Monday 11 July 2016

Forget The Euros: Here's The Homeless World Cup!

For the next five days, Princes Square in Glasgow is home to a remarkable and inspiring event. This week, the Homeless World Cup has come to Scotland, as over 500 players from across the globe unite using the universal language: football.

Homelessness is a dreadful situation that affects millions of people across the globe. Its effects are more far-reaching and debilitating than you might think. It's not just about shelter. It's about the stability and sense of identity that comes from having your own space. It's about knowing that, whatever else happens, there's a place where you can feel safe.

Without that security, homelessness can force people into isolation, which affects their ability to share, communicate their thoughts, and work with others. It's a dreadful downward spiral, which is shockingly easy to fall into.

So how can football help? Pretty simple, really. You see, the whole point to The Beautiful Game is that it's something you can't play by yourself. When a homeless person gets involved in football, they build relationships; they become teammates who learn to trust and share. They have a responsibility to attend training sessions and games, to be on time, and to be prepared to participate. They feel that they are part of something larger than themselves.

This brings on a sense of empowerment, and with that the strength to see that there's a way forward, and just maybe, a way out.

The Homeless World Cup has become a huge success since its foundation in 2011. With 73 National Partners involved in social welfare programs working in over 420 cities across the globe, the Homeless World Cup Foundation has become a real force for good.

The World Cup in Glasgow is bringing together teams from street football programmes all over the world. This July, homeless people who would normally be invisible are set to become heroes on the pitch, finding new conserves of inner strength, determination and the will to succeed. The games are fast-paced 15-minute matches, and although there are seperate men and women's team trophies, women can compete on male teams.

The Homeless World Cup is an amazing example of how something as simple and universally understood as a game of football can help to transform lives. Why not check out the games and become a supporter?


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