Breathing with Honey


Last Sunday, we celebrated eight years of an organization (MLAC) dedicated to the well-being of children and families, over five decades of an individual life committed to this pursuit and seventy five years of Dr. Honey Carandang’s existence spent loving, mentoring, serving, being and breathing.  The afternoon was a joyous tapestry woven with care and attention, rhapsodized with singing, flute-playing, guitar-strumming and grandchildren running and dancing on stage, sharing their grandmother with her many admirers and collaborators.

MLAC is an acronym for Tita Honey’s full name but it also stands for Mindfulness, Love and Compassion — what Tita Honey and a team of psychologists want to continuously and tirelessly nurture among families and communities.  It’s their contribution to nation-building as well, especially in this age where hate, disrespect and violence pervades social media, the news and is sadly even exacerbated by leaders who are meant to protect the people.

During her talk, Tita Honey mentioned things that perfectly describe the kind of environment that we want to create in Abot Tala, an alternative to mainstream high school.

  1. When people are treated with reverence, they became conscious of their own sacred worth.
  2. Celebrating together, working together, playing together, singing together — These are the ways in which discipline of community can be practiced.  This is mindfulness.
  3. In this listening together, a true creative silence can grow.
  4. In a true community, we are windows constantly offering each other views of the mystery of presence of the spirit in our lives.
  5. Solitude and community are the discipline of which the space becomes free for us to listen to the presence and the Spirit to respond fearlessly and generously.
  6. Mindfulness, or total presence and attention has a magical aspect that gives VITALITY.  Total presence, attention, no judgement, being available, caring, listening.
  7. Attention is a form of kindness and lack of attention is a form of rudeness.
  8. Inattention is cold and hard.  Attention is warm and caring.  It makes our best possibilities flower.
  9. Never forget our inherent dignity and capacity for kindness and compassion.  It is our birth right.

Often in traditional schools where there are around 40 or more people in a class or even in schools where there are only 20 in a class, there are students who are not given enough attention, who fall between the cracks, who are not thriving and who are looking for options out.  We’d like to provide an alternative to those kids and to those who yearn for more freedom to direct their own education.  When I asked Tita Honey, if this type of space can exist in the Philippines, she replied that their team at MLAC can help prepare the mentors of Abot Tala to be able to provide an environment where mindfulness and care are practiced.

I wouldn’t have been able to attend this event had it not been for a Chilean psychologist whom my sister met in an event at the Chilean ambassador’s place.   Daniela and I linked up on Facebook and tried to set up a meeting.  Since she’s based in Cavite, I asked when she’ll be in Manila next and serendipitously, she mentioned she’ll be attending Tita Honey’s talk.  Here is how Daniela introduces herself on her FB page:

I’m Daniela, a Chilean registered Psychologist in the Philippines interested in mental health, community service, and learning.

I have created this space to connect with other mental health professionals, organizations and individuals invested in the overall well-being of Filipino children and youth. This, out of a desire to better understand mental health and wellness within your cultural context, learn about the work you do, and share what I discover in the process.

If you would like to know more about me and my motivations, check out the “LET’S TALK CHILD & YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH” section under the “About” tab.

I look forward to connecting with you! Help me understand your culture and the state of mental health for young Filipinos!


Check out Daniela’s Facebook page.

Following are photos of slides from Dr. Honey Carandang’s talk:


From the talk, I also got a number of Tita Honey’s books including the newest one which includes this beautiful passage about family being a school of compassion and kindness:

Tita Honey requested for kindness when she sang her breathing song and when she played the flute.  I just wish I could’ve recorded her singing this because it would be great to hear and exercise this several times a day.


Read more about Dr. Honey Carandang here.

Read more about Abot Tala here.



Video Googoo


Upon the urging of Mavis and Lia to make a one minute video for Abot Tala, Owie and I were stoked to come up with a script.  Here are the options:

Video script by Owie dela Cruz:

If you could redefine and redesign “school” for teens – fit for the 21st century  – what would it look like?
Before you answer, take a second to think of all the paradigm shifts happening around us.
What if teens had the freedom to spend their time learning what matters to them?
What if classes and mentorship sessions were crafted based on whatever the learners are really interested in and it constantly evolves as their needs change?
What if we trained them in making life decisions, including how to manage their time, by allowing them to choose their schedule and classes instead of telling them what to do. You know, to actually prepare them for the real world.
What if teens struggling in the current school system – for whatever reason – just need a change in environment?
What if I told you that this option exists here in Manila?
Abot Tala is an alternative to mainstream school. It’s not an after-school program.
It’s a personalized learning space where teens don’t study for quizzes, tests and grades. They’re there because they enjoy learning. They’re inspired to work hard because they get consistent quality feedback and mentorship.
Abot Tala.
It’s what school would look like if we could redefine and redesign it.
Set a family meeting with us. We’ll tell you more about it.
Abot Tala is a member of the liberated learners network.

Video Script by Owie dela Cruz: From a Teen’s Point of View:

I know you value school and it prepared you for the world you grew up in and that’s great.
But take a look around you. So many things have changed and continue to evolve.
My needs as a learner are far different now.
We’re called 21st century learners and according to research, what our generation needs in order to thrive in today’s world are creativity, critical thinking, collaboration & communication.
Our happiness, relationships, mental health and stuff we’re passionate about are just as important as learning academics.
And we need a learning community that supports that.
A safe space where we can discover who we really are and what we’re passionate about.
A community that encourages us to embrace our uniqueness and inspires us to help make the world a better place.
Classes and mentoring sessions that allow us to make mistakes as well as voice our opinions, so we could learn to process our thoughts and make wise decisions while we’re young.
We need mentors who respect us, guide us and believe in us.
We don’t need grades to tell us if we’ve done a good or bad job.
After all, high grades don’t translate to bright futures.
We don’t need tests to check if we were listening in class.
We need rich learning experiences, discussions and consistent feedback so we can improve and constantly strive to be better.
The school system may work for some of my friends…
but there are teens like us who need an alternative to mainstream school.
What we need is finally here in Manila.
Yup, this place exists and it could be the answer your teen is looking for too.
Abot Tala is what school looks like if we could redesign and redefine it.
Visit for more information.

We made a script based on the flyer which I thought was stilted compared to the ones above but then Tinky liked it so it’s in the running, too.


What if your kids can choose what they learn?
What if your kids could learn without stress and pressure?
What if your kids could grow and thrive in a space rooted in love and passion?
If they could, they would reach for the stars.
Abot Tala is an alternative to mainstream school that may provide the answers you’re looking for.
Is your child bright but bored in school?
Learns differently?
Pursues something seriously?
Suffers from anxiety?
Doesn’t want to sit and listen all day?
Simply wants to be the author of his own education?
Maybe your child is already homeschooling but searching for a community without the rigid structure of school?
In Abot Tala, say goodbye to homework overload, chasing grades, standardized curriculum.
In Abot Tala, say hello to caring mentors, flexibility, interest-based learning, small welcoming community.
Learning is personalized
and collaborative.
What do you get from Abot Tala?
Once a week one on one mentoring sessions
Classes, workshops, tutorials – attend only those that you are interested in
It’s a community where young people feel free to be themselves, to know themselves deeply and what makes them come alive, to discover and develop their gifts and talents, to soar towards goals and dreams they set for themselves within their own time and terms, not other’s.
If school is not working for you, know that there is an alternative.


Which one among the three options would you choose?




Check out: Abot Tala

Continuing the Dialogue


I forgot to comment on another important aspect that Ken touched upon on his article about his visit to Manila:

There are some significant cultural differences that this team faces in the Philippines. On a practical level, there is no system of community colleges, which have become a central resource for our members. I have not yet learned how Filipino homeschoolers might get an early head start on college the way that we promote in the United States. Also, The Philippines do not have a system of public libraries, a favorite and essential resource for many of us here. These two cultural institutions, community colleges and public libraries, are so central to our daily work that it takes a few minutes to contemplate how to proceed without them.

In his talks in Manila, Ken would always mention the system of community colleges, libraries and volunteering that make North Star and Liberated Learners centers in America doable, feasible and attractive.  This thought always ran in my head, “Well we don’t have those.  Tough luck.  Third world woes.”

If we offered the same center here in the Philippines, we would have to work with the existing context of a poorly developed social infrastructure.  We don’t have community colleges.  It’s not possible for high school students to get a head start and get college credits.  We don’t have a healthy system of public libraries.  Volunteer work is also not common practice although there are a lot of NGOs some of which work with volunteers.

That only means the work of Abot Tala would be more challenging but since we have existed without those structures mentioned by Ken, it also may be just fine.  No point wishful thinking.  You don’t know what you’re missing if you never had it anyway.

I’ve always been excited as I’m sure fellow bibliophile, Tinky is too, to set up a library within Abot Tala.  And even if we don’t have community colleges, I always thought the way Liberated Learners treated their members is as if they’re adults in college and offered classes much the same way in universities.  They can choose from a wider variety than the usual high school curriculum.

But what if there was a way to connect with universities and see if they would be open to taking high schoolers?  Would colleges balk and laugh at the idea?  Would there be a few who would embrace it?   Would it mean more work and hassle for them so no thank you, Ma’am?   We’ve asked the universe for many seemingly impossible requests for Abot Tala to come to fruition, it won’t hurt to ask for more mountains to be moved.

The attraction of community colleges is it’s affordability; some of them are even tuition-free.  Talk about first world country envy, Germany has a number of universities that are for free.  In the Philippines, there are so-called diploma mills where the quality of education may be questionable. The fight for affordable, quality education in this day and age, should not be as difficult as it was years ago since the world wide web has made more options available to many.  However, the quest for more accessibility and more opportunities will most likely remain constant.


Blog vs. Blog


After a whirlwind trip to Manila and settling back to the comforts of the United States, Ken Danford was finally able to write about his experience in the Liberated Learners blog.   I was so happy to read a comprehensive take on the journey and hastily typed my corrections and opinion.  Ken suggested I can just put them on the comments section of the Abot Tala page, so here they are.  (Ken’s quotes are in the blocks with the green line.)

Approximately 15% of the student population attends private schools, mostly traditional Catholic schools or otherwise fairly rigid college-prep oriented schools. There are essentially no options for people seeking progressive, student-centered schools. Abot Tala is currently considering a tuition that is comparable to low-to-moderately priced private schools.

Correction:  There are essentially A FEW options for people seeking progressive, student-centered schools. Abot Tala is currently considering a tuition that is comparable to MODERATELY priced private schools.   It’s moderate if you compare it to the astronomical fees of International Schools but it’s more expensive if you compare it to the low-priced private schools.  So moderate may really be the word we’re after.

Abot Tala faces many familiar challenges that we have encountered in the United States and Canada. First, homeschooling is perceived to be a parent-led, school-at-home model. Most people, including most teens, do not find this idea appealing.

The people who homeschool in the Philippines are mostly doing fine — parents and kids are enjoying the process but there is a usually rocky start where people make adjustments.  Ken agreed in his email message, “Yes, I know the homeschoolers are happy!  I meant that parent-directed homeschooling does not appeal to many people now in conventional schools.  Most school kids and parents do not find the idea of leaving school to start a parent-taught homeschooling process to be appealing.”  That’s why Abot Tala could address that issue.  As a mother who tried homeschooling for a year and did not like it and felt like I tortured and traumatized my kids, I was always looking for progressive or self-directed alternatives like those in the States.  Since there are fewer options here in the Philippines, why not create the option yourself?

From a larger perspective, Manila seems to lack much of a middle-class. It appeared to me that there is a relatively small socioeconomic elite group, which corresponds to those that can afford private school for their children. The people who use public school seem to have little disposable income, and appear to have many pressing basic needs such as housing, health, nutrition, sanitation, and transportation. We might argue that education for children might be a critical first step to addressing these other problems, but I’m not sure that’s true, and I know it’s not particularly convincing. It’s hard to know where to start when so many basic systems we take for granted aren’t in place. For people living in shanties, it seems a bit off the mark to debate the merits of self-directed learning vs. traditional school attendance.

SPOT ON!  I have no illusions that Abot Tala can serve the poorest of the poor although someday, I would like to tackle the issue of how the personalized approach promoted by North Star, Liberated Learners and other alternatives can be scaled up and applied to a public school system like the Philippines.  I’ve seen the same principles applied in some chartered public schools in America and in Israel, the government funds democratic schools.  Check out also these efforts in India and listen to TED Talk about how to fix a broken education system without any more money.  So it IS possible.  Whether it’s possible in a country ran much like hell by so-called leaders, I do not know.

For people who live in shanties and low-income areas, education through the traditional system is their ray of hope to escape poverty.  Hardworking parents take enormous pride that their children finish school and some of those who do so are able to lead better lives and help their family rise above their economic status.  Millions of OFW workers are willing to sacrifice being together with their family just so their children can go to school and eventually have their own career and profession.  It’s not appropriate to present an alternative like Abot Tala in the face of unbelievable poverty where the traditional school route is still one of the few viable ways out.

There was always something tugging in my heart knowing that Abot Tala may not be able to address the issue of poverty and education in my country.  However, it does offer an option for those who are questioning the system itself and how appropriate it is for their own family and offspring.

I also reminded Ken, you forgot to mention the people from the RadEd Unconference who are natural libertarians.  Ken emailed me:

They are awesome.  My Facebook is flooded with their posts!  I haven’t forgotten them, but I wasn’t sure how to include them, either.  Hello to Jestoni and Kimmi and others.

Just as an update, Jestoni who is one of main organizers of RadEd opened a coffee shop-restaurant called the Radtown Resistance — eat, play, resist!   On August 25, they are holding a RadEd picnic in UP Sunken Garden.  Unfortunately, it coincides with an Abot Tala meeting that has been arranged since two weeks ago.  Hmmmm.  How can I be in two places at one time?  Beam me up Scotty or maybe I could offer to give Joel Hammon’s Teacher Liberation Handbook to anyone who attends the meeting and is contemplating setting up his or her own alternative school slash learning center.

Photos of unschoolers and homeschoolers in Manila


Support RadEd!

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Video List

We wanted to show Calista Santillan’s video in Fully Booked before Ken Danford began his talk but technical limitations prevented us so we hope, for those who are interested in seeing something like North Star happen here in Manila, please do watch this video and hear what teens think of that possibility.  Calista was tasked to interview young people who were asked to watch Ken Danford’s TEDx talk and a video about North Star.  She then went above and beyond splicing meaningful sharings and made a powerful opening statement.

Ken got so excited after watching Calista’s video that he emailed it to his family and North Star colleagues in the States as he proudly said, Look at what this teenager in Manila made!

Interview with Filipino Students about North Star – Video by Calista

If you want to know more about North Star and efforts to make something like it come to life in the Philippines, watch these videos.  Join Abot Tala on Facebook, too!  Read about it on this blog.


David Ferro of DWIZ Interviews Ken Danford


David Ferro Interview with Joei Villarama

Videos on YouTube and Vimeo are worth catching if you want to immerse yourself in the rather radical world of North Star.  How does it look like and what do members say about it?


A Day in the Life of North Star


A Teen Looks Back on Life Without School: “I Could Have Spent the Last Six Years Fighting”


From the Bottom of My Brain: A Valley Gives Day Crumpet


This is Your Life: Choose Your Own Adventure


North Star Slice


About North Star 2015-2016

We leave you with these words from teenagers interviewed by Calista on whether something like North Star would work in the Philippines.



And of course, don’t forget the videos that inspired people (including the Abot Tala team) and in different degrees, sparked action in various places around the world:


School is Optional: TEDx Talk by Ken Danford


Teacher Liberation: TEDx Talk by Joel Hammon

Check out:


Launching a Game-Changer

Tinky wrote to Ken, “We’ve been waiting for years for a game-changer and a ceiling-breaker like you and North Star.”  It seems in the Philippines, we’ve been waiting long for alternatives to mainstream school but in countries like the US, options like North Star and other self-directed schools and centers have been existing for decades.  Yes, there are progressive schools here but beyond progressive, there are much fewer options.  The homeschooling and unschooling community has been growing in the country but what about options for kids who are stuck, miserable in school or for families who want to homeschool but would prefer an option outside home to allow both parents to continue working?

Ken Danford was a history teacher in public school for ten years when he got disillusioned with the system, was handed by serendipity Grace Llewellyn’s classic, Teenager Liberation Handbook and proceeded to create North Star.  At first, he toyed around with the idea of a school but that would be subjecting the students to the same problem of being forced to go somewhere to get society’s concept of education.  In North Star, there is no coercion.  It is not a school and it does not give certificates, grades or report cards.

What does it do then?  It offers a way out for students who wish to take control of their lives, what they learn and how they learn.  It uses homeschooling as a tool since members are registered with the State as homeschoolers which then allows them the flexibility and freedom to create their path, which they can with or without North Star.

Like a club or a community center, North Star is a space and a community where teens are free to join activities and hang out with friends.  If they choose to, they can attend classes or workshops or get connected to internship and other opportunities.  Every week, the members meet with an adult mentor-adviser who helps them map out a plan and checks in on their progress.  The parents also play an important role and are much involved in the process.

In his talk at Fully Booked last July 14, Ken shared this letter from Sebrina:

Hi, my name is Sebrina and I am looking forward to joining North Star. Throughout my 10th grade year at Smith Voc, I was thinking about alternative ways to learning. I decided officially on February 25th that I wanted to be home schooled. My parents support me and want the best for me, they stood right by me and supported my decision to be home schooled. I am very interested in the psychology class and hope to develop ways to support those around me and help people. I would like to spend my time learning in the classes that I choose to be in, and some time for me to socialize and work on other schooling. I feel like North Star will play an important role at this time in my life because I think that learning at my own pace, and being welcomed and supported will give me time to heal and be happier. I see myself participating in the North Star Community by being a nice person and attending the community meetings if they are on a day that I will be at North Star. At the end of the year, when I decided if this has been a good year, I will have decided by looking back on how I was treated by my peers and on how much I enjoyed the classes. The thing that is hardest for me in life is socializing, I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere and want to feel like I am part of the community. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to write this letter and I am excited to join North Star.

North Star has been running for over twenty years and its alumni have went on to University and have successful careers of their own.  Because of this positive track record, Ken has reached out to others who want to initiate a center based on the North Star model.  Now, there are twelve centers in the USA and one in Canada, all members of the Liberated Learners network.  Ken’s purpose for coming to Manila is to assist our team in launching Abot Tala.


Many people are excited about the concept of Abot Tala finally here in Manila.  However, it’s one thing to express interest and another thing to actually join it or to support the dream so it becomes reality.  Some people think this is crazy and it seems too risky given the conservative nature of Filipinos who still want the name school together with the name university.  But the greater risk for the risk-taker is not to take the risk at all, to stay safe and not question the status quo.

It’s been crazy raining since Ken Danford left Philippine shores, like the skies are crying that our champion of self-directed education has gone.  The weather cooperated so well the whole time Ken was here from July 8 to 18, pouring only when we were indoors and a few times slightly when we were outdoors.  This granted Ken the ability to hit all the meetings and presentations without missing a beat.  Now, the team has to buckle down and hit the ground running.  Our work has only started.



Hindi lang pang Taho Boy, pang Abot Tala pa!!!

If you want to be part of this game-changer in education, email me at:

If you want to read more about Abot Tala:

If You Build It Will They Come

Who Wants to Flip It

So Extreme You Might Fall Off the Spectrum

The Non-School



What are the chances of sitting in a cafe in Payatas and sharing a table with a player from the Philippine women’s football national team who competed in Russia at the Street Child World Cup 2018 kicking off the recently concluded global FIFA shindig?  Well, the chances are quite considerable if the particular cafe you’re visiting is the one started by Roy Moore who began volunteering in a drop-in center in Payatas ten years ago.

A British lad who looks more like he could be part of a music band, Roy is the soccer coach to hundreds of children in Payatas.  He set up the Fairplay For All Foundation which runs the Payatas Sports Center and the Fairplay School and Cafe.  Kids in the football and school program get to eat the nutritious, vegetarian fare from the cafe ran by mothers from the neighborhood and in the future, Roy hopes to build dormitories for those who are constantly at risk from abuse and neglect.  Roy has made Payatas his home and lives in the community he has committed his life to.

Coming from America, Ken has never been to a place like Payatas, what used to be the biggest open dumpsite in the Philippines where people make a living out of garbage, where people thought they would lose their livelihood when it was declared closed because it was environmentally hazardous located near the La Mesa Dam, a huge water reservoir.  In the year 2000, hundreds of people died and thousands were left homeless when the mountain of trash collapsed.  Now, that mound is dressed up, spruced up in a pretty, attractive layer of greenery, erasing from the Google satellite map what was an embarrassment inadequately addressed by a nation.  Exploring on foot, on the fringes of the fancy green dress, one can still see the layers of garbage coyly peeking out.  There are a number of NGOs in the area dreaming of breaking the cycle of poverty, one of which is Fairplay.

Ken and I got connected to Fairplay through the RadEd Unconference last June where Mon Armena gave a talk about democratic education since he worked as a teacher at the Fairplay School.  No, democratic in this case does not refer to the corrupted term that it has become and the ludicrous sham it connotes when talking politics.  Wikipedia defines it as such:

Democratic education is an educational ideal in which democracy is both a goal and a method of instruction. It brings democratic values to education and can include self-determination within a community of equals, as well as such values as justice, respect and trust. Democratic education is often specifically emancipatory, with the students’ voices being equal to the teacher’s.

Since Ken Danford started a radical alternative to traditional school, the North Star Self-Directed Learning for Teens and was visiting Manila for a week and a half, he might as well check out brother-sister-cousin schools and learning centers that widen the range of education options.  On a bright yellow wall at Fairplay School, these words are written: “Malaya tayong gawin ang gusto natin” (“We are free to do what we want”), but the rest of the sentence is covered by a white board but based on the words at the end, one can guess the second part: “Huwag lang tayo makadistorbo o makaabala sa iba.” (“As long as we don’t bother anyone else.”)

We went up to the second floor and saw a class conducted in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.  You didn’t have the extreme crowd common in public schools and on one side, some kids were playing with educational games on computers.  Roy explained that even in this community, the kids can be categorized in three levels:  1) children whose families can afford to send them to public school and pay fees for uniforms, books, trips, etc.; 2) children whose families can send them to pubic school only if they have some subsidy for those expenses; and finally, 3) children who don’t have family with the ability or interest to send them anywhere. Fairplay Academy helps the children in the third group.

After visiting the school, Roy toured us, through narrow, muddy alleys, around the dump site where, despite the closure, the trash sorting industry continues in full force with separated garbage ending up in places like China.  He shows us the ingenuity of people making new mattresses out of discarded ones.

After the tour, I felt how superficial it is to relate the education alternative we were proposing to put up in Manila based on the North Star model to Roy’s democratic school in Payatas.  Yes, the learning models are similarly self-directed and libertarian in approach.  However, Fairplay Foundation is involved in programs of education, livelihood, nutrition and sports as a way of helping people out of poverty.   Roy hopes the kids whose lives are impacted by the programs, grow up and go out into the world but more importantly, come back to make a difference in their home, Payatas.



Fairplay is a group of people who believe that when we provide opportunities to the poorest among us, they will flourish, excel, and innovate. We believe that it is unfair for a child’s opportunities and future to be determined by where they were born. We also believe it is possible to change that path and ultimately create a better world.

At Fairplay we look to solve the problem, to break the vicious cycle. In its place we create better problems and a new virtuous cycle. In the slums, this cannot be done in any single area alone. The best education is undermined by chronic malnourishment and a lack of access to livelihood, the best nourishment is undermined by a lack of livelihood and lack of quality education, and all areas of life intersect and undermine one another. This is what we mean by leveling the playing field. To turn a cycle from vicious to virtuous, we need every aspect of the field to be raised together.

This is why we run the Fairplay School, the Fairplay Café, and the Payatas Sports Center; as means towards leveling the playing field. We have shown remarkable progress and the kids we work with have shown that when given the opportunity they can become some of the best in the entire country at what they do. Whether that’s some of our girls being called up for the National Youth Football Team, affordable and healthy food from the Café, or completely illiterate teenagers learning to read and write and excel academically, there is much that can be accomplished together.

Who We Are: Fairplay’s Core Values

  • We love to Learn
  • We care
  • We improve: we make ourselves and our surroundings better than they were before

At Fairplay we love to learn. We love to explore new things and gain deeper knowledge where we already are. We care about the people around us and about our community. And we always want to improve the situation and make sure with everything we do things are better this week than they were last. We want to see progress.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to level the playing field. This means creating a safe environment for the families we work with, to develop holistic and sustainable projects in education, sports, and nutrition. Our mission is to empower the community by ensuring they are part of the decision-making process and organisation of each project, in order to identify the root cause of the problem and break the cycle of poverty for good.


Our vision is to build a community that is happy and strives to learn and develop. We seek to build innovative, creative, and long-term solutions through community dialogue and management in each of our projects. This means the students are part of running the Fairplay School, our local mothers run the Fairplay Café, and our older players are trained to coach younger age groups.

In short, through genuine community involvement and participation we can repair mindsets, build a loving community geared towards innovation and sustainable projects for the good of the whole.

Our Dream

As the Fairplay School, Payatas Sports Center, and our social business continue to grow we are looking at the possibility of expanding the three projects by locating them in the same place. The projects will combine to create the Fairplay Academy.

Here we can build dormitories for students at the Fairplay School so the hard-core cases are assured a safe and loving environment to live. During this time we can work with the families to help support them with mindset intervention and other psychological support and economic support through our social business so when the home has healed the student can return to them and stay in the Fairplay School as a day student. How long this takes will differ with every family.

The Fairplay Café and other social business will also have a larger and more permanent base and the futsal courts will move to the rooftop. The Fairplay Academy will be the final version of our work in Payatas and with a dedicated researcher proving the benefits, developments, and improving our work by showing which areas are working best and what needs to change, we can have a thriving learning community that can be scaled and replicated in other communities. At the Fairplay Academy we can therefore hold workshops, seminars, and more for other NGOs in the community and further afield for us all to learn from each other.