The Fairplay Youth Center (formerly Fairplay Academy) aims to holistically support our Fairplay Scholars in all their needs: social support, academic tutoring, mental health support, and financial incentives. Each of these areas is crucial in order to break the cycle of poverty – without any one of them, more children will fall through the cracks and be unable to break that cycle.
The traditional style of education has been proven difficult to translate to poorer communities such as Payatas. Often, one child becomes the hope of the family and their school needs are provided, while the other children will work to support the family’s basic needs. At Fairplay, we believe there’s a better way.
Through the Youth Center, our Fairplay Scholars have access to: (1) social support through our weekly Youth Groups facilitated by our social and community workers, (2) academic tutoring through regular scheduled tutorials with our tutors, volunteers and community workers, (3) counseling through one-on-one “kamusthan” and consultation with the Youth Center Advisor as well as our weekly EQ Club and mentoring sessions, and (4) financial incentives through the Education Sponsorship Program’s levels of support.
In 2016 we were able to finish building the very first futsal court in the community. This became the start of the Payatas Sports Center and became home to the Payatas Football Club. Team sports have long been linked with improved social, physical, emotional, and academic progress. It was a safe space for the kids to have fun and play, away from gangs and drugs and the underlying causes of such problems.
Payatas FC has now won over 40 trophies, with players invited for University scholarships and National Youth Teams. Most importantly, though, the emotional and social development of the kids has been a joy to be part of and leaks into other areas of life outside the football pitch.
The Fairplay Café is our main social enterprise, empowering local mothers to run a kitchen in Payatas, providing healthy, affordable, and delicious meals in the community. The dishes available are based on local dishes and are great for the body and the budget.
In a community where malnourishment is so prevalent that a typical 12 year-old will look like an 8 year-old, nutritious food is incredibly important. The café is now a dedicated space in the community where local mothers empower other families to learn about better nutrition.