For regular shoppers, it may have been just an ordinary afternoon at the mall, but for Vico Cham, 28, it was a special day to spend a few hours enjoying a game of bowling with his friends from Best Buddies Philippines.
The group of friends were at the mall, with other pairs of best friends, for a friendly bowling tournament organized by Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement for one-to-one friendships and inclusive opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
During the event, individuals with IDD like Vico, had a fun afternoon hanging out with their Peer Buddies volunteers who committed to spend time, have fun activities, communicate on a regular basis and enrich their lives through friendships.
Catherine Cham, mother of Vico, said that events like the Best Buddies Bowling Game give her son an avenue to socialize and feel he is a regular part of a group. She is very thankful for Best Buddies which she said has helped her find a best buddy for Vico.
“His peer buddy is Buboy Palomares. They’ve been friends for four years. They used to jog regularly twice a month or watch a movie. They also engage in group activities. With Buboy, Vico was able to find a friend whom he would text regularly. It is really important for parents because it’s really not easy to entrust your child to somebody,” shared Cham.
Best Buddies Philippines executive director Michelle Aventajado enthused, “We are very thankful for the support that we have received from our volunteers and sponsors. Events like these strengthen the friendship between volunteers and individuals with IDD. It’s a great opportunity to promote inclusion, have fun, and enrich the lives of everyone involved in the Best Buddies program.”
For SM Cares, the event is another opportunity to support and give back to the community.
“At SM, we believe that establishing good relations can positively affect and inspire those with special needs. We strive to make every SM Mall, a mall for all, and by supporting activities such as this, everyone can enjoy the same fun and leisure in SM, as anyone would do,” said Engr. Bien Mateo, program director of SM Cares Program on PWDs.
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