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Homeless World Cup

Since 2003, the Homeless World Cup (HWC) has mobilized and supported locally-run football programs for homeless community members in more than 60 countries globally. In addition, 34 of these nations either plan or already have active national street soccer leagues running throughout the year.

Nike's partnership with the HWC runs from direct financial support, consulting with HWC on brand management and marketing, creating and donating HWC product and merchandise, and employees volunteering at events. Our goal as a partner is to expand HWC's capacity to have a positive social impact on more people in more countries.

HWC training programs include technical training as well as an extensive engagement with each player to help them deal with drug or alcohol dependency, moving into jobs, finding homes, getting educated and/or repairing relationships. Most HWC street leagues are formed through the local street newspaper as they are closely connected to the process of identifying and working with local homeless people to help reintegrate them into their local community.

In 2007, more than 25,000 players participated in the training programs globally with 382 going on to represent their country in the finals. Each player was interviewed by HWC to establish the impact their participation in the program had on their lives:

  • 93 percent reported a new motivation for life
  • 83 percent reported improved social relations
  • 38 percent reported improved housing situations
  • 32 percent reported re-entering the education system
  • 29 percent reported they had found employment
  • 71 percent say they now play regularly

Statistics do not always provide the full context of the impact of these statements. There are many great stories of individual players who have dramatically changed their lives through the support they received in this program. David Duke from Scotland was a player on the winning side of the 2004 tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden. By the 2007 tournament in Copenhagen, Denmark, Duke had addressed his alcohol issue, passed a qualification in community development, qualified as a football coach and bought his own home. Duke is now the coach of the Scottish Homeless World Cup team and inspires others who are homeless to grasp this opportunity for change.