Raven Cruz is serious about parkour. After just four short years of practicing the sport, he has already become a teacher at the Ninja Parkour Academy in Manila, Philippines and been recognized as a promising athlete in the parkour world. But now he’s earning recognition for another reason.
One day, when Raven was training in the Lunetta Park of Manila, he was approached by a street kid asking for money. Raven didn’t have any, and gruffly brushed the boy off so that he could keep training. But Raven soon realized that the boy was still there. Not only had the boy remained, but he was copying Raven’s movements and exercises. When Raven would run, so would the boy. When Raven would jump, so would the boy. It was this simple interaction that gave birth to an incredible movement that is changing the lives of homeless children in Manila for the better.
That movement is called “Raventures,” and is an open invitation for street kids in Manila to come and learn about parkour. Raven knows himself the valuable life skills that parkour helps to cultivate. From discipline to dedication, Raven knows that the children he works with are learning much more than how to jump from building to building.
“Some people don’t see their potential, their talents,” Raven said in an interview with ZINC. “I’m very lucky that I have this opportunity to teach them my skills.” Every day, Raven watches as these kids learn how to control their bodies. He also sees the joy that comes from training to achieve their goals.
“My game plan in parkour, as in life, is to inspire other people,” Raven said in an interview with Rappler. And he’s putting that into practice every day when he gives his time and his knowledge to the street kids of Manila. Raventures is proof that taking the time to reach out to the most vulnerable individuals in your community can change their lives – and yours – for the better.