The PWD Best Buddies PH Association made 2021 its best year for inclusiveness

Editor’s Note: This content is sponsored by Best Buddies Philippines and was produced by BrandRap, Rappler’s sales and marketing arm. No member of the editorial staff or editorial staff participated in the production of this article.

Once again, we reflect on what has happened over the past year, hoping to learn some valuable lessons to move us on to the next. So how was your 2021? Was it better than last year? Sakto lang? Anyway, hoping that you and your loved ones coped well with our unpredictable situation.

Nonprofits have not been spared either. The causes were put to the test as the pandemic made it difficult to mount physical activities and other awareness-raising missions. Nonetheless, for True Buddies PH (BBP), the local branch of a global volunteer movement that promotes opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), members have taken this as a challenge. really there for a community they cared about.

They relied on their own ‘best buddies’, made up of different partner companies and organizations, to make an uncertain year one of the most successful. These milestones below show us how we can continue to “embrace all abilities”, even just virtually.

Fun and food for January

Software company Nexus Technologies has partnered with BBP for a series of fun virtual events, including a healthy snack-making, pizza-making and basic Italian lessons session, as well as a language course. 101 signs, accompanied by delicious snack cookies!

Eight BBP Ambassadors were also unveiled after a 4-day virtual Ambassador training. In these trainings, buddies learn about self-advocacy, what it means to represent BBP, and are inspired to hone their leadership skills.

Pals were also inspired by the launch of Wellness Wednesdays, a monthly fitness activity with Coach Pepper and BFIT Active Kids PH.

The walk towards inclusion and personal care

The month of March was devoted to awareness raising. For World Down Syndrome Day, BBP collaborated with elite photographer Sara Black, the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, A Child’s DREAM and SM Cares for a virtual exhibition of 21 subjects with Trisomy 21. In association with Best Buddies Malaysia and Oasis Place, mental health webinars were also held separately for buddies and their parents, to help them deal with their emotions during the pandemic.

June craft

BBP has launched a series of craft events with SM Cares, including sessions such as learning the art of conversation with Best Buddies Benilde and a paint by numbers activity.

Well-being and friendships for July

Throughout the month of July, Atma Prema Wellbeing Group partnered with BBP to lead sessions on self esteem, courage and character building for buddies. Meanwhile, in partnership with 13 organizations, a video of different children speaking different languages ​​was also released. He translated the universal message of International Friendship Day into BBP’s inclusive call for everyone to be a friend and be a friend.

Buwan ng Wika August celebrations

The month of August was dedicated to Pinoy’s pride for BBP. They’ve teamed up with DLSU Archers for UNICEF to dedicate their Saturday series to introducing Pals to the beauty of Filipino culture – from food to art. Support has poured in from brands and personalities such as Mega Prime, Chefmom Rosebud Benitez and Vico’s Autism Gallery for the beneficiaries of the Center Handicapé de Lourdes.

September to remember

Eleven new ambassadors have been inducted! Additionally, one of the buddies, Kiel Lagmay, has been named the Global Best Buddies Ambassador – the first outside of the United States.

BLOW OF PINOY. Kiel has been promoting the message of inclusion since 2015.

Kiel saw this opportunity as a way to give more back to fellow IDDs – to be a voice for them.

“I was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 without words, but because the strength of God is made perfect in my weakness, God is now using me to be the voice of my fellow human beings on the spectrum,” said Kiel.

Bakin ‘in October

Maya Kitchen has teamed up with BBP to host two fun baking activities for their Saturday series. They made a creamy carrot and pineapple cake and fantastic fondant brownies!

In a good mood for November and December

More exciting activities helped kick off the BBP festivities: a tie-dye activity with Rainbow Art PH, a Christmas countdown with Javi Bakes and the BBP interns, and perhaps the most festive of all – the #BBPHolidayCraftChallenge, a 12-day social media challenge event where buddies created crafts every day and posted them on social media.

Husband, one of the new buddies, won the challenge thanks to his determination, resourcefulness and the support of his family.

FATHER CHRISTMAS IN PAPER. Mari’s latest winning piece is a group of Santa Claus and toilet paper elves.

“Mari’s hands are agitated at times and his fine motor skills are not very good, so he had to repeat some of them until he got it right. But when we know that a task is easy for him, we encourage him to create another one or another, so that he can have his own version or his own design, ”said his mother Miren.

Another event expected last December was an online virtual exhibit featuring photographs of pals and supporters by The Headshot Clinic – in cooperation with TheseAbledPH – to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (ID).

Mission fulfilled

For BBP, these virtual activities and celebrations prove that with the right branded “buddies” to support the cause, they will always be able to continue to spread the word about inclusion and enable more buddies to reach out. their full potential.

At the same time, the experience was made even more rewarding for the members.

“They are so passionate about what they want to do,” said Mau Leuterio, De La Salle educational advisor Santiago Zobel, referring to the student members. The school’s BBP chapter shifted from faculty leadership to student leadership as the kids slowly understood the importance of the cause and the connections they made.

Current Chapter President Faith Dagoro explained how Buddy’s matches have translated into true friendships. Citing an example, she said: “In the past I might have met a friend who was good at painting. At that time I was also starting to have a passion for painting, so I made a painting and gave it to him [when] we met. It was nice to have a friend who had the same interest as me.

What started out as a simple way to help has grown into strong, genuine bonds that they will carry with them for years to come. Friends for life.

Do you also want to be a Buddy or a Volunteer? Learn more about Best Buddies PH on Facebook and Instagram. –

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