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World Street News

 Street News Service 20 May 2019

(Originally published: 05/2010) The ‘SNS Exclusive’ feature ‘World Street News’ draws upon the unique resources available to the SNS to bring you the latest stories on social justice issues from around the world. (673 words) - Street News Service

World Street News

One of South Africa's homeless population (Photo courtesy of The Big Issue South Africa)

An alternative World Cup

With the World Cup approaching, two British football fans have decided to host an alternative event in the name of charity.  Edinburgh-based Chris Gibson and Colin Perry are organising The World Cup Challenge, a 5-a-side football tournament aiming to raise money for the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.  Starfish is an international charity with a UK base, dedicated to providing a future for children in South Africa whose lives have been affected by the AIDS pandemic.  "Without organisations like Starfish, this would be a lost generation in South Africa," says Chris. "It's a beautiful and a special country but not without serious problems. The gap between rich and poor is very apparent, but then, football is supposed to bring people together."  The tournament is scheduled to take place on June 28th at the Idas Valley Soccer Ground in Stellenbosch, not far from Cape Town.  The football-loving pair are inviting local and national companies as well as individuals to sponsor their efforts. Full details of sponsorship and participation are available at www.theworldcupchallenge.com. (Courtesy of The World Cup Challenge)

 

Finding peace of mind in a dear green place

After years of telling us that mental health issues can be sorted by pills and tablets, expert opinion is changing. The UK's Forestry Commission and National Health Service have joined forces to form the revolutionary Branching Out programme. The scheme helps patients in Glasgow with mental health problems get to know nature, recognising that fresh air and exercise can be hugely beneficial to their treatment and progress. Tai chi, woodcraft skills and chatting round a camp fire are just some of the methods helping patients to build their confidence and get their lives back. Dr Deenesh Khoosal, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London, says, "It has long been known in psychiatric services that simple things in life can play a very positive role in making us feel better… [Being in the outdoors] changes how people approach themselves, it almost has a neutralising effect on their aggression, violence or mental health problems." (Courtesy of The Big Issue in Scotland)

 

Mother City makeover - are homeless people being forced out?

With less than six weeks until the 2010 FIFA World Cup kickoff, Cape Town - South Africa's mother city - is in the final throes of an extreme makeover. But does making the city pretty for World Cup visitors mean removing 'unsightly' homeless adults and street kids too? In Johannesburg, stories which suggest exactly that are emerging, with the human rights group Solidarity Peace Trust reporting that Zimbabwean refugees have been targeted under the city's 'zero-tolerance' cleanup campaign. Prostitutes, beggars and street vendors are allegedly also being targeted by the Johannesburg Metro police. Cape Town hasn't sidestepped the media storm either - there's been a frenzy of foreign media reports on allegations that the City of Cape Town is forcibly relocating street people to settlements such as "Blikkiesdorp" (tin-town). Despite all allegations, officials deny that recent events are connected to the upcoming sporting event. (Courtesy of The Big Issue South Africa)

 

Soldiers attack homeless camp

On April 10, a gang of men went hunting.  Their prey?  One of Ohio's homeless population.  When they were finished, John Johnson needed 18 stitches in his head, and his girlfriend was in fear for her life. The brutality of the attack was shocking in itself - but even more so was the fact that three of the four suspects are soldiers in the U.S. Army. "I was awakened by four young men telling me to exit the property," the victim says. "As I was complying with them, they started beating me with pipes and bats upside the head and up and down the left side of my body." Johnson's description of the assailants made them sound like skinheads - racist thugs whose trademark is a shaved head.  These short haircuts turned out to be a symbol of military service. Johnson participated in a recent press conference, after the Homeless Coalition waited nearly two weeks to publicise the attack. (Courtesy of Streetvibes)

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