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So, What is Slum Soccer you ask;
Slum Soccer is an organisation which uses football – the beautiful game which is unique yet a perfect vehicle that transcends race, religion, language and gender to bring about a change in the lives of street dwellers.
Slum Soccer exists to foster sustainable development within otherwise marginalised populations of India. We aim to provide long term solutions to combat rife homelessness and improve living standards within underprivileged areas. Our approaches are centred on building self-sufficient communities. The game of Football is our means to that end- connecting individuals, teaching life skills and working towards improving overall quality of life.
Homeless and slum communities host a variety of complex issues on a daily basis. Prominence of sexual and domestic abuse, unemployment, alcoholism, drug usage, malnutrition and mental health issues and a cycle of disengagement from the education sector almost condemn these communities to a continuing struggle- preventing them from being successfully involved in an already disparate society.
All we ask them to do is kick a ball. That simple act is therapeutic in itself. As a first step, we attempt to give our participating players hope and purpose. Our centres act as safe places free of discrimination; providing positive role models and a place to develop and enjoy one self.
We believe that sport and football inherently offer a transferrable set of skills for social development; through team building, acceptance and discipline. We at Slum Soccer choose specific issues that the Indian slums face and shape our sessions around building some specific and necessary life skills. Football acts as the messenger. Specific game topics include, but are not limited to; saving, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, hygiene and child rights.
Over the past ten years, we have functioned true to our original objective of reaching out to and developing football in the grassroots. What started as simple weekend sessions has bloomed into full fledged football coaching camps, educational and healthcare workshops and societal development programs bringing a positive influence to the lives of nearly 70,000 men, women and children in over 63 districts all around the country.
FICCI India Sports Award
Slum Soccer has been awarded the prestigious FICCI India Sports Award for the “Best NGO Promoting Sports” category. This is a big boost for Slum Soccer to get the award, which not only recognises its work as a sports for development organisation but also its efforts to promote football in the country. FICCI, or the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, is the largest and oldest business organisation in India. It is non-governmental and not-for-profit.
Reliance Real Hero Award
It was indeed a very proud moment for every child, coach and volunteer of Slum Soccer, when our mentor, Dr.Vijay Barse, won the prestigious “Reliance Real hero Award’, in recognition of the stellar role he has played in visualizing, conceptualizing and executing the project Soccer for the Homeless in this country, thus transforming many young lives for the better.
From weekend classes to awareness camps, from football coaching to the homeless world cup, from a football game to football as a way of life, he transformed the face of Soccer for the Homeless, cutting across class and cultural border lines. This man on a mission sure has made it to the portals of Indian sporting history, and justifiably so. He received the award from Sachin Tendulkar, another Indian sports icon, amidst loud cheers from the Mumbai Indians team.
2012 Manthan eNGO Award
Slum Soccer won the prestigious Manthan eNGO Award in COMMUNICATION & OUTREACH category at a ceremony held at Indian Habitat Center, Delhi on 2nd December 2012.
Published 18/02/16 by Mark McCluskey