Fight for the Forgotten Launches Bullying Prevention Initiative
Fight for the Forgotten Launches Anti-Bullying Initiative
OKC non-profit raising funds, awareness during National Bullying Prevention Month
As part of its mission to “defeat hate with love,” Oklahoma City- based non-profit Fight for the Forgotten (FFTF) is launching Heroes In Waiting, an initiative aimed at raising funds and awareness for the bullying epidemic fought daily in local classrooms and neighborhoods. It will also benefit those throughout the world who lack access to clean water, whom the organization calls “the most bullied people in the world.” Appropriately, the campaign begins in October, National Bullying Prevention month.
According to FFTF co-founder and MMA heavyweight fighterJustin Wren, the initiative aims to raise $50,000 to fund the development of anti-bullying curriculum in collaboration with Oklahoma City-based MAIA (Martial Arts Industry Association) and Century Martial Arts. The curriculum will be launched in hundreds of martial arts academies across the U.S. in 2019.
In conjunction with the Chris Long Foundation’s Waterboys, a portion of campaign proceeds will also help fund the drilling of water wells across Tanzania and other eastern African nations. Justin “The Big Pygmy” Wren was introduced to the water crisis firsthand in 2011, when he stepped away from the cage to live for a year with a forgotten tribe of Mbuti Pygmies deep in the jungles of the Congo. The tribe was beaten down by economic enslavement, disease, and hopelessness. But through Justin’s Fight for the Forgotten initiative, 1,500 members of this formerly enslaved people group are now free and flourishing on 3,000 acres of their own land with access to clean water and their own farms.
“I was the victim of relentless bullying when I was a kid,” says Wren, whose family had to relocate in order to remove him from the situation. “And in the Congo I lived with and came to love some of the most bullied people in the world,” he says of his Mbuti Pygmy family. “I love MMA, but I’m not fighting for myself anymore. I’m fighting to bring attention and change to those who don’t have a voice. That’s what Heroes in Waiting is all about.”