Brothers and self-confessed adrenaline junkies Raphael and Marvin Kiefer are standing up for the rights of the youth to self-expression through sports and the arts…
By JASER A. MARASIGAN
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MANILA, Philippines — Brothers Raphael and Marvin Kiefer have always had a passion for adventure, learning, and experiencing new and different things.
Raphael, the supermodel, has learned every sport that he could – from basketball, baseball, football, table tennis, and mixed martial arts.
Marvin, the model/actor, has made hobbies out of breakdancing, river rafting, skateboarding, wall-climbing, jujitsu and parkour. He is also a backpacker, trekking to unlikely places, and immersing himself in indigenous customs.These true blue adrenaline junkies are also environmentalists and vegetarians, traits that they acquired while helping their parents maintain an organic farm in their native Cagayan de Oro.
But away from the limelight and their athletic life, the two assume the roles of mentors to kids, teaching art appreciation and practical science to street kids and orphans through Kasamahan Project, a social project in Mindanao initiated by their brother Gabriel almost two years ago.
Raphael and Marvin are continuing what their brother has started, overseeing the Kasamahan Project, since he moved to Switzerland to start on a new project involving disabled children.
“We teach kids every Saturday. We have art classes and hold art exhibits. We give sketch pads and teach them how to use clay, crayons, watercolors, etc. We show them paintings of famous artists. We also paint walls around the village to make it colorful. We give instruments to certain musicians in the village,” relates Marvin.
Being environmentalists, the brothers put importance on environment and the physical and mental health. Thus, the emphasis on different physical activities such as games and sports, as well as learning about nutrition and healthy
The brothers agree that improving one’s physical health allows the mind to develop properly. “We also try to build up a sport different from basketball. We gave out footballs, we lend table tennis equipment, volleyballs, nets, and sepak takraw. Now in our village, kids play football in the afternoon. That’s what we wanted to give kids and the youth, something else,” Marvin adds.
Raphael and Marvin felt that it is their obligation and mission to stand for the rights of every young person, to express their feelings through creativity, to help develop their social understanding and well-being, and to teach them about their history and culture. So that one day, they may be able to influence others and the generations that will follow.
“Young people need to feel that their ideas are important and possible to realize. This gives them a sense of responsibility to themselves and others,” explains Raphael.
Feeding the mind
The Kasamahan Project hopes to build an institution in the future where there will be classrooms and a library which will focus on local literature to help revive and develop local culture.
Another plan is to build an orphanage so it can cater to more children. The project is currently home to three children and has facilities for up to 12 more.
“Some are struggling but they all go to school. We focus more on feeding the mind. So they can do it themselves and help themselves. We actually have three orphans, we adopted them, two 10 year olds and one 16 year old. We support them through school. We’re taking care of them the past year now. We want to build an orphanage and a school. We don’t have funding for that, so we start here,” says Marvin.
“As much as we want to replicate the project in other places, we’re not financially capable of doing that. So we start small, where we can, in our village,” adds Raphael.
“Everything I do goes to what I want. From the social work of my brother, through the acting, I use my fame to try to help that. Everything, in a way, works together. My jobs work together. Whenever you help other people, it is food for the soul. It makes you feel better. It’s not something I want to stop,” Marvin ends.
Photos by Paolo Sy
Styled by Pat Diche (Raphael)
Angelo Garcia (Marvin)
Makeup by Eman De Leon
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