BLUE WING -WINGS FOR CHANGE- 「Soccer World Cup for Homeless people. Where Lives Can Change.」

MOVIE

Mel Young

True to its name, the annual Homeless World Cup is for and about those who live on the street. Win or lose there are medals for all - this world cup is about turning their lives around. The unusual event, brainchild of Mel Young, is revolutionizing approaches to homelessness around the world.

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Flight Support will allow hundreds of homeless in Asia to join soccer competitions and escape homelessness.

Mel Young

STORY OF CHANGEMAKING

Bringing homeless to the world stage via soccer

imageIn my native Scotland, the issue of fairness is part of our DNA. So starting the Scottish edition of “The Big Issue”, a street paper sold by the homeless, and getting involved in homeless causes came naturally to me. I've long believed we need innovative solutions to the extreme economic inequality wrought by globalization. To build a fairer society, a new system is needed.

In 2001, after our conference in Capetown, South Africa, I went out for a beer with my colleague, that’s when we hit upon the idea of a Homeless World Cup. Homeless people often have trouble with attending formal programs. But we thought soccer would be an easy way to engage them; open doors to job training and alcoholism rehab, and returning to a normal life. The next morning, we vowed to carry through. And two years later, in 2003, we organized the first Homeless World Cup, in Graz, Austria.

Life is also about losing. Learning from mistakes is life-changing

imageOur athletes are typically in their early 20s, although they range from 16 to 70. Their backgrounds vary widely. They come from orphanages, the military, mental hospitals and prisons. Many have alcohol and substance abuse issues. But we never criticize or judge. We just ask, “Wanna play football?” and welcome them in.

Once they start coming to practice, they naturally open up about themselves and start to build self-respect. Homeless people don't believe they will succeed at anything. Even world-class athletes lose sometimes. What makes them great is that they learn from defeat about how to win next time. Losing is part of life. That's something we need homeless people to grasp; learning to lose.

We give every participant a medal. The point is not about creating a wonderful football competition, nor about winning or losing. It's about changing people's lives. In fact, 70% of our participants say the program has dramatically changed their lives. They are going to work, returning to school and finding new meaning in their lives.

Using the power of soccer, I want to make as big an impact as possible

imageOur participation has grown to 100,000 men and women a year, in 74 countries. Our goal is 10 million players. Participants are only allowed to compete in the world cup once, because the purpose is to get them off the street. But a lot of our alumni not only return to society but also come back to us as team managers, serving as important leaders and role models.

I aim to increase the number of countries participating, and to expand our world cup venues in Asia. We have also started an important new initiative, the Homeless World Cup Supporters Club. Similar to a football fan club, membership fees will be used to support homeless people.

Anyone can play soccer anywhere. It is truly a world sport. That's why I believe football has the power to improve life for homeless people.

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PROFILE

Portrait of Mel Young

Mel Young

Published “The Big Issue” in Scotland, a street paper sold by homeless people around the world; then organized the Homeless World Cup in 2003. From a start of 18 countries, the event now attracts participation from 74 countries. Luminaries from the international sports world, including world-class athletes and elite soccer clubs, serve as partners and sponsors. During his flights, Mel's affable personality often wins him new world cup supporters from among his fellow passengers.

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ANA BLUE WING
2017.06.22
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International Day of Sport for Development and Peace Sport is ideally positioned to contribute towards the United Nations’ objectives for development and peace, and who better than Mel and the Homeless World Cup to demonstrate that? Next April 6, hold up a white card to demonstrate your support. Before then, support ANA BLUE WING and help Mel provide practical support for the homeless, every day of the year. https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young/ #mel #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2017.06.21
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Sport is life-changing Remember legendary Greek goalie Stella Mavridou from Homeless World Cup 2016? She's back on the street and making her mark as a charismatic vendor for street paper Shelda. Just as her performance and attitude made the whole World Cup audience happy, sport can change sad people into happy people. Support ANA BLUE WING and help Mel change more people form sad to happy. https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young/ #mel #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2017.06.20
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Homeless people can be pretty good writers, too Launched during Glasgow's Aye Write! book festival and part of the Homeless World Cup Glasgow Legacy Project, #HomeGround is a book inspired by Glasgow's 2016 Homeless World Cup. Get your free copy and be inspired by moving stories of people turning their life around. Support ANA BLUE WING and help Mel continue to bring about social change through sport. https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young/ #mel #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2017.03.09
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Fabulous Finland! Mel and the gang have just returned from a 3-day trip to Finland. Along with delegates from countries across Europe, they planned this year's list of Homeless World Cup Erasmus+ events including three exchanges and the second European Street Football Festival, which will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria. Support ANA BLUE WING and help Mel continue to lift homeless people from the streets. https://www.homelessworldcup.org/news/finland-hosts-second-get-together/ https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young #mel #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2017.03.08
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Mel really is unstoppable. He has just bagged the Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award for his brilliant work with the Homeless World Cup. The award is presented by the United States Sports Academy to 'an individual who has demonstrated a concern for mankind. This individual should exhibit the qualities of dedication, grace under pressure, personal sacrifice, compassion, hope, and dignity.' That's Mel in spades. Support ANA BLUE WING and help keep Mel and the Homeless World Cup unstoppable. https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young/ #mel #ANABLUEWING

CHANGEMAKER