May 12, 2018 the soccer tournament between the two local teams: the Honor revolution team and the Team of the veterans of the recent war, took place in Odessa. The organizer of the tournament is Odessa Charity Foundation “Way Home”, the coordinator of the Ukrainian street-soccer team (collected from the people living in difficult life situation)
The four teams participated in the tournament: “Aidar”, “Automaidan Odessa”, the team of the establishment “Democratic Youth of Ukraine” and the united team of the football fans of Odessa.
The organizers announced that the Ukrainian team of the street-soccer will be formed from the best players of these teams – the team then will be represented the country at the following International championship of the street soccer for the people, living in difficult life situation (Homeless World Cup 2018). The possibility to conduct the tournament became possible thanks to the common project of the “Way Home” and patriotic organization “Aidar” – the “Program of the psychological and physical rehabilitation and the social adaptation of the ex-soldiers of Ukrainian-Russian war”. Soccer games are the core activities of the project.
The winner of the tournament was Odessa soccer-fans team. The second place was taken by the “Automaidan”, the third place took “Aidar” and the fourth place was taken by the “Democratic Youth”.
The “Way Home” Odessa Charity Foundation is annually forming the national street soccer team among the players, living in difficult life situation, including the war veterans. The team is representing the country in the annual Homeless World Cup. The veterans of the war are experiencing difficulties integrating back to the civil society, having difficulties in their mental and physical health. Including the veterans in the soccer has an intense therapeutical meaning for them. Said Oleg Vannik, the coordinator of the “Street Football in Ukraine” project.
Homeless World Cup in an opportunity for the people in crisis to change their attitude to the world and find their new place in it.
Homeless World Cup 2018 will take place in Mexico City on November 8-15, 2018. It is the first time of including the war veterans in the Ukrainian street soccer national team. The Homeless World Cup is first of all a social event. All prizes look the same, no matter what place the team took. Several big event are usually taking place during the Cup for its participants. During the meetings the participants can share their stories and exchange common interests, feeling that they are not alone in their lives and that there are people who are happy to help them from all over the world. Adter a period of time the organizing committee is making a research on how the life of the team players change after the Cup. The data shows a vivid change in the life f the people as well as in their psychological state and the quality of contacts. The Cup becomes a life changing event for most of the participants.