Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kicking It: The Homeless World Cup

I now have a new film added to my top five documentary list...Kicking It. Kicking it follows teams of homeless men and women who are vying for a spot to represent their country in the 4th annual Homeless World Cup in South Africa. From each country, there is a focus on one person from the team including Afghanistan, Kenya, Dublin, Madrid, and North Carolina. Each of these people tells their sad tale of living on the streets and tells of their struggles with overcoming addictions, past regrets, and their hopes for a better life. 

It's so inspiring to see the healing process that soccer can provide. Soccer holds so much hope for redemption in these people and the Homeless World Cup gives a voice to those who are so often ignored. 

Some stats on the Homeless World Cup:

In 2006, 48 countries competed in the 4th annual Homeless World Cup.
One year later...
92% players have a new motivation for life
73% have changed their lives for the better
93 players successfully addressed a drug or alcohol dependency
35% have secured regular employment
44% have improved their housing situation
39% chose to pursue education
72% continue to play football

If you're moved by this amazing grassroots organization, I would really encourage you to check out Global Giving's Kicking It film section where you can donate money to any of the teams featured in the movie! Each of the donations are super specific to each team for example, $10 to the US team will buy a weekly bus pass for a player to use to get to soccer practice, $10 to the Kenya team will buy a player food for a week, and $10 will also buy a soccer ball for the homeless populations of Ireland, Afghanistan, UK, Russia, or Spain. 

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