Slum Soccer, Nagpur, India

Slum Soccer aims to foster sustainable development and long term solutions to the disadvantaged communities of India. Started in the late 1990’s, the idea of Slum Soccer was born from seeing two young boys playing with a broken bucket in the rain. The sheer joy they got from kicking this old bucket between them highlighted the benefits of sport and inspired the founder to gift a football to a few of the slums in the surrounding areas. He returned a few weeks later to arrange an informal tournament and the organisation grew from there. 
Two of the founding philosophies of Slum Soccer are centred around “Football is fun!” and “Football for All”; they use soccer to encourage community inclusion and overcome barriers facing the marginalised populations of India. The homeless and slum communities are facing a variety of complex issues, such sexual and domestic abuse, unemployment, alcoholism, drug usage, malnutrition, mental health issues and disengagement from the education sector. They believe that sport and football inherently offer a transferrable set of skills for social development, through team building, acceptance and discipline. They provide positive role models and a place to develop and enjoy one’s self.
In 2002 they introduced football coaching to increase the amount of contact time with the kids, asked by the parents who were happy to find a safe activity to keep their children occupied. In 2006 they introduced social programmes, using football as a tool for education. They teach life skills, including health, hygiene and sanitation, gender equality, sexual health and financial skills. In 2010 they introduced women’s only teams with specific life skills topics to encourage female empowerment. They also run seminars for parents in their children’s development and in financial skills to help them support their families.

To return to the core of what they do, they then set up a football training Academy in Nagpur and now coach ‘rising stars’ from all over India. 
Today they have two main offices in Nagpur and Chennai and operate over 9 cities in multiple locations across India. They have four core programmes:
  • Health Camps – providing life skills training to marginalised communities and promoting healthy living and fitness
  • Youth Leaders – training young people to become football coaches
  • Rising Stars – developing football talent at the Academy
  • Edu-Kick – working with local schools to use football to teach curriculum subjects 
In addition they work with many partners and donors, running individual community engagement projects. 

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