Former boxing champ Evander Holyfield arrives in ManilaBy Jerome Aning |Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield arrived in Manila early Wednesday morning to lead humanitarian efforts for children in typhoon-affected areas in Mindanao.
Holyfield, together with Global Village Champions Foundation (GVCF) founder and former musician Yank Barry, arrived from Detroit on board a Delta Airlines flight at around 2 a.m. at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
According to Barry, Holyfield was named last December as the goodwill ambassador of the foundation, which is engaged in feeding programs and distribution of medical supplies, clothing and education tools to victims of famine and disasters, refugees and the impoverished.
GVCF is the vehicle through which various celebrities and leaders such as Holyfield, Muhammad Ali, Celine Dion, Michael Jordan, Buzz Aldrin and King Mohammed VI of Morocco provided meals to people in need since 1995 via the foundation “A Day Without Hunger” program.
Barry said he and Holyfield will meet with Filipino boxing champion and Rep. Manny Pacquiao in Sarangani province on Wednesday night to coordinate the foundation’s efforts in Mindanao. Pacquiao is also a member of the foundation, Barry added.
“We hope to help a lot of people there, particularly children,” Barry said.
For humanitarian efforts, Canadian-born Barry was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. He has received about a dozen international awards for his philanthropy.
The International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesay said humanitarian needs were still “staggeringly high” in southeastern Mindanao more than two months after Typhoon “Pablo” hit the area.