Sama Sama Games 2018: Play Festival in Cebu empowers the youth

More than 600 children, youth and community leaders from all over the country are gathering in the province of Cebu to participate in an educational seminar on life skills and employment opportunities on December 6-8, 2018, and play in a 72-team Futsal tournament on December 9.

Sama Sama Games 2018: Play Festival in Cebu empowers the youth | Cebu Finest

Sama Sama Games 2018: Play Festival in Cebu empowers the youth

With the province of Cebu as the venue host, the young people will be using play as a form of advocacy for greater inclusivity and opportunity.

Lead organizer of the three-day festival is FundLife, a locally-based organization founded after Typhoon Yolanda. The festival activities are powered by Generation Amazing, a football-focused corporate social development program of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Qatar’s delivery and legacy authority for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™️. The Guiseppe Football Club (GFC) supports the activities as the Cebu-based local partner for FundLife.

Sama Sama Games 2018: Play Festival in Cebu empowers the youth | Cebu Finest

During the Sama Sama Games 2018 Press Conference at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

FundLife has invited the Cebu-based corporations to participate in the festival activities to bring the youth closer to economic and educational opportunities.

“The continued growth of Cebu provides tangible employment opportunities for youth who excel at the Football for Life Academy (FFLA), FundLife’s flagship programme. Our core aim is for highly talented and motivated youth that excel at FFLA, to gain skilled employment,” said games founder, Marko Kasic. “The festival provides an opportunity to bring together not just young people, but also business leaders who realize the benefit a thriving and inclusive youth population can play in the social, cultural and economic advancement of not only Cebu but the entire country.”

Alongside economic opportunities, the festival also serves a wide open space for young people to “Build friendships and share the universal values of respect, commitment, fair play, courage, creativity, and skills,” as explained by Jhean Hessel Nieras, a member of the pool of young coaches for the games and Generation Amazing Young Leader.

“As young coaches, this is our chance to become role models and empower other kids—our mantra is to ‘believe in our capabilities, know our rights, be resilient in the face of challenges, and hold in the pursuit of our dreams’,” Nieras added.

Sama Sama Games 2018: Play Festival in Cebu empowers the youth | Cebu Finest

Nieras, who used to be a FundLife learner in post-Yolanda calamity in Tacloban before becoming a coach, proudly stated that her engagement with the FundLife’s Football for Life Academy (FFLA) change her life: “I was able to finish my studies because of the core values that I developed through the learning sessions and games.”

“Play is a serious business–but if the kids are not having fun while they are learning, then they are not in the correct state to absorb and grow. That is why football and play work so well–the optimal state of learning is created before the actual learning happens,” Kasic added.

Sama Sama Games 2018: Play Festival in Cebu empowers the youth | Cebu Finest

The organizers and donors for the Sama Sama Games 2018 in Cebu after the press conference

To promote gender equality and more female participation, there will be 9 different categories from Under 7’s to Under 18’s for the games with over 250 female players taking part. Unlike traditional football tournaments, the Generation Amazing Festival, “Sama Sama Games 2018” promotes equal opportunity through harmony, dignity, and equality by having 36 trophies up for grabs for the 72 teams joining — increasing participation and opportunity for players.

The festival will also celebrate the launch of the Community Football Girls League to promote greater success to sport and education for girls living in at-risk communities.

Sama Sama Games 2018: Play Festival in Cebu empowers the youth | Cebu Finest

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Should your organization is interested to be part of the event or supporting the development of sports and education in Cebu, please visit www.fundlife.org for more information about their advocacy and work.

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