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AT TAYLOR'S: Albert Ling (albert.ling@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Dignity For Children Foundation (dignity@dignityforchildren.org)

The Faisal Cup is a football and netball tournament in Malaysia that serves as an activity and opportunity for disadvantaged children in Kuala Lumpur. The Faisal Cup seeks to provide an opportunity to hundreds of underprivileged children to participate in its organized games. It is named after one young boy, Faisal, who drowned while playing football near the Gombak River. Like many other deprived children, Faisal was born in an urban poor family and never had a chance to play football. Faisal tragically lost his life playing in dangerous circumstances because there were no safer alternatives. Due to this incident, the Faisal Cup was started by Dignity for Children to ensure that children from underprivileged backgrounds had an equal opportunity to play in a safe environment.

For the past 10 years, Dignity for Children has attempted to provide education for those in great need. When asked about his motivation for organizing the tournament each year Rev Elisha Satvinder, the chairman of Dignity for Children Foundation explains, "The Faisal Cup has always been for the children. It is about giving them the opportunity to play and meet others like themselves. We give them the place as well as the dignity. We are so very grateful to our sponsors and volunteers for their participation, and for believing in this project."

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Apart from education, Dignity for Children focuses on building physical health, as well as emotional health by introducing curriculum activities that focus on creating healthy alternatives to their often dangerous environments. The eighth Faisal Cup Tournament took place at SMK Raja Ali on Jalan Ipoh in August. This year, the Peace camp and girls’ football programme was implemented in conjunction of celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the founding of Dignity for Children. This huge event was comprised of 101 teams from all different parts of Malaysia, 61 male and 13 female football teams, as well as 27 co-ed netball teams.

The event started off with a marching parade by the Musical Band, Scouts, Military Youth Cadet and also the young representatives of the Faisal Cup tournament. There was also a cheerleading performance by the Zodiac cheerleading team. Taylor’s University’s students led by CSI Volunteer team helped as linesmen, ball-pickers, game masters and drink vendors.

Each member of the winning team received a medal as encouragement and appreciation. Taylor’s University and the CSI Volunteers are an important part of the success of this activity which is so encouraging to so many disadvantage children. Taylor's was pleased to be able to participate in this event together with the Faisal Cup committee volunteer as well as other sponsors and supporters. The hope is that through this event underprivileged children will be able to experience so fun, some dignity and some hope for their own future.

Further information about next year’s Faisal Cup tournament and the work of Dignity for Children in providing an education for the disadvantaged can be found at http://www.dignityforchildren.org/events/events-2013/faisal-cup
 

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