Homeless World Cup

Lynn Jarvis
For those who haven’t yet been able to make it to a Homeless World Cup, the documentary Kicking IT directed by Susan Koch and Jeff Werner and narrated by Colin Farrell is now available on DVD. The documentary, which premiered in January 2008 at the Sundance Film Festival and has appeared at a number of other doco film festivals since, recounts the experience of Cape Town 2006 Homeless World Cup.
In December 2008 we held our most successful Homeless World Cup to date in the spectacular surroundings of Melbourne’s Federation Square. More than 100,000 people came to cheer 56 nations of homeless people from all over the world – as Afghanistan defeated Russia to become champions.
And for the first time we also held the Women’s Homeless World Cup with 8 nations, won by Zambia. The government invested in a legacy of 30 football programmes for the 100,000 homeless people across Australia.
There are life-changing effects for the players who compete at the Homeless World Cup. As we prepare for the 7th Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup 6th to 13th September, in the heart of one of the most football passionate cities on our planet, it is worth reflecting on what we have achieved to date:
– 100,000 homeless people have become football players since we started in 2003;
– 93% of players have a new motivation for life;
– Over 70% come off drugs, alcohol, get jobs, homes, education, training, become football players, coaches and social entrepreneurs;
– 71% continue to play football regularly
– Football projects have been triggered in over 70 nations, growing in effectiveness and reach, many now with national associations, homeless leagues and National Homeless Cups to select their national team.

With fantastic new support from the Vodafone Foundation, the Homeless World Cup has set up a Foundation to support and develop these grass roots football programmes to fulfil our ambition to reach one million players with the benefits of football but there is still so much to do.
Just this month on a site visit to Latin America to agree the venue for the 2010 Homeless World Cup. We met players who participated in the Cape Town 2006 Homeless World Cup. They are now leaders in their community, encouraging other kids off the streets and on to the football pitch. They were confident, strong with wives and children of their own. The impact continues on. It was exceptionally moving. This is what is in store for the players by participating in Milan.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply