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Homeless World Cup 2012: Helping to tackle HIV in Indonesia

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Homeless World Cup 2012: Helping to tackle HIV in Indonesia

In this year's Homeless World Cup, 5 of the Indonesian team were HIV positive, but football programmes are helping to support Indonesians living with HIV and AIDS.

Indonesian Homeless World Cup player Bongsu Hasibuan has dedicated his goal of the tournament, a superb overhead bicycle kick, to his friend and former team mate who passed away at home that same morning. Wearing black armbands to mark the passing of their friend, team Indonesia played and won against Czech Republic on 12 October 2012, in a superb display of entertaining and technical football.

In the Indonesian team that played in the 2012 tournament, five players are HIV positive, mostly resulting from intravenous drug use. One player, Arif Apriadi, is currently getting himself off methadone after a long history of addiction to heroin. He decided to reduce his dosage in the lead up to the Homeless World Cup and wants to stop completely. His decision not only demonstrates his own personal strength but also shows how much playing in the Homeless World Cup means to him.

He’s the real winner,” says team staff member, Feddy Arhemsyah. “Arif really wants to change his life. He can play football really well.

Arif, and many others involved in football programmes, receive support from treatment centres located throughout Indonesia. Playing a co-ordination role, is Rumah Cemara, a national organisation that works to overcome drug addiction, support people with HIV/AIDS and tackle social stigma associated with the virus.

Recently, Rumah Cemara has expanded their football component with the commencement of the League of Change, a tournament that brings together teams from treatment centres and very poor areas across Indonesia. The tournament provides an opportunity for players to represent their province and be selected to play for the national team at the Homeless World Cup.

The opportunity to play for your country is a strong motivator, but like Arif, it is the players themselves that decide to their change lives – that victory is theirs and theirs alone. 

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team. Visit the Homeless World Cup website to read the original article.]

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Homeless World Cup

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Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 23:00