“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela
On the night of July 23, 1993 street children were attacked as they slept outside Candelária Cathedral in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Eight children died following the attack which was carried out mostly by Police officers. Candelária Cathedral was a place of refuge for these children, each of whom had suffered family tragedies that lead to them living on the streets. The Candelária massacre highlighted the grave dangers that street children across the world face and this is why we continue to challenge the negative perception of these children that can lead to such horrific abuse.
Each year on July 23 street children’s organisations and civil society groups in Brazil hold commemorative events to remember the children of Candelária and all the vulnerable street children whom they continue to represent. Street Child World Cup is taking the opportunity in the run up to the 2014 World Cup to join them and to mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre. We will remember those who died and remind ourselves that we must do more to protect the most vulnerable children within society.
The eight children who died were: Paulo Roberto de Oliveira (11), “Gambazinho” (17), Marcelo Cândido de Jesus (14), Leandro de Conceicão Santos (17), Valdevino Miguel de Almeida (14), Paulo José da Silva (18), Marcos Antônio Alves da Silva (19), Anderson de Oliveira Pereira (13).
No child should have to live on the streets.
(Leaflet courtesy of http://www.ciespi.org.br/ )
“When ever people come across me they laugh. It seems like my mouth is zipped because they talk for us. I wish they could give us a chance to talk for ourselves.”
“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 experienced hardcore street life in my youth. I know what it’s like. I congratulate the Street Child World Cup project in it’s commitment to bring attention to the plight of Street Children through the power of football.”