It was April 2004, when everyone was desperate about finding jobs, finding money to cover the mortgage, and realizing their property had lost half of their value. It was this time of desperation even for ordinary public that I read the news of Homeless World Cup a rare hope for the homeless.
Homeless people usually do not have hope for future. What worries us is that we found more young people among the homeless. If look from outside, people will have the impression that they are either drug addicts, gamblers, or alcoholics. When we get along with them longer, they actually suffer more from their lack of confidence and poor self-image. That is more a result of them being neglected and not given a chance.
So we want to bring hope to them so that they build up their confidence again. We decided to form a soccer team with the hope of going to Scotland and play the world cup. That was a day dream at that time. We were given HK $7000 (approximately 1000US) to start and with that we can't even afford a proper jersey and boot. And we thought we had to deal with discipline matter a lot. Eventually it turned out that they behave rather well on the field. and some even start to quit smoking. We were lucky to witness the first "verbal fight" only in May, four months after we first formed.
And they never give up. Losing a game is somewhat "expected" now but that does not prevent them from practicing. Some even train on his own time and their attitude towards training is really "professional". They are planning to quit smoking, shape up his belly so as to be stronger and run faster. They start to demand on himself for improvement and we believe that is the start of a real change.
This is no longer a dream.
HO Hei Wah, BBS
Director, Society for Community Organization (SoCO)
My love for football began at an early age. Although I've never dreamt of becoming a player, the thoughts of becoming a manager occasionally surfaced on the back of my mind. As time goes by, my dream continues.
Earlier this year, I read from the papers about the "Homeless World Cup", an international event in which Hong Kong intended to participate.
I thought the event was meaningful and immediately got in touch with the Society for Community Organization to obtain further information. The dedication and professionalism of the social workers I spoke with reassured my belief and I began to seek others who would share my enthusiasm. Many of the sponsors are good friends of mine who,like myself, saw great meaning in supporting the event. Funds were raised in little time and Dawn Football Team soon embarked on the road to World Cup.
Today, helping Dawn Football Team join the World Cup is like fulfilling a childhood dream. More importantly, through football, we together have made a difference for a group of desperate people, whom we have helped rebuild self-confidence to return to the society. On behalf of the team, I would like to express our most sincere gratitude to our sponsors, whose generosity has transformed each of our team members from a poverty-stricken outcast to a keen member of our community.
Honorary Sponsor and Team Manager
People who love soccer always compare the game with drama. They are unpredictable and full of surprises and I think that is equally true with the process in the formation of this team. The team is made up of people from very different background. Each has a different story to tell and not a few of them were once at the very bottom of an abyss in life. However gradually when they learn to run on the field, kick the ball with the right angle and even to score a goal, they see that this is not only a game but a hope. They determined to go for it, make real effort to achieve the goal and contribute to the betterment of not only himself but the whole team. The ball is only a medium, the field is only a stage, the real drama is in the real world and they will perform like a star. I learn a great deal from these stars and I am honored to be part of the team.
Ho Wai Chi
Chief Coach of Dawn Soccer Team