HFCA formed the ReUnion Cup in 2015 after three of our former Homeless World Cup players were sent to prison in 2014. It was obvious that some of our Academy graduates were struggling after they had left HFCA and the programs provided by our partners. In 2015 another former Homeless World Cup player went to prison.
By the end of 2015 forty five young men had come through the HFCA program and been selected for the Homeless World Cup and four of them were in prison, that meant close to 10% of our former players were in prison. A shocking statistic which reflects the difficult lives these young men live.
On the ball is Kimhong who played in Amsterdam in 2015 against Sreng who represented Cambodia in Paris in 2011.
HFCA knew we had to do something to try ensure that no more of our players past and present went to prison so we launched this annual event to bring the player together in a relaxed environment where they can talk about their issue's in a non judgmental environment.
In between football games and meals we realised that the one thing all four young men who were in prison had in common was that they no regular employment and that combined with poor lifestyle choices meant they were serving sentences between two to three years.
HFCA Ambassador Cecile Malterre present to the winning team captain Bunrong who played in the 2015 HWC in Amsterdam.
"What strikes me by observing with a certain attention his young poor all gathered together for sharing and joy is their sparkling eyes all the joy that floods them to meet again. the actions of HFCA to surround them but also to get them out of their poverty conditions is not unrelated.
I wish to salute them and thank them for their permanent dedication, which I enthusiastically support and to which I gladly associate myself with enthusiasm and gratitude for what the NGO is doing in a resolutely sustainable way, helping them so preciously without never favor an assistantship"
HFCA Ambassador Cecile Malterre
(L to R) International visitors Chiaki Okada, HFCA Ambassador Cecile Malterre and Kistie Waring.
We told the players who attended the 2015 and 2016 ReUnion Cups that they were part of the HFCA family and that if they needed support getting work or had ongoing issues in their family or personal lives we would be there for them. Since January 2016 not one HFCA player has gone to prison. Our goal through the ReUnion Cup and our other programs is to ensure that these young men feel there are opportunities to better themselves and be productive members of Cambodian society.
Check out all the photos here