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  • Asylum FC
  • Asylum FC

Asylum FC

SKU: SG656
    Tawanda Karasa and Samuel 'The General' Mandaba are two young men who grew up in the squatter settlement of Hatcliffe, which is located about twenty-five kilometres from Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. They worked to bring hope and education to the many slum-dwellers who were falling victim to the tedium of life in poverty. They started Street Soccer, a social program using football as a mechanism for educating young people about human rights, health and social problems. It was an immediate success. The program drew large numbers, but it also caught the attention of local members of the ruling party, Zanu-PF. As supporters of the opposition party, Tawanda, The General and many of the young people involved in the program were seen as a threat to the regime. The men and their families suffered persecution.

    Yet political persecution did not destroy their soccer dreams. Tawanda and The General selected a national street soccer team from the players in their program to compete in the Homeless World Cup. The Homeless World Cup is an annual tournament celebrating social change and which aims to raise a global awareness of homelessness and poverty.

    In 2008, the tournament was held in Melbourne and the Zimbabwean team left their wives, children and families to travel to the other side of the world to play the game they love. While in Melbourne, all the players made a life-changing decision to seek asylum in Australia and not return home. With the help of asylum seeker and refugee advocacy groups they embarked on the often rocky and painful journey of the modern asylum seeker in Australia.

    Asylum FC follows the journey of this extraordinary group of men from the Zimbabwean slums to the streets of Melbourne, on a quest for a new life and a safe haven from one of the most violent regimes on earth. The filmmakers document the men's decision to seek asylum in Melbourne, the daunting process of acquiring permanent residency and the bureaucracy of immigration. The men's first year in Australia coincides with continuous turmoil and instability in their homeland. Having secured their freedom, they watch from afar as their families cope with a deepening political crisis and the outbreak of cholera. The men struggle with the separation from their families and try in desperation to raise the money needed to bring their families to Australia. Soccer remains the one lifeline and skill they can always fall back on. For the Asylum Football Club, the dream of freedom is realised; however, the reality of a new life presents many challenges they could not ever have imagined.

    This study guide to accompany Asylum FC, a documentary produced by Renegade and Maiden Films, has been written for junior, middle and senior secondary students. It provides information and suggestions for learning activities in English, Geography, International Politics, Legal Studies, Media, Religion and Society, SOSE/HSIE, VCE VET Community Services and curriculum projects discussing the issue of asylum seekers.

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