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
2017.10.14
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The Oslo Homeless World Cup Final An all-South American battle between Brazil's mixed team and the long-standing champion, Mexico. Congratulations to Brazil for their 4-3 win, and to everyone who took part! It's been an amazing week of dedication, skill and teamwork in Olso, but we should also take a moment to reflect on why it's necessary to do this. Support ANA BLUE WING and help more people escape homelessness. https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young/ #mel #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2017.10.13
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Olso Homeless World Cup was all action Welsh-born actor Michael Sheen attended #hwc2017 to cheer on #TeamWales , and the Welsh Women's Team won the Cobana Bowl Cup with a 6-2 win over USA on the final day! Support ANA BLUE WING and help Mel help more people out of homelessness through sport. https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young/ #mel #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2017.10.05
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Manage your team like a football team In Mel's view, if you look at the more successful team sports, they're all about the team. He describes their management as “who is the goalkeeper here? Who is the centre forward?” A successful team is more than the sum of its parts, but those individual parts are important and must complement each other. https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young/ #mel #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2017.09.12
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Changemaker Mel’s favorite film Moonlight, the 2016 movie written and directed by Barry Jenkins. Mel says: “Set in America, about a young guy who is gay in a black community. It won Best Motion Picture – Drama in the Golden Globe Awards, was nominated in five other categories, and won three Academy Awards. I thought the film’s style - the way the camera lingered - was very good indeed.” https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young/ #mel #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2017.08.29
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Are you ready? For the Beautiful game in Oslo? People talk about 'The Beautiful Game'. The introductory video to the 2017 Homeless World Cup in Oslo – just starting now - certainly reveals its beauty. The players look like dancers, accompanied by inspiring folk music. It's all the more inspiring when you remember that these are homeless people revealing football's beauty. Support ANA BLUE WING and help Mel and the Homeless World Cup bring beauty and hope back into the lives of the homeless. https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/mel_young/ #mel #ANABLUEWING

CHANGEMAKER