A 500,000 Pound start-up package for the support of the Homeless World Cup Foundation, a world-class international football tournament that aims at developing grass roots football programmes in over 60 nations has been announced by the Vodafone Foundation.
The grant for the Programme, which currently engages 30,000 players who are homeless all year round, will be disbursed over the next two years and has a global ambition to engage one million players in over 75 nations.
A statement by the Vodafone Foundation (VF) copied to GNA Sports noted that the funds will be used by the Homeless World Cup Foundation to build the infrastructure for the development of grass roots football programmes.
The Homeless World Cup is an annual international tournament which provides the opportunity for homeless people to change their own lives.
It was established by world-leading social entrepreneur Mel Young in 2003 with 18 countries. This year's seven-day contest will unite 56 nations and include a women's tournament in Melbourne on December 1, 2008.
Mr Young, President and Founder of the Homeless World Cup commenting on the grant said “The Homeless World Cup has demonstrated that football can change lives, it can change the world. We are extremely grateful to The Vodafone Foundation's start-up funding which provides a giant leap towards building a five million pounds annual fund to achieve our ambitions,” he continued adding that “we have a fabulous opportunity ahead, a great challenge and we need more people and more organisations to take The Vodafone Foundation's innovative lead to get football changing the world.”
Mr Andrew Dunnett, Director of The Vodafone Foundation was delighted at The Foundation's ability to support a project that has an enterprising attitude to make a difference on an international scale.
Between now and 2010 The Vodafone Foundation has committed 12 million Pounds for programmes such as the Homeless World Cup which have positive effects on health, education and help alleviate poverty.
Over the last five years, The Vodafone Foundation has invested over 100 million Pounds in social investments around the world. It will continue to invest in exciting sport initiatives which have the ability to reach out to the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups in communities around the globe.
Mr Dunnett said “The Vodafone Foundation is committed to funding projects that create a strong force for change and high level impact. Having already directly improved the lives of thousands of people, The Homeless World Cup is a great project.”
The Homeless World Cup is supported by UEFA, Nike, The Vodafone Foundation, Global Ambassador Eric Cantona and international footballers Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand.
According to research, 77 per cent of players involved experience a significant life change; no longer using drugs and alcohol, moving into homes, jobs, education, training, repairing relationships and becoming coaches or players with semi-professional teams. Ninety-four per cent (94%) claim to have a renewed motivation for life.