Entertainment

A social experiment that is changing the lives of homeless people

The Homeless World Cup
The Homeless World Cup

The Homeless World Cup is an annual event that is making a positive impact on the lives of the homeless

From humble backgrounds and experiences with homelessness, in 2001, social entrepreneurs  Mel Young and Harald Schmied believed they could make a step that could change the lives of homeless people around the world. Their goal was to create the Homeless World Cup.

The whole concept of the idea is to use the power of football as a means of diverting homeless people towards a positive mindset.  Young believed that by giving a man who feels absolutely worthless a focus and a purpose, it will ultimately lead to the strengthening and personal progression of his character.

The event, which touches the lives of 100,000 homeless people from 74 countries worldwide sees a team of 7 homeless people from a country to travel the world and compete in a football tournament.

Mel Young, the co-founder spoke of the Homeless World Cup on their official website. “Even though we positively affect the lives of  100 million people homeless globally, we’re still just scratching the surface. We need to galvanize our global fan base if we’re really going to make a difference. This is why we’ve launched the Homeless World Cup Supporters Club.

My message to people always is: Do small things. If we all do something small, we’ll change the world. This is my personal invitation to you, on behalf of the Supporters Club, to buy a membership. Signing up is a small thing you can do to show your support for our unique social movement.

Together, we can change lives through football."

This year’s  tournament takes place in the city of Amsterdam in September, and last years was in Santiago, Chile.   

Irish actor, and True Detective season 2 star Colin Farrell acts as an ambassador for the event.

Speaking as a narrator of it in the documentary “Kicking It”, Farrell said :

“I have seen how the Homeless World Cup really does inspire homeless people to change the direction of their lives,” said Farrell. “Change is a team effort.”

The actor also talked about the “camaraderie that football signified in my life as a young boy…just being part of team, being part of collective with a common purpose.”

The Homeless World Cup Foundation, based in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, is a terrific example of a what a small group of people can achieve .

The organization has less than ten employees and its 2013 annual budget was less than $250,000.

I say these words as I walk up Grafton Street. Sleeping bags to my left, sleeping bags to my right. The idea of the Homeless World Cup is inspiring, and similar social entrepreneurship ventures is the way forward to combat the issue, and positively change the lives of the ever growing numbers of homeless throughout Ireland.

By Ross Murphy.