World Cup 2014: How Oliver Giroud and Emilio Izaguirre Make a Difference
Bread for the World's World Cup series will use the occasion of the Cup to focus on the great advances many of the participating countries and players have made in fighting hunger and poverty. Each day, until the end of the tournament, we will highlight a country, or an individual player, that is making a difference.
By Bianca Brown
Sunday June 15: Switzerland v. Ecuador; France v. Honduras
As the World Cup enters the final matchups of the group stage matches, fans are eager to see which teams emerge as champions. Today, Switzerland and Ecuador will face off, as will France and Honduras. While many athletes see the Cup as a chance to prove their fortitude as elite athletes, many others are see it as a test of their faith and determination.
Oliver Giroud, of Switzerland, and Emilio Izaguirre, of Honduras, are two players who walk by faith, both on and off the field. Both have spoken of their love of God, as well as their experiences with severe poverty during their youth, and how soccer became a tool to help them emerge from their humble conditions and their passion for God, these athletes are helping their nations lead the way towards progress against hunger and poverty.
In Switzerland, the percentage of households living in poverty is approximately 7.9 percent. It is also working to alleviate poverty, create universal education opportunities, foster gender equality and further agricultural and economic development in other countries. By making changes in how the country approaches food security and improved human welfare programs, Switzerland’s fans are supporting the transition to a brighter future.
Honduras is home to 1.1 million people, many of them living in severe poverty. According to recent data, the percentage of households in Honduras living in poverty comprised 66.5 percent of the population, with as high as 40 percent living in extreme poverty. However, with issues of poverty and hunger as priorities, Honduras has the potential to reconstruct and advance its social values through local and government contributions. In the midst of devastation, Izaguirre grew to be one of the most famous names in football and yet “maintains a faith that is displayed every time he takes to the pitch, with a salute to the heavens.” The possibility of a hunger-free world is evident in the faith and commitment of these athletes.
Bianca Brown is an intern in Bread for the World's communications department and a senior at Georgia's Wesleyan College.
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