dld_ftw (dld_ftw) wrote in ontd_football,

Homeless World Cup: Upcoming Book Launch, Documentary, Donate!

I posted this originally on my blog but there are so many more people here, I thought it would be of interest and it would get the word out. I apologize if this looks a bit shite. I'm not very experienced with posting stuff on LJ and I had a hell of a time wrestling with the embedding video part and finally gave up. It's more important to have the information out there than embedded media!

For those of you who don't know, the Homeless World Cup is a competition that started back in 2003 and today reaches 30,000 homeless in 64 countries. Their slogan is A Ball Can Change The World and 70% of their participants experience significant life changes. You can read more over at the Homeless World Cup website. Here's a link to the promo video for the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup. The reason I bring this up is two-fold, there's a new book about the Homeless World Cup coming out (with a reading in Brooklyn next week) and they are in the midst of fundraising to bring the Cambodia, Kenya, Malawi (first ever women's team!), Palestine and Paraguay squads to Paris.

If you have never seen it, I highly recommend the fantastic documentary, Kicking It, which follows the lives of 6 players: Najib (Afghanistan), Alex (Kenya), Damien and Simon (Ireland), Craig (USA), Jesus (Madrid, Spain) and Slava (Russia) as they compete in the 2006 Homeless World Cup in South Africa. It's available in the US for instant play via Netflix and so worth it! I was so into it - I cheered, I cried and I was on the edge of my seat during the matches. Here's the trailer. It's such a great documentary. As a fan of footy, you really owe it to yourself to see it. Just fantastic and it makes you realize what power the game has to transform people and lives.

As for the book, Canadian musician/journalist Dave Bidini is the author of Home and Away: One Writer's Inspiring Experience at the Homeless World Cup of Soccer. It chronicles his experiences with Team Canada at the 2008 HWC in Australia. He's launching the US edition of the book and doing a signing on Thursday, July 14th here in Brooklyn, NY. It will take place from 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM at the bar Woodwork which is located at 583 Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Members of the US Homeless National Team will be on hand to support the book launch and we can cheer them on before they head off to Paris.

And now, back to the donating bit. The Homeless World Cup organizers are asking for donations to help bring the teams from some of the more economically disadvantaged countries to Paris to play. If you go to this link, it has places to donate for each of the teams (Cambodia, Kenya, Malawi, Palestine and Paraguay) as well as a place for a general donation to HWC. For as little as 5 Euros (which is about $7.16 US - to find your currency's rate, go here),you can help support a team. They only have 36 days left to raise 10,000 Euros for the teams (2,000 each) and most of the teams only have about 150 Euros each donated to the cause. It breaks my heart to think that they might not have a chance to participate in this life changing experience (watch the documentary, you'll be turning out your pockets in no time, trust me) I made a small donation to each team and one to HWC, but if we all spread the word, via Twitter or Facebook or LJ, perhaps we could help them get closer to their goal. Anything you can do to help would surely be appreciated whether it is a donation, spreading the word or both.

While at first the idea of a Homeless World Cup may be strange, once you start looking at the program, you realize the very real impact that being part of a team and having a support system can have on the people involved. There have been some really transformational moments for the participants. At the very least, I hope you'll check out the website and the trailers and learn something about this wonderful initiative.

UPDATE:  In answer to mentalblockade's comment below, I found a place where you can watch the documentary online: http://documentarystorm.com/kicking-it/    I'd love to hear what you all think!
Tags: internationals

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