Bughaw Digital, Inc. is committed to producing content that is meant to INFORM, INSPIRE, and INVOLVE others as a response to the dark cloud of chaos and confusion that covers the conversations now in the digital space. From time to time, therefore, Bughaw Digital hopes to feature individuals, groups, or events that could help make a difference, or help change the conversation.

For this first set of interviews, BUGHAW DIGITAL sat with Ms. MEGGIE OCHOA, an acclaimed Jiu-Jitsu athlete, to talk about her advocacies. Bughaw Digital has always been behind her in pursuing her dreams and her projects. For this 3-part series, we caught some of her time as she prepares for training in the gym and threw a few questions so that we may hear her thoughts on various topics that include her advocacies, the importance of going digital, and of course, her training regimen.

Listen as she tells us the story of how she came up and began the work that she does with FIGHT TO PROTECT.

a HERo Story

 

 

BUGHAW DIGITAL: What is Fight to Protect?

MEGGIE:
Fight to Protect is actually a movement that aims to: number 1, help prevent child sexual violence by using sports as a platform; and, number 2, also help rehabilitate those that are victims and make them, from victims to survivors into advocates themselves.

The name Fight to Protect actually came about I think before, if I remember correctly… we already started a rehabilitation program with Safe Haven, and Safe Haven is a home for abandoned, neglected, and abused children. And then we worked with some victims back then, and then we trained them (in) Jiu-Jitsu. At that time, wala pang pangalan. And then, from that single project, maraming nag-branch-out na different ideas on how else the sport of Jiu-jitsu can help fight the issue of child sexual violence.

… it is very important for us to come together and gather as one
to be able to address such a complex and very heavy issue.

There were four different project concepts that I thought of, and also thought of with other people that were working on the same advocacy. And Fight to Protect was actually the name that we thought of for the concept of using sport as a platform because it’s like… Fight to Protect… so why do you fight? I fight to protect children, right? So it’s Fight to protect.

And then also, I think, one thing that’s notable to mention is that one thing we emphasize is Fight as one to protect children; meaning, use sport also to unite people despite different beliefs, backgrounds because it is very important for us to come together and gather as one to be able to address such a complex and very heavy issue.

 

 

BD: How did it begin, or what compelled you to begin this advocacy?

MEGGIE:
So the way that Fight to Protect started, I think, I already gave you a background, part of the background of how it started.

But everything really started back in 2015 after winning in the IBJJF World Championship as a blue belt, when I actually had a question of purpose. I asked myself, why am I doing all of these? I mean, at that time, like I mentioned earlier, I said I did crowdfunding to get to the world championships and people were giving money to get me to the world championship; and I was pursuing my own dream. So part of me was like questioning myself, like, why am I even spending other people’s money for my own dream? And so I’m like, who am I helping along the way, right? And in the same year, I came across an article on CNN online and, it was about a girl from Mexico and from the age of 12 to 16 years old, she was raped 43,200 times. That was because she was recruited for child prostitution.

Since that time I read that article, and after asking the question of purpose, so many events actually came about.

After I read that article, I couldn’t sleep for several nights. I started researching about the issue in the Philippines and I met a family that was burdened for (sic) the same issue, and the parents — we actually teach their kids Jiu-jitsu, that’s how I met them. Then somebody gave me a book, “Purpose-Driven Life” in December without even me telling that person what I was going through, and then after that, the month of December when I got the book, I tried to study it. I couldn’t really absorb it ‘cause I didn’t really have a relationship with God at that time. And then the family that I met, I found out they were studying the same book at the same time. So we really connected and we studied the book together. And they really helped me, you know, find my purpose; and the month of February of 2016, they actually shared the Gospel with me, an

d that was the only time I really surrendered my life to Christ, got to know the Lord. Little by little, God would reveal to me, day by day, what His purpose is for this journey. Number 1, of course, to glorify His Name, but how do I do that specifically? He set up my life in a way that the victories in Jiu-jitsu were actually bringing about a platform to be able to reach the people that He meant me to reach and specifically within the context of child sexual violence, which was because of that particular article that He made me read at that particular time.

So that’s how it started.

 

 

BD: Why do you work on this advocacy as an athlete?

MEGGIE:
The reason why I’m doing this movement as an athlete is because, like I shared, this is something beyond just an idea I thought about. I believe that this is something I’m called to do and that I am meant to do and it’s really a life commitment. And I’m doing it because I know that God wants me to do this at this point in my life, and there’s nothing I want more than to glorify His Name. And the way I’d be able to do that is by following Him and following what He wants me to do right now, which is this.

She ends the interview by saying:

“I’m Meggie Ochoa, advocating against child sexual violence, and this is my digital hero story.”