Minority Care International Sports Camp

Minority Care International established a soccer scholarship and volleyball program to reach out to a high-risk portion of the most disadvantaged communities in Davao. The venue aims at holistically educating marginalized young men and women of the impoverished communities in the islaverde, Boulevard, and other areas. The program helps them to develop their talents in such areas as soccer, volleyball, faith, and self-esteem, so that they can believe in themselves and know that they have worth. The program teaches them not only to be great soccer or volleyball players but also to develop into productive men and women who serve their community, thereby bringing hope to the students and in turn to those they serve.

These young players also join MCI at a weekly study forum every Saturday and leads other activities that tackle social problems, so that the students learn the value of education and develop skills in devising community service programs. The outreach endeavor allows the youth to build social networks outside of their community so they can help alleviate crime and drugs in their neighborhoods. Having programs like this that integrate the poor with the those who are better off is absolutely necessary; connecting the worlds of haves and have not’s can go a long way towards reducing poverty and the ills that accompany it.

Many children in this community grow up in poverty, escape from violent areas with fewer chances of education, and follow negative role models who place no value on education. MCI hopes to implement a more comprehensive sport scholarship program since most of the youth drop out of school or do not go to school because of a lack of financial support and low self-esteem. By offering incentives to students who can learn to play sports well and thereby elevate their self worth, we offer them a way to believe in themselves and their potential to do something for themselves and for their families, but also a model by which they impact the whole community through sports and training programs.

One goal of the program is to enable these at-risk youth to continue their education that will bring transformation to their lives and ultimately hope to many. As of now we allow only fifty of those who regularly attend the sport training to participate in the MCI Sport Camp. Despite their difficulties, such as dropping-out of school and being tempted by drugs, alcohol, sex, and other addictions, the scholarship program draws the youth to a higher purpose. The prospects of an alternative to their present condition make them eager to play sports and especially to compete during the sports camp.

Sports involve discipline, a practice missing in most of their lives, and require players to listen to their coaches as well as to follow the rules of the game; therefore, they learn life skills. At the sports camp MCI scholars led the program and served as role models for other youth to follow. After the daily sports activities, the MCI leaders directed other games that involved talking to each other, giving them advice, and encouraging them to value education and good friendships. They urged them to join MCI weekly programs to learn a variety of things, interact with other students, make friendships, and become involved in other MCI outreach programs. The MCI Sports Camp focused on teaching basic techniques and developing skills that are essential to improving the game. The students engaged in exciting drills, competed in all-inclusive games, and enjoyed water activities in the swimming pool.

Playing sports has a unique power to unite, to heal, and to nudge these youth in the right direction. This focused investment will bring long-term transformation in the future, as these young men become leaders and role models in their families and surrounding communities. By extending the ongoing MCI program among the university students, we hope to have a far-reaching effect in transforming individual lives and subsequently communities.

The foundation for the MCI Sports Camp is built on the pillars of faith, love, caring, respect, honesty, and responsibility. We do this by fostering friendships, cultivating character, and instilling confidence in our youngest members. The youth sports camp develops these assets based on the philosophy that children learn best through having fun and active game play. For today’s athletes, competition is inevitable, but that competition can engender positive attributes of discipline, respect for one another, and a sense of worth, so the MCI program is building a foundation for the love of sports as a gateway to a more productive life for the youth.

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