National partner profile: Romania


Fotbal De Strada work with street children and youth, disadvantaged people, and those suffering from substance abuse. Currently they only work with men and boys, but they are hoping to set up a women’s programme.


Timisoara and other locations in the west of Romania

Clubul Sportiv Fotbal De Strada Metanoia


Clubul Sportiv Fotbal De Strada Metanoia (Metanoia Street Football Sports Club) use sports, particularly football, to enable street children, those suffering from substance abuse, and other marginalised people to gain the benefits that sports can bring – such as becoming part of a team, increased self-confidence, and learning how to interact with others.
To be a good football player and team member, self-control and discipline are essential, and Fotbal De Strada believe that by developing these qualities on the pitch, players can also make progress in other areas of their lives.

The national ambassador of Fotbal De Strada is Cătălin Măruță, a famous Romanian TV presenter. Besides offering general support to the Team Romania, he helped Fotbal De Strada organise the European Street Football Championship in 2014.

In particular, they focus on the reintegration of street children and youth who come from unstable backgrounds and are severely affected by the violence they encounter on the streets. Street children are vulnerable to substance abuse (particularly inhalants such as glue or paint thinner). They often engage in begging or prostitution out of necessity, and are prone to antisocial behaviour and youth delinquency.
Romania is home to tens of thousands of street children who grow up to become homeless youth, and eventually adults. Fotbal De Strada draw on more than 10 years’ experience reintegrating socially excluded individuals into society and tackle this problem through a holistic, early-intervention approach. Football is an integral part of their strategy, as it teaches discipline and values such as teamwork and fairness, which helps street children and youth rebuild their lives and ultimately find employment and a home.
Regular football sessions and attendance to different tournaments cover the sports side of the programme, but the organisation also aim to build a strong community and a sense of belonging by setting up holiday camps and organising birthday parties. In addition, they provide for basic needs by offering sandwiches, hot meals, and cups of tea, particularly during the hard winters. They also provide a basic level of shelter.
The organisation is set up as a non-profit under Romanian law, and they are sustained through sponsors such as Fundatia Vodafone Romania.

Player profiles & Stories

Mission statement


Clubul Sportiv Fotbal De Strada Metanoia aim to offer alternative social integration to street children, disadvantaged people, and those suffering from substance abuse. T
heir slogan is “UN MECI, O COPA, O VIATA… NU O PIERDE!” (One match, one cup, one life… Don’t lose it!) which highlights the power that sport can have in giving marginalised people the opportunity to regain control over their lives. However many matches, there is only one life, and that is the ultimate prize.

However many matches, there is only one life, and that is the ultimate prize.

Goals for the future


To build a new social apartment in order to provide more accommodation and to build a Day Centre for street children

Infrastructure Development

To obtain a cover for their football pitch in order to be able to play all year round

Programme Development

To promote street football in Romania and participate in different social events

Additional information

Football Activities

The organisation run regular football sessions, organize football tournaments for different groups throughout the year, and take part in regional tournaments with nearby countries.

Non-football services

They offer shelter, shower facilities, and meals to their participants. They occasionally offer opportunities to try out other sports, such as table tennis or volleyball. There are also small-scale social enterprise activities, including car and carpet washing.

Participants challenges

Participants are primarily street children and youth affected by violence and substance abuse.

Organisation challenges

Harsh winters make it difficult to keep playing throughout the year and are also the time when street children have an increased need for a warm place to take shelter.

Country challenges

Bucharest has expansive underground sewers, which provides shelter to many homeless people, including a large number of people suffering from substance abuse (Viralnova, 2014). Most are young people who escaped from orphanages and have found shelter underground (Deutsche Welle, 2013). Romania further faces challenges regarding the Roma minority, who are often subject to forced evictions and demolitions, as well as discrimination in general (Amnesty International, 2013). In 2011, approximately 22.2% of the country’s population lived below the poverty line (CIA World Factbook).

Homlessness definition

Homeless people are individuals or families who, due to social, medical, financial, economic or juridical reasons, or because of force majeure, live on the streets, or temporarily with friends or acquaintances, are unable to maintain rented housing or are at risk of eviction, or they live in institutions or prisons from which they are to be discharged within two months and don’t have a place to live when they leave (Law 292/2011).

Homelessness Statistics

There is no national homelessness data collection strategy in Romania. The only study was conducted in 2004, when the homeless population was estimated 14,000 to 15,000 people (FEANTSA, 2012). In Bucharest alone, there were approximately 6,000 homeless people, including 1,000 children (Deutsche Welle, 2013).

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