Cris Cyborg Joins Forces with Justin Wren’s Fight for the Forgotten



 

Cris Cyborg Joins Forces with Justin Wren’s Fight for the Forgotten

In Uganda these two MMA fighters are empowering the Batwa Pygmies, the most bullied people in the world

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In its continuing mission to “defeat hate with love,” Oklahoma City-based non-profit Fight for the Forgotten (FFTF) has teamed up with three-time mixed martial arts world champion Cris Cyborg to support community development projects and land, water, and food initiatives for two impoverished villages in Uganda. One of them is home to the Batwa Pygmies,who FFTF co-founder and MMA heavyweight fighter Justin Wren calls “the most bullied people group in the world.”

“I'm both humbled and thrilled to announce that Cris Cyborg is joining forces with Fight for the Forgotten,” Wren says. “I've been a fan of Cris Cyborg as a pioneer of women's MMA for over a decade. In recent years I've become even more of a fan because of how she's been using her platform to make a difference in her community and this world.”

According to Wren, with the oppression of the Pygmy people going beyond the Congo (DRC), last year Fight For The Forgotten expanded their fight for clean water to neighboring Uganda. “We are blown away that Cris reached out wanting to help us transform two Ugandan communities by providing them access to life-giving, clean water.”

“When I heard of Justin’s work in Africa it really touched my heart. It’s amazing to see how his work is empowering the local communities by creating progress and change,” says Cyborg. “Globally more than three million people die each year from water-related diseases, so when the opportunity to get involved became available I knew this was a cause God was putting in my heart.”

Cyborg is helping to partially fund FFTF’s newest community development initiative for the Batwa Pygmies, who some anthropologists have called the most oppressed people in the world. Along with in- country partners, Wren and Fight for the Forgotten have lobbied on behalf of the Batwa Pygmies with the local government and are excited to have their backing. Fight For The Forgotten is currently acquiring land rights in Uganda for the Batwa Pygmies, and Cyborg is funding the first two water wells on the new land.

“We are working this year to get the Batwa Pygmy people titles to new land, empower a team of local entrepreneurs to drill their own water wells, and launch a sustainable farming initiative that will both put food in their bellies and allow them to sell their produce at the market,” says Wren. “We are stoked that Cris has decided to fight for people alongside us!”

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 2,470 acres of their own land with access to clean water and their own farms.

Todd Clark