Support the Homeless World Cup Foundation

 
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Nov 7, 2012

Mexico City 2012 Homeless World Cup Legacy

The Homeless World Cup latest annual tournament took place from October 6th to October 14th in the Mexican capital and saw players from more than 50 countries compete in this once in a lifetime event. You can find tons of pictures and videos about the tournament here. 

For all these men and women from Mexico, Indonesia, England, Switzerland or any other participating country these few days will make a massive difference. Many will go home and find their way back into society: go back to school, find a job, stay involved in their national street football programmes or simply unite with their families again.

But the legacy does not stop here; Daniel Copto, manager of the Mexico Homeless World Cup teams, talks of his hope that the recent tournament will create a lasting impact for homelessness in Mexico.

Homelessness in Mexico City

 Many "treatment centres" for addicts use outdated and sometimes cruel methods and Daniel's dream is to create a place where the victims of drugs and the homeless are treated as human beings, as part of his football-based programme.

As young men kicked a ball around in a paved area near Hidalgo metro station, some of them already high on drugs just after dawn, he talked about how he started the programme five years ago, building trust with young men destroyed by sniffing glue.

Many of them have been hanging around here for up to 10 years and it's amazing they have managed to survive. "It's a long time to die," said Daniel.

Empowerment through football

The programme has steadily grown through the years. Today, there are over 7,000 people coming along every week to play football, in various locations nationwide. But even though he can feel proud of his achievements so far, Daniel is more concerned about the future - and the hundreds of thousands of "invisible" people who have no identity papers and are therefore excluded from basic public services, as well as the addicts and people escaping from violence and crime. The poorest of the poor.

"As far as the authorities are concerned, these people do not exist," said Daniel. Since he returned to Mexico five years ago from Canada to set up the programme, Daniel has been trying to "change the culture" - how addicts are treated. "These people feel like a piece of s**t," said Daniel. "And you have to tell them they are not a piece of s**t, so they can do whatever it takes to get better."

"We must build trust," he said. "Empower them."

Then as he kicks a ball back to one of the guys playing football, Daniel sums up his approach in one word:

"Respect."

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Organization

Project Leader

Zakia Moulaoui

Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom

Where is this project located?

Map of Support the Homeless World Cup Foundation