The A24 Group is delighted to announce that we are now sponsoring the South African football team to play in the Homeless World Cup, Milan 2009. We stepped in to fund the travel costs for the 10-man squad this week when I read that funding by the City of Cape Town had to end because of demands on their budgets in the recession.
The Homeless World Cup, Milan 2009, runs from 6th to 13thSeptember 2009, with 500 players from 48 nations.
An estimated 100 million people worldwide are homeless. Football for homeless people builds self-esteem: it brings purpose and direction to their lives. Homelessness is a terrible waste of good people, usually overtaken by events with which they just can’t cope. I know from personal experience. I was homeless myself for a brief period, and with my three very young children lived in a refuge before starting Ambition in 1996.
South Africa hosted the Homeless World Cup in Cape Town in 2006. The domestic league now involves 100 volunteers and activities in various communities of Cape Town and the Western Cape focusing on education, social support and HIV awareness for street children. The league has grown to involve over 700 players in 55 teams. Some 50 per cent of the players are currently living on the street, a number of them are in drug rehabilitation programmes and others in institutions for street people.
SAHSS (South African Homeless Street Soccer) has successfully used football to foster healthy individual development, teach positive values and life skills, strengthen education, and prevent disease through education (particularly HIV/AIDS).
You can follow the team day by day here on our A24 Group blog http://blog.a24group.co.uk. We’ll be posting details of their progress, results, team and other news. All our divisions will be engaged, including Ambition 24hours and the NS group.