This year, we are celebrating the World Cup 2014 with the rest of the world!
We’ve always been avid fans and supporters of football, from grassroots playing to professional games. But mostly, WIP has always been passionate about using the power of art, music and sports in serving underprivileged communities. From promoting graffiti, hip hop and skate boarding as positive influences on Filipino youth, serving the community has always been a part of WIP’s mission, where a portion of the company’s gross proceeds are plowed back into community programs that help empower young Filipinos.
GK SipaG program’s Select Team powered by WIP
Since 2008 WIP has been supporting the efforts of the Gawad Kalinga SipaG Program, a grassroots football program that aims to use street soccer and futsal in developing highly marginalized youth using GK’s platform and approach to values formation and community development.
GK SipaG at the Sama Sama Cup games in Boracay. Macky of GK Arkong Bato (2nd row, 3rd from right) and Kenneth of GK Smokey Mt. (2nd row, 4th from right) represented Team Philippines at the Street Child World Cup in Brazil. Aldrin (middle, front row) went to Brazil captaining the boys side.
WIP has been funding the GK Select Team and the needs of various GK communities who play football in its many variant forms. Most recently the company supported GK SipaG’s participation at the Sama-Sama Cup Beach Football games that were recently held in Boracay.
“From the day we founded this company, we always wanted to give back. It was ingrained in our DNA, even if we were not making much at the start. Although we don’t make a big fuss out of it, a percentage of our sales goes to supporting community programs. All our initiatives focus on how we can support low-income communities from an artistic and creative point of view. We even offer our design and creative services pro-bono to non-profit foundations and community organizations who we feel are doing a great job but need help in this aspect. Even if we do all this, we don’t want to call ourselves a ‘social enterprise’ or say ‘look at us, we are helping’ in order to feel good because all enterprises must have a socially inclusive commitment to society. We are very much a Filipino company that wants only the best for Filipino youth.” says WIP General Manager Ian Sermonia.
He adds, “Supporting grassroots football as a tool for youth development is one initiative that falls in line with our advocacy as a socially conscious company that likes to harness the power of art, music, sports and fashion to make a positive impact on our country. We are passionate about creative outlets for youth, especially football and its ability to change and improve the lives of marginalized Filipino children.”
GK SipaG competing at the Sama Sama Cup games in Boracay. WIP supported the team’s trip to Boracay in the country’s first and only inclusive football tournament.
WIP’s support of GK SipaG, a program that works with over 700 low-income children in 15 communities nationwide has born some good fruits. Last April 2014, 5 GK youth were selected to represent the Philippines at the Street Child World Cup held in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Organized by Fairplay For All Foundation, the Street Child World Cup Team Philippines recruited participants developed and nurtured by the SipaG program. The girls finished the tournament only 2nd to hosts Brazil and the boys lost in the quarterfinals to Pakistan on penalties. Aldrin, from GK Tatalon, captained the boys side and has been a key member of the GK Select Team since he was 11 years old, a team that WIP has supported since its inception. A selection of 13-14 year olds also compete in the UFL youth division under the club name GK SipaG FC, the first UFL youth team catered specifically to providing opportunities in football for marginalized youth.
“All credit goes to the community coaches who developed these players since they were kids. But we are also indebted to WIP’s support of the program, especially the Select Team. Without their support, we will not be able to fund our program’s tournaments in competitions like the Alaska Cup and the Sama-Sama Cup in Boracay – tournaments that expose kids to the best competition and more importantly improve their self dignity by making them feel like they belong.” said GK SipaG Co-Founder Kevin Goco.
The boys and girls team recently wrapped up their participation at the Sama-Sama Cup games in Boracay where WIP sponsored the team’s accommodation, food, and living expenses. “We are grateful to WIP again, as they together with our sponsors allowed our boys and girls to go to a place like Boracay and compete as equals against both rich and poor in a tournament whose goal is inclusivity. Many of the participants from Sama-Sama Cup were the ones who competed in Brazil, and this was WIP’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to the kids for representing our country” said Goco.
Members of the GK Select Team, a program of GK SipaG that is supported by WIP Caps. The Select Team represents the best players from GK communities across the National Capital Region.
“WIP will continue to support causes that promote youth development through arts, music, fashion and sports. It falls in line with our company mission that seeks to create, innovate, and inspire Filipinos to achieve great things that will make our country proud. SipaG is doing this, and this is why we will continue to support them and similar programs in the future.” added Sermonia.In the past, WIP has sponsored and supported breakdancing groups, musicians and graffiti artists from low-income areas. It also worked with a baseball team from a slum area as a way to promote youth development through creative arts and sports. In the last 3 years, WIP also ran donations, including a fundraiser drive for those affected by Typhoon Ondoy and Typhoon Haiyan.
“A design company and brand should be more than just creating and churning out designs that kids eat up. There is no meaning to that unless we make an impact on society through our influence as a creative Filipino company. Our bottom-line is how we have become a positive force and influence to the overall development of our country – both rich and poor” says Sermonia.
“The best for the least.”
The World Cup caps will be available tomorrow, June 13 at all Urban Athletics branches nationwide & our PH online store! :)