The Global Village Champions Foundation (GVCF), a world-leader in the humanitarian delivery of meals to starving people in disaster hit areas around the globe, has chosen Filipino boxing champion and Saranggani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao as its goodwill ambassador for Asia.
Founded in 1993 by former musician and professional sports manager Yank Barry and boxing champion Muhammad Ali, GVCF is the philanthropic arm of Vita Pro, a company founded in Montreal, Canada by Barry. Vita Pro distributes soy-based meat protein replacement products.
Barry said GVCF that has already delivered 900 million free meals to starving people worldwide, aims to deliver a total of one billion free meals by December 31 this year. The free meals come in the form of Vita Pro soybean food products.
In 2011, GVCF delivered disaster relief in the form of meals to Haiti, The Philippines, Japan, Thailand and the southern United States. In addition to Vita Pro meals, GVCF also delivered rice and beans, water, medical supplies and other basic needs.
Barry said the GVCF is now preparing to send two million meals to provinces in Mindanao that were hit by storm Pablo, particularly Saranggani and the Compostela Valley. For the past 15 years, Barry said his foundation was able to send 60 million meals to the Philippines.
Recently, GVCF’s global ambassador, boxer Evander Holyfield visited areas in Mindanao that were hit by Pablo.
Storm Pablo (international name Bopha) struck Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley in Mindanao last December 3 and brought devastation to the provinces for almost a week. More than 170,000 people were displaced by Pablo.
“I would like to thank Evander Holyfield and Yank Barry for personally coming to the Philippines, especially to my province to help me feed the typhoon victims and the needy,” said Pacquiao in a video message played during the press conference at the InterContinental Hotel.
Barry said sending food to the starving victims of storm Pablo in Mindanao is but a small step towards recovery.
“I don’t think your country understands the devastation brought by the typhoon. It would take between eight and 10 years to rebuild,” he said.
Barry said GVCF is steadily receiving cash donations from famous professional athletes, musicians, models and movie stars to fund its meal delivery operations around the world. Among the foundation’s sponsors are Celine Dion, Michael Jordan, actress Bo Derek, actor Jon Voight and astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
(Story courtesy of the Philippine Star’s Mike Frialde)