Street Child World Cup would like to say a huge congratulations to newlyweds Joe and Frances Williams. Although we are not in the business of matchmaking (perhaps we should be!), we are delighted that a shared experience in Durban 2010 helped to bring them together, and hope that theirs is the first in a long line of Street Child World Cup weddings! Here is their story:
“Joe, a born and bred Guildford boy, heard about Umthombo a number of years ago and felt God leading him to find out more about the project. Two years later, he finally managed to get out to Durban and spent a month working with Umthombo. Naturally when he heard that SCWC would be happening in 2010, he volunteered to go back to Durban to help at the event. Fran, a born and bred Durban girl, had also been involved with Umthombo before 2010, leading her to volunteer for the arts team of SCWC. On the first night that all the teams were together in the Star Seaside children’s home, there was a huge celebration and Fran was asked to play the piano for a game being played in the hall. Joe sidled over, face plastered with a brightly painted South African flag in support for his team – Durban, naturally! – and started chatting to Fran. And so began a fun friendship for the duration of SCWC, which naturally grew into a Facebook friendship on Joe’s departure. But, as with many Facebook friendships, no conversation was actually had for the next year!
In 2011 Fran was planning a trip to England to visit some friends and family, and Joe happened to drop her a line on Facebook. It was a year on from SCWC and really, he couldn’t get Fran out of his mind! She told him about the trip, and they planned to meet up. Joe and his brother took her and a friend out for a wonderful day at Durdle Door in Dorset, and a fantastic Jamie Cullum concert at Kew Gardens. They parted ways, still friends and nothing more…but then Joe planned another Durban trip a couple of months later to help out at Umthombo again. During this time, the friendship blossomed into romance. It just so happened that Fran had dreamed of studying an MA in the UK for years, and this now seemed to be the perfect timing to pursue it!
So, at the beginning of 2012, Fran moved from sunny SA to rainy England, and the two started to date. On 26 August 2012, Joe took Fran back to Durdle Door where he had taken her in 2011, and he asked her to marry him on the moonlit, cliff-lined beach accompanied by fireworks and champagne! She said yes, of course, and they began to plan their wedding in the place where it all began – fair KwaZulu Natal. The wedding was on 6 April 2013 in the garden of Fran’s family’s holiday home in Ramsgate, South Africa.”
By Frances Williams
“No child should have to live on the streets and I fully endorse this campaign giving street children a voice to claim their rights”
“It was a privilege to be invited to the launch of the Street Child World Cup at Downing Street. It gives children a voice through football, sales a platform to express their rights and celebrate their abilities – I’m proud to add my support.”
“I know from personal experience just what power football can have to inspire and change young people’s lives whatever their background or nationality. This is what the Street Child World Cup is all about and I give it my full support.”