18 June 2014

Me, Les Murray and The World Game

Hey! The world cup is on! And it's Refugee Week.  Wouldn't it be awesome if the truth about our appalling violation of human rights got as much coverage as losing footballers swimming nude?

Anyway - don't stop reading.  Yes I did literally cry yesterday when Labor voted not to oppose off shore processing.  I was so very hopeful that finally we'd see some leadership and decency in our government.  You'd think I'd learn.  But I'm not writing about that! So chill.... 

And I'm not going to go on about the 1023 #kidslikemine in detention or the fact that generally the world thinks we're a country of arses for the way we treat asylum seekers and quite frankly - they're right.  

Les mayyyyyte
I'm going to write about FOOTBALL.  What my good friend* Les Murray calls 'the world game'.  

And more specifically - I'm going to tell you about ASYLUM SNEAKERS.  See what they did there?

Because it's a brilliant example about how people who genuinely want to welcome refugees, asylum seekers and new immigrants look for ways to make that welcome warm and practical.

So FOOTBALL (which is so hot right now) is a great leveller.  Anybody of any gender can play it and it doesn't seem that hard.  And I say that never having played it - but both my younger brothers think that FOOTBALL (or soccer as we like to call it here) is like the best thing in the world.  Sometimes I'm not sure whether they rate football or their beautiful wives more highly and I'm definitely not asking the question during World Cup Fever.

Football is about community, about friendship and about being really good at bouncing a ball on your knee.  It gives children an opportunity to meet other children, practice their English and share an interest that transcends language, race, religion and people that think Justin Beiber is his own kind of special. 

Asylum Sneakers is a program just launched by Welcome to Australia that basically funds football boots and sports shoes for children in the refugee and asylum seeker families currently living in limbo in Australia.  Since we won't let the parents work and they have to be supported by not for profits - they tend to focus on trivial things like rent, food, clothes and education for their children.  

Asylum Sneakers is such a positive initiative and it totally underpins this year's Refugee Week theme which is Restoring Hope.  Such a simple way of making a profound and long lasting difference.  

But let my good friend, the refugee, Les Murray tell you more about it here: 

And then you can go here to take part:

Or you could just share this blog or the link or the video with everybody you know.  Because if we nail this - we're WORLD CUP winners regardless of what the boys do in Brazil.  

Viva la Football.  

*I've never met Les Murray but I bet we'd be totes BFFs.  We've got loads in common.  Like football. And two daughters.  And talking.  

** This is not a sponsored post.  You know I think Australia's approach to refugees and asylum seekers is revolting and a national shame.  I am supporting this because not everybody is an arse and this is a wonderful way of demonstrating support and being nice.  


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