Homeless World Cup – Youth and Women’s Leadership Center



The Homeless World Cup Legacy Center in Santa Cruz, Brazil is a prototype facility utilizing football as a tool for empowerment and social change for women and youth. With the Homeless World Cup arriving in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in fall 2010, Architecture for Humanity, Homeless World Cup, and Nike teamed up with local partners Organização Civil de Ação Social (OCAS), and Instituto Bola Pra Frente (BPF) to establish a Legacy Center that would implement the Homeless World Cup influence beyond the week-long Tournament and Leadership Conference.

The Youth and Women’s Leadership center in Santa Cruz is the new home for Instituto Bola Pra Frente in Santa Cruz modeled after the non-profit’s successful program in Guadalupe, Rio de Janeiro. While the center in Guadalupe focuses services for youth and their families, the new center in Santa Cruz extends specific services to the greater community as well as providing meeting and classroom space available for OCAS and other community organizations. With the broad spectrum of services and users on site, the project layout is based on a gradation of public to private access, including strict access filters to achieve the ideal secure learning environment for the youth at Instituto Bola pra Frente.

Facility Program:

The site features a community street football pitch measuring 22m x 16m (donated by Greenfields), the new home for Homeless World Cup Brazil (OCAS) training and tournaments. The pitch acts as a playing and meeting surface and a visual magnet creating a hub for community interaction. Additional building and site space will be identified for retail of enterprise products. Facilities for players and the community include locker rooms, rest rooms, a community gathering space, and access to clean water. In order to reduce operating cost and greater resource impact, the project utilized local materials and methods, natural ventilation, shading, and cooling strategies as well as integrated rainwater collection and UV purification system to provide fresh water to the center and community.

Project Partners:

Instituto Bola Pra Frente, an initiative of world champion soccer Jorginho, was inaugurated on June 29, 2000. Situated in an area of 11.570m ², Bola Pra Frente serves children and adolescents in situations of social vulnerability, aged 6 to 17 years. In the search for a just social score, Bola Pra Frente offers the opportunity for social advancement through sports, education, art and culture and professional skills.

Organização Civil de Ação Social (OCAS), or “Civil Organization for Social Action,” aims to bring awareness to social issues through media outlets, including its publication “Hollow,” which is produced by volunteers and sold by people in social risk.

The Homeless World Cup Foundation uses football to encourage and energize people who are homeless to change their own lives. Currently it works with football programs in over 70 nations reaching 40,000 homeless players every year with an ambition to engage one million players with the benefits of football by 2012.


Social: The Youth and Women’s Leadership Center promotes social sustainability through the implementation of a community center focused on youth and women’s empowerment through leadership training, personal skills development, academic advancement, athletic training through involvement in team sports. The emphasis on education and leadership training uses football as the catalyst for change.
Design: This center is an inventive, flexible, replicable, and scalable solution for international communities lacking resources for women and youth.
• Resources: The center is an exemplary project exhibiting sustainable principles of energy efficiency, resource collection, and locally sourced materials.

PiLE Project – Plastic Tile Community Art Project.

PiLE project_Page_13_Image_0001

Rio Design Fellow Daniel Feldman worked with the Santa Cruz community to design and install PiLE Project – Plastic Tile Community Art Project on the site of the Homeless World Cup Legacy Center in Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Utilizing waste plastic bags from the community, Daniel and the community transformed the pitch’s backstop into a community canvas. It’s a perfect example of the power of community collaboration towards rich layers of empowerment and ownership.

Mobile Retail Kiosk – Homeless World Cup Brazil 2010

A prototype for a mobile sales unit was designed by Design Fellow Daniel Feldman to distribute the products of the enterprise and create additional job opportunities. The Mobile Retail Kiosk allows for products to be securely stored easily transported by humans and easily replicated and manufactured in locations around the world.

Media Coverage

  • Quadra é inaugurada em Santa Cruz, no Rio – UOL Esporte Futeball
  • Campeões mundiais de Futebol Social ‘plantam’ a esperança em Santa Cruz – Globo.com Globo Esporte
  • Seleção sem-teto ganha uma casa, em comunidade carente no Rio – UOL Esporte Futeball
  • Concurso Architecture for Humanity + Nike – University of the Andes

GameChangers Program


GameChangers is an initiative run by Architecture for Humanity with Nike Social Innovations. It is an open RFP to fund and build sports spaces that are successful catalysts for social change. The intention is not to play it safe (pun intended), but to support the raw innovation and creative spirit of projects that normally don’t often receive support from traditional grants. The fund would support multiple projects and match up to 70% of the building costs.

When selected, the local organization will work with Architecture for Humanity to utilize a matching grant fund established by Nike Inc. Additionally Architecture for Humanity will connect Community Partner with a professional design team to develop and refine their proposed facility. This fund will provide access to funding towards the cost of construction of the proposed project. Architecture for Humanity will provide construction oversight and will manage the funds during construction.

Community Partners will be required to demonstrate a minimum of 30% of the final estimated construction cost in the form of matching funds or in-kind contributions (such as land or donations). Nike, Architecture for Humanity and the Community Partner will work together to identify additional sources of matching funds if needed.

The Homeless World Cup Legacy Center was selected by the GameChangers evaluation committee as a project to be funded during the first round.


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