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.
All said and done, the biggest factor that enables us to use football as a tool to connect and bring about social development is quite stunningly simple. Football is fun! We believe we are able to bring about increased learning and engagement through utilising this.