One of four charities benefitting from donations made by Monarch Airlines and Cosmos Holidays’ customers, Homeless World Cup uses football to energise and empower people who are homeless or excluded. They do this not just through the annual Homeless World Cup football tournament, but by nurturing football clubs, organisations and activities for homeless people all year round in countries across the world.
To date, the charity has received over £2,500 in support of its internationally recognised work thanks to the thousands of Pennies donations that are made every month via Monarch and Cosmos. This money helps Homeless World Cup reach out to people in over 70 countries when they need it most.
Today one billion people in the world are homeless. Homelessness can mean an isolated and chaotic lifestyle, but getting involved in football can help people feel part of something again. Take Jeff and Keijo, whose lives changed when they had the chance to represent their country as part of the Swedish Homeless World Cup team.
Jeff started playing football with the Swedish team one month after getting clean from both drugs and alcohol and kept going when he realised there was a possibility of playing for Sweden in the 2008 Melbourne Homeless World Cup. Keijo on the other hand had spent a total of 25 years in and out of prison whilst suffering from addiction. Once he was clean he found it hard to find his place in society. That was when Keijo got involved with Gatans Lag (the organisation now in charge of the Swedish team) and in 2011, travelled to Paris to take part in the Homeless World Cup.
Today, both Jeff and Keijo are head coaches employed by Gatans Lag and are working hard to train the next generation of footballers. Last year, they were in charge of the first women’s team from Sweden to ever play in the tournament which took place in Poznan, Poland. Watch the highlights from the 2013 Poznan Homeless World Cup below.