Footies for Smiles has a goal of bringing joy and smiles to children in the Philippines by collecting used football equipment and donating it to the Philippines. Malou Søndergaard from Denmark was inspired to start the project, Footies for Smiles, after having travelled and experienced what impact football can have on people and children’s everyday life.
“No matter how little people had, football could always bring out smiles and joy; even though they were playing without football boots and with a can,” says Malou on her website, footiesforsmiles.dk.
When Malou visited the Philippines in January 2016 she experienced living in poverty and being completely isolated. She realised how important it is that children have some sort of activity, especially when they live in such an isolated place. Football could play a part in keeping them away from the tough street life and all the problems that can come along with it.
Kalomboyan, the Philippine town Malou visited, have been fighting to create activities for the children, but are struggling with getting the needed equipment. Malou is working with local schools in Kalomboyan and hopes that Footies for Smiles can help them get the necessary football equipment.
Starting of the project in January 2017, Malou is trying to spread the message and create awareness of the project through both Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Several people in Denmark have volunteered to become ‘treasure keepers’ to collect and store all the football equipment from all the donators and keep it safe until it is send off to the Philippines.
So far the project is focused on just getting enough football boots, balls and other equipment for Kalomboyan, but if Footies for Smiles should find themselves with an excess of equipment, Malou says they might start looking at other locations where football could bring joy to even more children.
Source: Footies for Smiles