ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Marking the last stretch of the "Balls for Peace" drive, Rappler held a symbolic handover of footballs to various Sulu units of the Philippine Marine Corps on Thursday, September 13.
Col Ernesto Evangelista Jr, deputy brigade commander of the Marine Corps Combat and Service Support Brigade in Zamboanga City, received the donations from Chay Hofileña, Rappler's citizen journalism and community engagement director.
Civil-military operations officers from 4 Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) units from Sulu joined Evangelista in receiving the balls.
PMC units in Sulu distribute the balls to communities where they have formed football teams. The innovative campaign has been extended to Cotabato and Maguindanao.
To date, the drive has collected 1,176 balls. The donations have come from individuals and foundations that see the need for alternative and creative ways of ending war and violence.
The Football for Peace campaign aims to collect 2,000 balls to be given to young football players in Sulu to foster a culture of peace through the promotion of the sport in the war-torn area.
Interested donors may directly contact PMC Special Services Officer Lt Col Stephen Cabanlet at his mobile number (+639065642765) or email (email@example.com).
Balls, not cash, are accepted and should be sent directly to the MCS Special Service Office. - Rappler.com