This boy loves football.
He trains every Saturday, and competes in tournaments, proudly representing his school.
At 14, Mohaliden serves as team captain.
“He’s a good captain, a real team player,” said Mohaliden’s coach, Teacher Bainot. The coach also praised Mohaliden for supporting his teammates, ensuring that each player gets enough chance to play at every game.
“My favorite sport is football,” Mohaliden said in Filipino. “Because it helps me with my studies, and of course, it’s fun.”
The sixth grader first learned football from volunteers, most of them were college students who also loved football.
Since then, Mohaliden fell in love with the sport. He says that football is not a distraction from school, but serves as his motivation to do even better.
“From football, I learned about the value of cooperation,” he said. “And I learned to believe in myself.”
A boy’s wish
Mohaliden has six siblings. All of them were raised in Maguindanao by their parents who both work as farmers.
At an early age, he learned how to help around the house. He takes care of his younger siblings, as well as their family’s livestock.
Mohaliden’s family home only recently had a stable water source. “Before, we would go to our neighbors so we can use their bathroom to bathe,” he shared.
In the Philippines, several households still lack access to safe and clean water and toilets.
Mohaliden dreams of becoming an engineer someday, “one who builds houses.”
To achieve this dream, he says he will do well with his studies. In fact, this aspiring engineer loves mathematics.
His school is covered by our Spaces for Peace Project, which ensures that children living in areas affected by armed conflict. These children deserve to safely and freely learn, dream, and play.
We also teach them about their rights, believing that education is key to empowerment.
“My only wish for our school is to build and repair our fences,” shared Mohaliden. “We need high fences because some students go out and cut classes.”
At present, Mohdaliden’s school only has feeble and makeshift fences made of bamboo sticks and barbed wire.
“It’s important to study because it’s also for the future of us children,” he stressed.
All children deserve to live in peace. Growing up with conflict and violence should never be the norm.
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