The eldest of three children, Langeng (pictured above) came from a family that was too poor to send him to school. He was devastated and would likely have followed in his mother’s footsteps – sifting through garbage to find items to sell on the street – if not for the intervention of Cambodian Children’s Fund, which provided him with an education and enabled him to discover his passion for sport.
Langeng played for Team Cambodia in the 2014 Homeless World Cup in Santiago, Chile when he was 17. Afterwards, Langeng was promoted to the position of coach for the Under-14s team.
“I will return to the Homeless World Cup,” he says, “but this time as a coach with the next generation of players who will go there to change how they see themselves and who will change their lives for the better too.”
To escape her problems in Uganda, Zamu Nabwami arrived in the UK in 2015. After initially living in hostel accommodation in London, she was moved to Newport, South Wales. Zamu wanted to find a way to make friends in a new country and tackle her depression and loneliness. She saw an advert for Street Football Wales and, despite never having played football before, decided she had nothing to lose.
Zamu trained hard and her efforts were rewarded when she was picked to play for Wales in the 2016 women’s squad. Now 27 and living in her own flat in Newport, Zamu set up Street Football Wales’ first participant-led asylum-seeker squad. She’s secured a place to study a degree in nursing and has ambitions to become a paramedic.
The crowds at the 2016 Homeless World Cup in Glasgow were captivated by Eman Sulaeman’s heroics between the sticks for Indonesia. He doesn’t let the fact that he was born without feet hold him back.