Back in 2008, I met a group of inspiring of individuals who like everyone else I know had needs, wants, aspirations and came from different backgrounds. These talented individuals have one goal in mind – to kick poverty. These players not only had a chance to represent their country by playing street soccer; they also got to travel overseas and be exposed to a different culture, a change of scenery some might say. I am talking about the players of Team Philippines who competed at the Homeless World Cup in Melbourne.
Apart from seeing great soccer, I met Bill and Deborah Shaw from The Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation. They not only organized the soccer team, they also publish Philippines first “street paper” titled The Jeepney Magazine. I discovered that The Jeepney’s main goal is to create and provide jobs for the homeless community that meets or exceeds the country’s minimum wage. What excited me was that Urban provides street and homeless people capital through these magazines. The vendor partner gets 50% of the cover price of the magazine, which sells for Php 100.00 (approx $2.50 AUD). It puts into practice real and effective entrepreneurship. I can see how a poor and destitute person can regain self-confidence, reconnect with society and also create their own cash flow without getting deeper into debt or worst turn to illegal means.
So what does this mean?
On the 18th of July my friend Angelo and I are running the Run Melbourne Half Marathon 21.1 km. We will be running for The Jeepney Magazine. Our main purpose is to increase awareness in the wider community.
What can you do?
There are many things you can do: go to www.thejeepney.com to read more on the great works they do within the community and capture their vision and mission. You can make a donation through Paypal on the site. You can also subscribe to the magazine (international subscriptions are also available) or check out where the vendors are located and get a copy for yourself. Or you can simply come and cheer us on to the finish line.
Come and support us on the 18th of July – Running the Half Marathon for Jeepney Magazine