Rita the woman who can. 

Sometimes you make a connection in life that teaches you something you didn’t expect. 

I spoke to Rita Riveros Hermosilla a 42 years young player for the Argentinian Women’s Team.I asked about how it felt to be the flag bearer at the parade. 

  
 “I felt so happy, so emotional like a child” she beamed with joy. 
“I never imagined I would have this moment” 
Although my Spanish is very little and her English was the same we were able to communicate. 
We both observed this connection you can have and overcome any language. 
A hug is universal after all. 
Representing her country had an impact and she was unsure what the future holds, she does know it will be different as a result of this. 
Having to overcome stigma and discrimination in her life, she remains positive and happy. She said something very profound in broken English that struck a chord with me. 
“I realised” she said. ” I CAN, you CAN, we all CAN.”
I felt I was speaking to female Argentinian Obama. 
I’m sure whatever she wants to do in the future she CAN do it. 
Rita spoke of wanting to open a football clinic, football for her has been therapy. It’s a common thread that the act of playing and taking your mind away from any troubles in your life can be very therapeutic. 
I for one can wait to visit ‘Rita’s Football Clinic’ coming soon. 
Visit their blog on the link below. 
http://argentinahechoclubsocial.blogspot.nl/?m=1

A veces se realiza una conexión en la vida que te enseña algo que no esperaba.
Hablé con Rita Riveros Hermosilla un 42 años joven jugador para el equipo de las Mujeres Argentinas.
  

Le pregunté cómo se sentía al ser el portador de la bandera en el desfile.
“Me sentí tan feliz, tan emocional como un niño” ella sonrió con alegría.
“Nunca me imaginé que tendría este momento”
Aunque mi español es muy poco y su Inglés fue el mismo pudimos comunicar.
Ambos observamos esta conexión se puede tener y superar cualquier idioma.
Un abrazo es universal después de todo.
En representación de su país tuvo un impacto y no estaba segura de lo que depara el futuro, ella sabe que será diferente, como resultado de esto.
Al tener que superar el estigma y la discriminación en su vida, ella sigue siendo positiva y feliz. Ella dijo algo muy profundo en Inglés rota que tocó la fibra sensible conmigo.
“Me di cuenta”, dijo. “Me puede, puede, todos podemos.”
Sentí que estaba hablando a mujer Obama argentino.
Estoy seguro de lo que quiere hacer en el futuro que puede hacerlo.
Rita habló de querer abrir una clínica de fútbol, ​​fútbol para ella ha sido la terapia. Es un hilo común que el acto de jugar y tomar su mente lejos de cualquier problema en su vida puede ser muy terapéutico.
Por mi parte, puedo esperar a volver de ‘Clínica de Fútbol de Rita’ próximamente.
Visite su blog en el siguiente enlace.
http://argentinahechoclubsocial.blogspot.nl/?m=1

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Players,Parade and Pride

The opening day and the parade kicks off a week of street soccer. 

Players come from all over the world in celebration of life and survival. Achievement surrounds them, before a ball has been kicked everyone is a winner. 

I caught up with Hannah Voice a 20 year old goalkeeper from the HFA England’s Women Team. 

  

She spoke of her pride and overwhelming joy at not only representing her country but being chosen to be captain and flag bearer. 

“It’s beyond my wildest dreams, a totally life changing moment”. 

Having become homeless a year ago, given a label of homeless. Today on the field of football she was given a new label ‘flag bearer’ one that she hopes is the catalyst. 

“I hope to work for the HFA, it would be my dream to be in football again. ” 

She was once as a 12 year old on the books of Chelsea, before an injury halted her career. 

“Words can’t describe the emotion I felt. ” 

A sense of pride on her face and a moment of reflection on how far she’s come in a year. 

Symbolically waving the flag for many others back in England. Showing that redefining the labels is sometimes is all it takes.  

  

I spoke to a guy in my hostel that like many others came to see a few matches today , he said he didn’t believe they were or had been homeless. After a long discussion, he understood a bit more about that label. Interesting to note that’s not what he saw though he saw players, with pride for their countries. I hope that’s what the world sees. 

Follow the work of the Homeless Football association on the link below. 

http://homelessfa.org

Does it really matter?

I am always looking and seeking out interesting examples of how other people around the world are doing their bit as it were.
I find inspiration in some unusual places including TED Talks
One of these talks made me wonder are we effective and how do you know if it really matters?

The truth is found in what YOU are passionate about or maybe should be.

Who as one of these talks suggested wouldn’t stop to help an old lady up or a child who tripped in front of you.

Most of us react in these situations without hesitation.

I suppose the challenge is about filtering the flood of information that comes our way, from social media, 24 hour news channels and local people and charities pushing their cause onto you.

It only becomes a priority if its personal, if the heart makes a connection.

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When we give, it’s giving a little piece of us, whether financially, emotionally or physically. Whether its time or energy. It’s a risk a choice that for some is scary.

I know what I get back by giving and the rewards are huge, it makes me a more complete person and a sense of Wellbeing I haven’t found in anything else in life.

Surely that’s as effective as anything else we do.

Does it matter? It does to me and who I am. It does to the person you gave some time too, who really needed someone to talk to today.

It matters to the person who because you made a donation got the HOPE in his/ her life that was so desperately missing.

It matters to the little boy you write to who gets a letter from someone who cares enough about a stranger.

So don’t walk past stop see where it matters and act instinctively, just like the lady who you would have picked up.
I was tempted to add our link to ways you could contribute to Streets Revolution , but I know that you give in many ways already and just want to let you know IT MATTERS.

Streets Revolution Uganda, the story so far…..

We caught up on-line with Mukasa Nassar and asked him to tell us what’s been happening in Uganda and his plans for the future

How did you start?

Streets Revolution Uganda is a brain child of Streets Revolution CIC, initiated in 2011 by Mukasa Nassar who had a similar vision of reaching out to the marginalized and less fortunate people in Uganda through the power of sports and edutainment activities. Through strategic multi partnership and networking with Jonathan Regler, It fully started operating on 3rd Oct 2011 and since then it has been progressing steadily on its mission of engaging, educating, empowering and making a positive lasting change in people’s lives.
What are you doing?

Streets Revolution Uganda is engaged in a number of activities which include mobilizing the hard to reach population to engage in positive activities which promote their wellbeing (music and playing football); planning, developing and sustaining drop in and training sessions; organizing friendly matches and lobbying for technical, logistical and financial support.

What is the impact of football? 

Football has enhanced talent identification and Individual development; promoted physical fitness, health life styles & disease Prevention; torn apart the walls of social paradigm attached with homelessness; Social Integration and Social capital development; i.e. making new friends; healed scars of trauma and depression for those who had lost hope for the future; boosted discipline, leadership and teamwork skills of members engaged.

The team from Uganda

Hopes for the future?

To expand to other hard to reach population; To introduce more sports and edutainment programs; To organize youth health camps; To get volunteers with vast experience in sports coaching and refereeing; To introduce Social Inclusion Tournaments and engage in both national and international tournaments; and To create skills development centre and employment opportunities for self- reliance.

Participants in Uganda were asked a few questions and this is what they said (5 Ugandan Schillings is less than 10p) ~

Aphan Kibugo

He is 21 years old and one of our members from a vulnerable home. His guardians could not afford meeting his scholastic needs and fees for his secondary education. Because of his talents and passion for football, he was awarded a scholarship for his higher education and just recently finished his S.6 final exams for his Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE). He seeks going for further professional career in coaching. Because of his passion for coaching, we have partly assigned him the role of coaching the junior team of kids, he loves it so much.

Through our interactive conversations with him he had this to say

What have you got from playing with SR Uganda?

My playing with SRU has helped so much on improving my skills in football as well as coaching, he have been able to practice what we learn and teaching it to my fellow young brothers in the junior team; I have also been able to make more friends on the pitch and outside the pitch. The community has also started seeing and appreciating my coaching skills I pass on the young ones. I have also remained physically fit due to the daily training.

What do you hope to achieve?

I hope to continue with my career in football coaching and passing on skills to the young ones. I hope one day in future to become a professional player and a coach in a big team.

What is your daily life like for you?

I was always bored when I came back for holidays because I lacked friends to play organised football with but since I joined SRU, I have gained hope and my future seems brightened

How can we help you from outside Uganda?

You can help me by sponsoring my professional career of coaching; providing me with equipments and football kits, funds to facilitate team activities like paying subscription to participate in national tournaments and travelling and meeting other small needs of children for instance sometimes, children ask me for water during training. You can also support with first aid medical kits.

What would you do with 5 UG shillings? How would it help you?

I would save it, help me in buying my needs like football kits, and if I happen to save enough funds, I would use it for supporting me in continuing with education career.

 

2. Ojobie Joel 15yrs.

He is half orphan and dropped out of school because the mum could not afford paying for his scholastic needs. By the time we identified him he was at high risk of joining the street life due to being desperate and idle.

What have you got from playing with SR Uganda?

I have learned football skills, team work, discipline and I have also got many friends which I never used to have before.

What do you hope to achieve?

I hope one day to become a professional footballer and play for Uganda Cranes. I also hope to get more football skills and become a famous midfielder like Alex of

What is your daily life like for you?

I was bored, used to spend my day in the local cinema halls watching movies and their friends I had got who were on the street who were encouraging me to take drugs but I refused.

How can we help you from outside Uganda?

To support me in going back to school, to help me with football kits like balls, shoes, jerseys.

What would you do with 5 UG shillings? How would it help you?

I would save it and buy my needs like shoes, clothes, books.

Kagere Assuman 17 yrs. He is from a needy family and a school drop out because parent could afford to meet the school needs

What have got from playing with SR Uganda?

I have gained skills, I have become physically fit, I have also made many friends, I have also been taught discipline and team work

What do you hope to achieve?

To become a professional footballer and play for the Uganda cranes. I also hope to go outside Uganda and play international football. I also hope to make more friends.

What is your daily life like for you?

I was so lonely and spent most of time wandering aimless on streets, looking for what to do and earn a survival. Then I got a casual job to wash people’s cars which I do up to now.

How can we help you from outside Uganda?         

To support me in continuing with education through giving school fees, scholastic materials, football kits like jerseys, shoes and also giving me more skills and tactics

What would you do with 5 UG shillings? How would it help you?

I would save it and buy my needs like clothes, food, training jersey and shoes.

I would also save it and buy my scholastic needs, pay tuition and start a small business to support me.

meet the kids who love football


If you want to support any of our projects and the work we want to have to achieve then click on the link and make a donation Streets Revolution CIC and help us make a difference.

Thanks on Behalf of Mukasa

The Oxford Social Inclusion Cup 2011

We are nearly there, all the planning and sweating will they come is nearly over.
The Oxford Social Inclusion Cup 2011 kicks off in October to raise awareness of people suffering mental distress and people experiencing homelessness.
Streets Revolution CIC, in partnership with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, is hosting a 6-a-side football tournament on Monday 10 October at Warneford Hospital, Oxford, 10am-5pm, to mark World Homeless Day and World Mental Health Day.
Teams from organisations working with people who are homeless or with mental health issues are needed to take part in the competition. Teams must be 6-a-side and players must be over 16. By entering a team, organisations can promote the work they do as well as make the event a positive experience for participants.
The competition’s message is ‘More than Words’, as Jon Regler, Chairman of Streets Revolution, explains: “The purpose of Streets Revolution is to give people something to associate themselves with, something to label themselves with that isn’t homelessness or mental health or any of the other negatives in their lives. Everyone who comes along has been harmed or marginalised by words in some way – whether through labels that society has decided to put on them or simply because of a lack positive, affirmative words in their lives.”
The tournament is partly paid for by an Anti-Stigma Mental Health Grant, which Streets Revolution bid for earlier this year from a grant funded by Oxfordshire PCT and managed by Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA).
To help the day go off with a bang, the organisers are looking for donations for goodie bags for the participants, for example shower gel, sports socks, key rings or pens. They also need donations of refreshments to serve throughout the event.
To donate items,or money!!!
Contact Jon Regler
Watch the video here      http://www.twitvid.com/TFDUQ

The Stars come out again

On the 10th of October 2011,we will be hosting the Oxford Social Inclusion Cup(OSIC) an annual football tournament which aims to raise awareness of the issues of marginalised members of our community and especially the people who find themselves HOMELESS.

Crisis recently released a report, a further effort, to understand this much used and misconstrued expression to describe someone who for one reason or another finds themselves without a stable, permanent HOME of their own.

I found myself looking into a cloudless sky last night, in awe of the brightness and beauty of the stars.

It made me reflect on the OSIC event and how we now know that on that day we can celebrate the rising stars on the field, the shooting stars off the field who have helped in various ways along the journey.

Also the many stars that have faded and died along the way, too many to mention individually and not always noticed.

Q. How many people are considered HOMELESS in the UK?

A. How many stars in the night sky?

Some are really obvious and bright and noticeable, others hidden on friends sofas and in squats, in police and prison cells for somewhere safe and warm to stay. In strangers homes for motives not so pure….

Some are now well used to keeping out of the public eye, and like it that way, sleeping in places not really fit for purpose, but away from prying eyes.

No one star is better than the other, no situation a homeless person finds themselves in worse than the next.

It’s all WRONG and not justifiable.

On the 10/10/11 we are aiming under the theme of #morethanwords to use our tournament to kick out the words people use for OUR stars and hope you join us in person or in spirit.

The hidden stars need to come out, we need to celebrate the shooting stars on there way up, and encourage others to aim for the stars.

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From Slum to Soccer Star

My name is Patrick Hato i was born into a family of four and i am the first born.I started playing football at the age of 12yrs in Korogocho slums.

In the year 1997 i made my first trip to Norway as a player in under sixteen category to participate in an annual tournament called Norway cup.Last year i was the captain of Kenya in HWC held in Rio.

My football experience had been challenging due to the environment which i was brought into, it is drugs and crime infested.
Thank God football had always been my partner and this is why i escaped all this.I have also changed other street boys come out of drugs and crime to join sports activities.
My hopes for Streets Revolution Kenya Fc is to use sports as a tool for change in a community that is poverty stricken, environmentally unhealthy and crime infested and to also improve living conditions of village and slum dwellers.A part from sports we will be running other programmes namely HIV/AIDS,clean ups in our village,Batik making,leadership project where youth come together work on leadership skills,drama,music,poetry among others.

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We’re on a Journey

This weekend we travelled on what we hope is our first of many mini residential.
Hosted by Liverpool Homeless Football Club, we played the inaugural OXPOOL cup.
It is physically a lot of miles from oxford, and mentally a whole new experience for the majority.
It’s a journey that was also a metaphor of the life of the lads that came and the volunteers that went with them.

Some missed the opportunity for a variety of reasons, that is not unusual, the people we engage with OUR players, no matter how good the incentive, still can’t grasp it when it comes knocking.

Preparation from the volunteers and myself was fraught with many frustrating moments and hundreds of phone calls.

We set off in our normal late fashion, the best laid plans and all that.

In Liverpool the nervous banter came out as did the terrible attempts at scouse accents.

We had arranged a walking tour of the city which not everyone was so keen on , half went back to the accommodation and the rest stayed.

Interestingly the half that went, expressed how at first they didn’t want to do it either, but came back full of energy and positivity from the experience. They surprised themselves and me.

It was at this moment I realised, the journey was really unfolding before my eyes.

Taking people out their environment and into new surroundings, for some is scary. Asking them to try new things is difficult, I lost count of how many times players asked me what’s happening next.

The need for reassurance was tangible, the need to test the boundaries was real.

And yet they all were changing slowly, relaxing into the situation and their new surroundings.

Some more naturally then others, it’s these coping strategies that we ALL rely on in everyday life.
Constantly reevaluating the situations life throws at us and for the most part rolling with the punches.

During the match on the Sunday, you see the issues manifest themselves and how different individuals cope in different ways.
How do you cope when things get tough or life seems unfair?, the coping skills varied from walking away to digging in, from confronting head on to laughing them off.

In football as in life we learn and we adapt, in truth there is no right or wrong way just what works.

We lost the match 8-4, but made new friends and went on a journey, it may not have changed us permanently, it did plant seeds of change that may grow.

The proof, if any is needed, that football can be used to change peoples lives, was found on the trip home.

One of our players who openly admitted he was addicted to cannabis, was stating after the match.
“my legs are knackered” he said.

” but it’s strange, I haven’t smoked(cannabis) all weekend and my body feels alive!!”

That is something that will stick with him I hope for along time. It’s part of the JOURNEY!!!!

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The business of people

Interesting conversations recently lead me to wonder. Can you be in the business of people?
We often talk about outputs and outcomes when thinking about project plans and visions, when we are in the BUSINESS of people.
Do you have to be a good people person first or a good business person to make a charity or social enterprise work.

I recently met alot of different people some in business and social enterprise, some local some national. From these like minded people I learnt about what to do and what not to do!!!

For me we should and have to make money to best continue and develop the PEOPLE we are saying we are there to help.

Though never forgetting who and why we are there in the first place.

I was recently told I was a cross between Brian Clough, Mother Theresa, and Chad Varah. Truth is anyone trying to pave the way for those marginalised in society had to be a combination of different traits.

Courage, Creativity, Confident, and single minded. The only way to make a difference.

So below we see how a guy from Oxford( Darren Lavin) can inspire another in Huntingdon (Steve Woodford) so Streets Revolution continues on to new horizons.

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