Read on for a great blog from Laura Youngson, who with two QPR coaches is spending this week with SCWC partners in Mwanza, Tanzania.
“Little by little we will change the lives of street children.” Mutani Yangwe, founder and executive director.
“I’m watching the must-see game this Sunday in Mwanza, Tanzania: TSC Academy vs. Nyamagana Utd. The teams are 1 and 2 at the top of the table and a win for TSC today would mean they are one step closer to playing in Division Three.
We’re watching with two coaches from QPR who are getting ready for a week of coaching. This is SCWC’s pilot project in conjunction with the Premier League: taking coaches from the PremierKickz programme in the UK and bringing them to the Tanzania Street Children Sports Academy and Centre to train up new coaches to work in the projects.
Before kick off, we met half of the lucky 25 people who are going to be taking part in the week long programme. Some are former street children (survivors), some are teachers in the local primary schools and crucially, some are members of the police who are engaging in the street children project for the first time.
The participants were greeted by Mutani, director of the Street Children Centre and there was a sense of anticipation as they listened to what the week would entail. Although a lot of them are Manchester Utd supporters, they were honoured to meet the QPR coaches and ready to start learning tomorrow. Gareth Dixon from QPR said, “whilst we’re here to teach, we’re also here to learn from you and understand more about the situation on the ground.”
Dennis, one of the participants in the 2010 World Cup, is going to be taking part in the training. For someone who spent a lot of time on the streets growing up, this represents a huge step and potentially the opportunity to become a football coach at the end of it.
Back on the pitch, the match was unfolding and TSC Academy had taken a 2-0 lead at half-time. 3 players from the South Africa tournament were playing including the striker and the right-back. Later in the week, we’ll catch up with them to find out about their lives post-2010.
As Mutani said, little by little is how things will change and little by little the situation is changing. Even small opportunities like training to become a football coach can make a big difference here in Mwanza. Bring on the training…”
“No child should have to live on the streets. I commend the Street Child World Cup for providing a platform for the rights of street children to be heard.”
“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.”