Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Indonesia:
July 23, I met with Homeless World Cup Team 2011, Rumah Cemara from Indonesia. Immediately I knew it was not an organization like others - every person I met was not only laid back, cool, and “against the grain”... every person I spoke with was inspiring and open to share the challenges and experiences faced throughout life.
When touring the organization, It was great to see the Homeless World Cup 2011 trophies for “Best New Team” and “6th in Tournament”. After taking a tour, I sat down with Ginan, the founder, and he explained that being a part of Homeless World Cup was a life-changing experience. He never dreamed that “people like us can represent our country in a world class tournament.” He said that the tournament is not just a game, it’s about change within yourself. When I spoke with another player, who played as a defender in the tournament, he said he loved being able to play soccer with people from all over the world. He had never met people from those countries before, and he said meeting them was exciting. What was his favorite part about the tournament? "That people like 'us' can represent the name of our country." When he returned, he felt very excited and proud, especially when returning to Bandung. People were cheering for the team at the airport, and that day "I was crying… crying because I felt so proud."
Rumah Cemara provides these marginalized youth an opportunity to have a safe environment, a family, and a trusting network to connect with, learn from, and grow with. Why do they do football/soccer programs? Ginan and staff say because It is an effective way to spread the message of Rumah Cemara and to bridge the gap with the local community, decreasing stigma and discrimination. Rumah Cemara is a place to be free for anyone and everyone - a place to be themselves. Rumah Cemara hopes that Indonesia can be a place without discrimination.
Rumah Cemara would like to send an enormous thanks to the Nike and GlobalGiving communities as we reflect on our recent week in Paris participating in the 2011 Homeless World Cup. A few days into playing, we were delighted to have a visit by Andrew Ogilvie, who had been supporting our efforts since we first applied for the Nike/Ashoka Changemakers competition in early 2010! Chatting with Andrew it became clear to us how far we have come in the past two years - from just 10 players in our football-for-change program to over 700, and moving from only including the HIV community as a means of increasing quality of life, to extending our program out to all community members, and subsequently increasing our ability to fight sitgma towards people with HIV. We did our best in Paris to show not only our love of the game, but our appreciation of the game as a medium for meaningful social change.
By the end of the week, Team Indonesia had placed 6th in the tournament Team Captain Ginan Koesmayadi was awarded the best male player of the entire tournament, and Team Indonesia was named the best new team of the year! While the team made a positive impression on the field, we hope these awards reflect all of the efforts we made off of the field as well, to make new friends who face similar challenges all around the world. We shared our energy and our spirit with every new country we met, and tried to share not only our tactics of using football for social change, but also our unique expressions that we brought from home to the tournament, like "Mamprang!", the word in our local Sundanese dialect that means "Have Courage!"
We couldn't stop smiling throughout the week as we heard other teams shouting "Mamprang!" from the sidelines as we played our games. We left the tournament feeling more capable and inspired than ever - that we can fight discrimination towards people with HIV by using football as a unifying force.
Thank you for your continued support! We've now accomplished our goal of participating in the HWC 2011, and hope you will be able to support our new quest to attend HWC 2012 in Mexico City next year!
Mamprang and Respect,
Team Indonesia and Rumah Cemara
Only 2 months until the Homeless World Cup! Team Indonesia has been busily preparing, and the past month has been marked by a long and rigorous try-outs, aiming to find the 8 players whose lives best represent the concept of overcoming adversity through sport. (And those with football skills!) We are thrilled to announce our team line-up:
We are now in the visa procurement process, as well as a disciplined training schedule, playing multiple matches a week, both for our team preparation and to advance our Football for Change program!
Because of the attention we have garnered around our participation in the Homeless World Cup, we have also recently been awarded another Sports for Change grant from a popular organization! The news isn't public yet so we will be sure to give you all the details as soon as we can.
In the meantime we are still fundraising hard here in Bandung - from the government, from local businesses, and we will even be featured on a national TV program (it's like the Oprah of Indonesia!) in July for a final fundraising pitch.
Anything you can contribute now would make our journey that much more possible. It's not just this tournament but our entire program that we are so proud to be leading, and we appreciate you supporting our journey to eliminate stigma against people with HIV through sport!
Terima kasih - Thank you!
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