National partner profile: Philippines

Street Soccer Philippines

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Street Soccer Philippines is an affiliate of The Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation, a Christian organisation that works to help poor communities. Street Soccer Philippines are in charge of organising the Philippines’ national homeless team. They want to use the power of sport to contribute to improved education, housing, financial stability, employability, and social and cultural capital of their participants.

The first Philippines’ team took part in the Homeless World Cup 2008 in Melbourne. Street Soccer Philippines, with the support of The Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation, organised their first national tournament in 2009. The annual national tournament became a platform from which to select the players to represent the Philippines in the Homeless World Cup.

According to Street Soccer Philippines’ statistics:
• 38% of their players improved their housing situation
• 71% significantly changed their lives
• 83% improved their social relations
• 32% entered education.

Their partner organisation, The Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation, is registered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Besides helping Street Soccer Philippines coordinate the activities related to the Homeless World Cup, they also publish a street newspaper The Jeepney, which is a part of the International Network of Street Papers.

Player profiles & Stories

Mission statement


Street Soccer Philippines aim to address differing levels of homelessness and poverty from various areas of the country through the promotion of street soccer. In the process of becoming a team, individuals develop a renewed sense of purpose, which enables them to transcend their present circumstances in order to build better lives for themselves.

“Some of the world’s greatest football players were poor. They all grew up in the slums. Street kids really play with more heart.” Rudy del Rosario, Team Philippines Director 2010

Goals for the future

Capacity Expansion

To organize a street soccer programme in at least six provinces coming from three major areas in the Philippines

Social Inclusion

To reach marginalised people in the Philippines through the power of sport and raise awareness nationwide

Women's Programmes

To set up a women’s programme

Additional information

Partner since


Football Activities

Regular training sessions, and running tournaments, such as Tacloban and Boracay Street Soccer Challenge

Team selection

Eight players and up to four reserve players for a men’s team are selected at the national tournament

Non-football services

Access to education and employment

Participants challenges

Extreme poverty, orphanhood, broken family links, unemployment, and a lack of access to education

Organisation challenges

There are a large number of homeless people in the Philippines; the typhoon Haiyan in 2013 increased the numbers, adding even more pressure on the programme.

Country challenges

The Philippines has one of the highest birth rates in South East Asia (New Statestman, 2014). Besides poverty and overpopulation, a major problem is regular natural disasters. Typhoon Haiyan, the most destructive in Filipino history, made four million people homeless in 2013 and a year after, a million of them were still living in tents and makeshift huts (Sky News, 2014).

Homlessness definition

According to the Philippines’ Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992, the term "underprivileged and homeless citizens" refers to individuals or families residing in urban and urbanized areas, whose income or combined household income falls within the national poverty threshold, and who do not own any housing facilities. This includes those who live in makeshift dwelling units and do not enjoy tenure security.

Homelessness Statistics

A quarter of the population lives below the national poverty line (World Bank, 2012). It is estimated that around 44% of the urban population live in slums (UN Habitat, 2008). The capital, Manila, has the largest homeless population of any city in the world - 3.1 million. An estimated 1.2 million children in the Philippines sleep rough, with 70,000 in Manila (IBT, 2014).

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