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clean up your fun
WALK, DON'T RUN

KICK OFF HOMELESSNESS


website:
www.streetsoccer.org/en/home

www.street-papers.org

homeless world cup
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intro: social integration through sport has become a successful strategy in many countries. The unifying passion for football has a unique ability to shift social borders. Backed up by job-, housing- and integration programmes, sport itself becomes the means to create new chances for people in crisis situations. Kick off homelessness! Viva el fútbol!

what: the Homeless World Cup is an event of the INSP, the International Network of Street Papers. The first Homeless World Cup took place in July 2003 in Graz, Austria. The participating teams of 18 countries were formed by homeless persons or by persons making their income by selling street papers. It was a tremendous success. More than 20,000 spectators watched the games. The atmosphere was filled with camaraderie between the teams, producing thrilling matches full of competitive spirit. In addition, more than 90 accredited journalists and 25 TV stations made the World Cup a major media event.

From this beginning, the World Cup has grown. During the 2004 games, which took place in Gothenburg (Sweden) from July 25th to August 1st, 26 teams took part. Newcomers included countries like Namibia, the Ukraine, Argentina, Japan, France, Portugal and Uruguay. The venues for the Homeless World Cups in 2005 and 2006 were announced at the annual INSP conference in Glasgow. The streetpaper ‘BigNews’ will host the Homeless World Cup 2005 in New York and the ‘Big Issue South Africa’ will host the Homeless World Cup 2006 in Cape Town, where more than 33 countries are expected to take part in the event.

tackling exclusion: the Homeless World Cup works as a catalyst around the world to encourage homeless people or those living in poverty to come and take part in training sessions that are open to everyone and easily accessible. Anyone can participate regardless of his or her ability. At the same time, working in teams with their peers gives participants a feeling of belonging. People who feel marginalised and have very low self-esteem will realise that they cannot participate unless they attain a basic level of fitness. They have to address their problems and the organisers of the individual teams link up with health and drug/alcohol units in order to direct individual homeless persons towards these services.

The actual Homeless World Cup is the pinnacle of this process. It provides the inspiration for all those training in each country. The expansion of country leagues and cup competitions will be important in the future by providing a focus for those players who are not selected for the Homeless World Cup.

results: the best success of the Homeless World Cup is to play in it only once. That’s what actually happened to many of the World Cup players. The event transforms them from a life being excluded to a life being recognised and it has a very deep impact and changes the whole outlook. They come away from it being full of confidence. The people who watch also changed meeting them because they have a stereotyped view of the homeless.

Today 31 of the 141 players work in regular jobs, 12 signed with football clubs as players or coaches, and 49 changed their life situation significantly by taking ‘back to work’ courses, special education, achieving stable housing situations and social relations or having their drug dependencies addressed.


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