The BlackPool Academy offered its 360th Axie Infinity Scholarship this week, and whilst it is easy to view this milestone as mere quantitative data to be assimilated into numbers for metric analysis and scaling algorithms, there is another far more important reality.
Behind all the Axie accounts, NFTs, and huge tracts of land, there are real people whose quality of life has been vastly improved by becoming a scholar. They have earned themselves economic freedom through sheer determination and dedication. All they needed was a little help crossing the paywall to play Axie Infinity. In emerging economies, play-to-earn gaming can have a profound impact on daily lives.
In this first community newsletter, we want to pay tribute to our beloved scholars by telling you a few of many amazing stories. These men and women have our utmost respect and no words can truly do them justice.
Angelica and Rolando's Feeding Program
Rolando Bawin Cantero Jr and his wife, Angelica Cantero have used their SLP earnings to set up a charity in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, in the Philippines. “Gaming Community Feeding Program” runs monthly soup kitchens in the poorest slums of San Carlos, providing free food to children and those in need.
The couple wanted to provide a venue and sustenance with the resources gained from their scholarships to share their blessings to people who are in dire need of it. The slums of San Carlos suffer from difficult living and environmental conditions, categorised by inadequate water supply, poor sanitation, overcrowding and dilapidated housing. It is no surprise that these areas were some of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. After only 1 month of scholarship and with their very first SLP withdrawal, the Canteros decided to start this program.
“It's going to be such a big help for the hungry children. The people always ask me about why I intend to have a Feeding Program, because there are also Axie managers and scholars here in our community who earn more than me, they don't understand why I don’t keep the money for myself. I tell them that this is just a beginning, we can use gaming money from scholarships to help everybody, not just the lucky ones who win an account, and I wish that there will be more people who will do the same charitable work that I do.”
Rolando asked to be included in the community newsletter, not for fame or gratitude, but to raise awareness with the hope that other scholars will be inspired to volunteer and help their own communities around the world.
Not only does it encourage charity, but it also brings the community together. It helps break societal boundaries as rich and poor, young and old gather together to share a meal. More importantly, it teaches young children the importance of empathy.
“I'm happy that I'm part of an academy that also helps people like me. I am proud to say that I'm a BlackPool Academy Scholar, and that is why I asked permission to use your logo for my banner. I want the people to know this is all possible because of Axie Infinity and BlackPool so I wanted to let everyone who saw us know. I am having T-Shirts made for staff for the next event next month. I have many volunteers on my second feeding program, and the event on 1st August."
A huge thank you on behalf of the whole BlackPool community to both of you and your volunteers! We are looking forward to hearing from the Gaming Community Feeding Program next month!
If you want to help Angelica and Rolando's Feeding Program:
Joy's education program
Joy M. Tolentino, a school teacher from Trozo Elementary School, San Carlos City, is helping students and their parents learn about the economics of Axie Infinity and the benefits of a scholarship program. Some of the other teachers she works with, also scholars, share their earnings from the scholarships to improve the appearance and equipment of the school.
When pupils and parents come to the school, Joy introduces them to Axie Infinity and the scholarship program. Explaining that, aside from the fun of playing the game, you can earn money by playing everyday which could help them fulfill basic needs such as providing food and school supplies. Joy ensures that students playing Axie strike a balance between education and play-to-earn gaming:
“Since we are experiencing the pandemic, there are pupils playing Axie to earn money to help in providing the daily needs of the families, but we see to it that they should finish answering their modules and only after that are they allowed playing time. They have more time now because of the situation of no face-to-face lessons. The children do their schoolwork obligations first and then are scheduled Axie time. It teaches them good time management; scheduling your daily activities to work and at the same time playing with Axie.”
"A place popularly known as "Axie Town" because many people living here have been chosen as scholars of the Axie Infinity Game. People in this place are generous, loving, and with a deep faith in God Almighty. The game Axie makes life brighter and gives a lot of hope and inspiration to the lives of some, because others don't have an account yet. Through paying back the graces that the Lord above bestowed, scholars who have been paid SLP share it to their families, loved ones and friends. Scholars were grateful for blessings and opportunity given to them, and most especially to the kindest persons behind the game, the managers who grant us the accounts."
Zaira Gonzales Señal from Cabanatuan City is a 4th year Bachelor of Science student at Wesleyan University in the Philippines. She has been using her SLP to pay for her university tuition fees. She plays Axie everyday, and with the increase in SLP price has been able to purchase a washing machine as a gift for her parent’s anniversary and a shade pergola/hut for their garden. She has also been able to purchase materials to make a vegetable garden, breed chickens & goats for sustenance and intends to sell excess food yield. In her case, the SLP from Axie has been a springboard to develop many other areas in her life. BlackPool is proud to count someone as resourceful as you in its ranks! Congratulations!
Luz's fund for medical treatment
Luz Bawin is a housewife in Negros Occidental in the Philippines, and has been donating her SLP earnings from her scholarship to pay for life-saving dialysis sessions for members of her community. Through playing Axie, Luz is able to afford to sponsor two people per month to receive the treatment, which is used to remove toxins from the blood in people whose kidneys can no longer perform this function naturally.
Leni, a 23 years old woman with severe kidney problems, is the first beneficiary of Luz's donation. Leni usually skips her dialysis sessions as she can not afford them, and is often too unwell to work. Missing dialysis treatments places you at risk for building up high levels of potassium and phosphorous in the blood. The former can lead to heart problems including arrhythmia, heart attack, and death. The latter can weaken your bones and further increase your risk for heart disease. To say that Luz’s funding of this essential service with her own SLP is generous, is a serious understatement.
Rolando has been having dialysis for two years. He is a type 2 diabetic that has his lower right leg amputated, and is totally blind due to macular degeneration in his eyes from complications of diabetes. Luz funds his dialysis and his maintenance medicines with SLP.
“I'm so proud of Luz! A superwoman and a good heart. I can’t believe the medication money is coming from a computer game. I am so thankful to her. I am also very thankful to Axie Infinity and especially to BlackPool Academy for giving her the opportunity to help people like me and others.” ~Rolando.
There are no words to express our most sincere admiration for Leni and Rolando's courage and Luz's selfless generosity and kindness. Luz is a true superhero and an inspiration to us all!
If you want to support Luz's fund for medical treatment:
BlackPool's Secret services
Kristian Lloyd Sarabia (KL to his friends, Secret | BlackPool Academy online) was awarded the 4th scholarship we ever gave out; joining the Blackpool Academy and becoming a pillar of our community ever since he started with us on November 30th, 2020. He has been promoting BlackPool Academy with his “boots on the ground” approach; onboarding multiple people to become scholars, as well as previously handling distribution of funds to people in his city, physically with fiat, to avoid fees and technology hurdles.
“Axie infinity has a huge impact in me and my friends' lives. I suggested some of my friends join BlackPool Academy too. I am so grateful that I met sir Sarutobi and Rinzler back then because they really gave me a big opportunity in this platform; not just to earn for myself but also to help my friends to have an income that will be a big help for them financially. BlackPool has allowed it’s students to meet our daily needs, especially now we are in the midst of pandemic.”
“In terms of withdrawals/cashouts, back before ronin addresses, you had to pay fees on withdrawals. I asked scholars that lived near me if they want to join with me so we can cashout together, to save fees from transactions. Because of the trust of our managers, I was able to send Smooth Love Potions (SLP) from multiple scholars to my wallet and convert it on Binance to make it on our local currency, Philippine Peso ₱. Then I could send it to their bank accounts for them to spend. Nagata and Xyzev were really a big help doing this; when we met up we would use their cars when withdrawing a large sum of cash money from the bank and we delivered it across the city in their cars, giving it out to scholars who are not skilled with technology or cryptocurrency. I also want to give credit to Lunaa as she is helping me using spreadsheets so we can track and divide the fees fairly to everyone."
Secret, BlackPool salutes you, you legend!
Luis' community involvement
Luis Hernández Hernández from Venezuela has been instrumental in screening our applicants from Spanish speaking countries, teaching them about the game and getting them up to speed with the technology.
“I developed the trivia/education program for people so they can learn everything related to the world of Axie Infinity; for aspiring academics, it’s a strong resource.”
Luis also made this wonderful Axie cake! Perhaps we should have a cooking competition in the future?! Hats off to you friend!
NFT gaming and play-to-earn platforms are helping out so many members of the community. Scholars can make money from anywhere; all the scholar needs is a smartphone and an internet connection. Through this distribution of wealth to the scholars, BlackPool Academy is creating a more equal and meritocratic digital economy. It is important to shine a light on real-world use cases to show how emerging technologies are being embraced by people all over the world. BlackPool Academy is committed to telling those stories, and to inspire innovators to think about leveraging technology to deliver positive impact. Many of these inspiring stories come from emerging economies that are not always visible to the rest of the world. We want to encourage more people to join the conversation and be part of the solution to some of the world’s most awful, stubborn, systemic issues.
If you have any interesting stories that you would like to submit for inclusion in the next community newsletter, or you would like to know more about becoming a BlackPool Academy Scholar, head over to our Discord.