Homeless WOrld Cup
The Homeless world cup, a concept that was imagined in 2001 by two men who came up with the idea at a conference on homelessness in Cape Town. They both believed that it was possible to “change the lives of homeless people through football”. Now in its twelfth year, it has over 52 countries competing and is an annual event. Hosted by nations around globe, it has become a life changer for many of those who today live on the margins of society.
The participants, who have all been homeless, not only have their footballing skills to prove in this whirlwind tournament, but also need to prove a commitment to others, but more importantly themselves. For the participants, the event is a light, a beacon at the end of a sometimes very long and dark tunnel.
The extraordinary atmosphere brings not only patriotic commitment and camaraderie to the sport, but also a belief in humanity where players and supporters, people from all over the world regardless of cultural backgrounds, race, belief and religion, all converge on one chosen city, participating under one flag for the title of the Homeless World Cup.
Those marginalised by society, find new hope to rebuild broken lives and reconstruct family ties. However the impact reaches far beyond those helped by this global initiative. The players who have competed become role models to others, shattering stereotypes of homelessness and changing people’s perceptions knowing that other people will follow in their footsteps. Proving to the many who are just beginning their journey that there is hope.