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  • Writer's pictureChris Thomas

From Pain to Purpose: Preventing Child Abuse Through Football.


Football for Humanity

Mae B. Arroyo, a devoted teacher of Araling Panlipunan at Agdangan National High School, is a multifaceted woman embodying the roles of a coach, daughter, sister, wife, mother, and advocate for social change. With a Master’s Degree in Social Studies, Mae’s passion extends beyond the classroom as she champions the cause of preventing Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children through her work with the Football for Humanity Foundation.


Heartbreaking loss

In October 2022, tragedy struck as Mae experienced the heartbreaking loss of a stillborn daughter, plunging her into a deep pit of grief. Her world was in tatters; she struggled with her mental health, finding solace only in the sanctuary of her room, consumed by painful thoughts and paralysing emotions. Amid this psychological turmoil, an opportunity emerged for Mae to engage in Football for Humanity’s anti-trafficking training programs, which beckoned her to Tacloban despite the organisation being unaware of her distress. She found comfort in helping and advocating for others, especially for children. Through her involvement with Football for Humanity, she transformed her grief into a powerful force for good.


Football for Humanity

Emerging from the depths of despair

Mae said because of Football for Humanity, “I was able to overcome my mental health struggles, and I learned how to smile again”. Mae gradually emerged from the grip of sadness. As she shared her tragic story and worked towards raising awareness about the sex trafficking of children, she found a renewed sense of hope and determination. The opportunity to help and protect children while positively impacting society ignited a spark within her, leading to a remarkable transformation in her emotional and psychological well-being.


Football for Humanity

Mae’s resilience and relentless commitment to her cause inspired those around her. Despite her devastating loss, she was able to rise above her pain and turn it into a source of strength and motivation. As Mae delved deeper into her advocacy work, she discovered a newfound sense of purpose and fulfilment. By shining a light on the dark and pervasive issue of Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children, she not only raised awareness but also empowered children to say NO!


Football for Humanity

A beacon of hope for survivors

Mae’s dedication to her cause has never waned but has grown stronger. She has shown that a hopeful spirit is stronger than grief or loss. With each step forward, Mae found strength in knowing that her daughter’s memory lives on through the positive impact she is making in the lives of vulnerable children. Mae inspires countless others to join the fight against the sex trafficking of children. Her story symbolises courage and resilience, showing that even in times of suffering, one person’s determination to make a difference can have a ripple effect far beyond what they could ever imagine. Mae has become a beacon of hope for survivors and a voice for the most vulnerable in society.


Football for Humanity

Indeed, Mae’s journey is a powerful reminder that strength and purpose can emerge even in the darkest times. Mae’s story is a powerful example of how hope and determination can lead to transformation. It reminds us that no matter how tough the road may seem, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. This is a true testament to the power of one woman to spark meaningful change in the world around her.

 

Football for Humanity is a sport for development charity that uses football-focused interventions to tackle complex social issues. We use the power of play to educate, empower and protect children facing the threat of abuse, exploitation and violence.



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