we’ve learned and grown with along the way. With every setback was an opportunity to take stock, try something new, and make it better than it was before. And it has shown in all areas of Fairplay. Let’s take a look back at where we started to where we are now. 

For the Fairplay Cafe:

Among the greatly affected areas of the on-and-off situation of the lockdown was our café. The Café, is our own frontline service providing school lunches (and breakfasts during this pandemic) and is crucial to the nutrition and physical health of those around us. They face our community and continue to serve healthier versions of Filipino favourites. But with varying degrees of quarantine and ever-changing protocols, they are often forced to stop dine-in eating or sometimes close down entirely.

However, despite that, the Fairplay Café has shown great improvement from the beginning to the end of the year.

Among the most notable highlights of the Café is that Jade Ann (below) joined the team. Jade Ann was a Fairplay Scholar and graduated from Senior High School. After a part-time probationary period, she now works with us full-time among our three local mothers who have full-time employment and help our community in doing so. This also meant we were eventually able to expand the full-time operations and open the Café from Mondays to Saturdays, serving breakfast, lunch and merienda (snacks)!

In turn, our Cafe is able to serve more meals in the form of school breakfast and lunches as well as external sales for the community daily.

In 2021, the Café serveed over 20,056 meals all in all!

Once allowed to restart sales, we also grew this area through the efforts of our local mothers and continued breaking local sales records each week in the second half of 2021. The Cafe averages around P8,000 ($160) in sales in the community each week. Considering we sell breakfast to local patrons for only P15 (30 cents) that’s a lot! We couldn’t be prouder of our Nanays and their hard work!

On top of that, they have been upping their game and experimenting on healthier and tastier versions of our Filipino favorites! Check out our Lutong Fairplay videos where we share how our Nanays turn our favorites into healthier options!

For the Youth Center:

Just as much as the Café was affected by the ever-changing protocols, the Youth Center, and our Fairplay Scholars, have been on the receiving end of this. This stop-go situation has greatly affected their learning as coming from Payatas, they have little-to-no access to resources and materials for their online and distanced learning.

This has been extremely difficult for our scholars, of course, and below we were able to show this through our Fairplay TV: Pandemic Stories series in documenting the world’s longest lockdown.

Despite these challenges, we continue to do our best to provide support for our Fairplay Scholars. When the protocols have eased, we’ve welcomed our scholars back into the Youth Center. Now, they are able to make use of our learning facilities at the Youth Center and join the activities for their holistic development. When the difficulties in online and distanced learning brought about by the pandemic surfaced, Fairplay stepped up and came in to provide support for our kids for them to be able to have better access to the internet, tutorials and mentoring for their modules, and many more. We’ve discussed this further in Episode 2 of our Pandemic Stories.

With 64 Fairplay Scholars, we are proud to see 14 of them are already in College, of which 4 are in their Senior Year and graduating by the end of the semester. More interns have joined and stepped up this year to run the Café, Youth Center, Sports, Admin, and Media teams this year. 

In 2021, a total of 12 Fairplay interns helped man the operations at Fairplay and gain valuable work experience at the same time:

  • Rose Ann, Youth Center
  • AJ, Youth Center
  • Lyka, Youth Center
  • Pia, Cafe
  • Jade Ann, Cafe
  • Melanie, Media
  • Rosemarie, Admin
  • Jovelyn, Admin
  • Leian, Admin
  • Ronalyn, Sports & Youth Center
  • Regine, Sports
  • Agot, Sports

We couldn’t be more proud of them for continuing to step up as our students become tutors, our players become coaches, and our mentees become mentors to the younger generation!

For Sports:

It has been two years since our kids have come out to play sports regularly. In 2021, activities started to slowly come back at the Payatas Sports Center. 

Slowly, we’ve welcomed our kids back into the PSC to train and play non-contact sports. Of course, still strictly complying to maximum health protocols and since the vaccine started for the kids late last year, they are also able to come and play safely. 

The Sports department has also welcomed our Street Child World Cup alumni and Fairplay scholar Coaches Regine and Agot who now lead the training sessions and coaching for our kids. 

With them onboard, around 200 kids have come to join the non-contact training sessions when it restarted in November and December. 

There also have become possible through the support of our partners like Thinking of Yves who have been behind our works at Fairplay. They have been behind the renovation of the Payatas Sports Center throughout these years.

At the same time, they continue to support our mentoring program with our Interns and Youth Leaders. We’d also like to thank our partners from all the organizations who helped Fairplay continue to provide support for our scholars and our community. Among them are:

2021 has truly been a year of multiple road bumps and detours. But to our core, we’ve always believed that #EveryoneNeedsASupporter. Year round, this remains true and will continue to be our driving force to continue Leveling the Playing Field.


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