Delegates form across Asia met in Tokyo for the first ever Homeless World Cup Asian Get Together, which allowed representatives from football programmes from South Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong, India and Japan exchange knowledge and ideas about their impact and the work they do to help marginalised people every day.
The meeting, organised by Homeless World Cup in coordination with Big Issue Japan, took place in the Japan Football Asociation (JFA) House, where Kozo Tashima, President of JFA, and Mr Katsuhiko Hibino , Chairman of Social Responsibility Committee of JFA, welcomed all the delegates and offered support to the Homeless World Cup First Asian Get Together.
The purpose of the get-together was to increase collaboration between countries and find opportunities to increase capacity and impact through knowledge and experience sharing. More importantly, this event has kicked-off what will be the start of a stronger network of activities available for Homeless World Cup Partners across Asia and Oceania.
The two-day meeting allowed delegates to discuss a wide variety of topics and present the work each organisation is doing in their home nation. This shed light on a range of challenges each organisation faces, and the different issues surrounding homelessness and marginalisation. The discussion ranged from stigmatization in Indonesia, to hidden homelessness and cases of social isolation such as the hikikomori phenomenon in Japan. It became apparent that across Asia, maybe more than anywhere else, the socioeconomic, geographical, cultural and political differences are stark. Delegates also had a chance to exchange ideas and experiences about their projects’ fundraising strategies, and monitoring and evaluation processes.
“It was a really good event,” said Rachel May, International Partnerships Manager at Homeless World Cup Foundation. “We learned a lot about our partners, and the plan is to develop ongoing discussions and meetings like this one to continue promoting collaboration between partners. In addition, down the line we wish to work together to see a regional tournament in Asia, and perhaps have the Homeless World Cup take place in Asia in the future.”