On Thursday 14 November, the Emirates stadium – home of Premier League leaders Arsenal played host to the Street Child World Cup. Around 500 Street Child World Cup supporters were united for a night dedicated to the rights and dreams of street children. The evening raised an incredible £105,000 for the work of the charity which is a record for a Street Child World Cup dinner. Guests included the Premier League, Arsenal footballer Alex Scott, former Manchester United player Quinton Fortune, record-label Hospital Records and comedians David Baddiel and Alexei Sayle. The event was made possible through the support of Born to Be, Deutsche Bank’s youth engagement programme and Street Smart.
Check out this 3 minute film from the evening
Street Child World Cup Chief Executive John Wroe:
“Having so many SCWC supporters at the Emirates made it feel like a “home game” for us. The support they gave us was incredible. We were honoured to have 6 of the leaders our teams in attendance too. As I walked round the Emirates Stadium and saw the Arsenal legends – Bergkamp and Brady, McClintock and Charlie George, I realised that we have our own legends. If there were a Hall of Fame for the Street Child World Cup – our amazing inspiring project leaders would have been inducted that night.”
TV presenter Andy Akinwolere who was at the inaugural Street Child World Cup in 2010 gave a moving account of his memories from South Africa, what the event meant to him and the difference it made to the street children who took part. Host and trustee of the charity Judy Reith ambitiously challenged the room to raise £50,000 and the perfect start was made when Comedian Ian Stone hosted a very entertaining game of Heads or Tails, which helped raise over £4,000 towards the target. Who knew that wombat droppings were cubed? Lucky winner Kate Hodgkinson from the Premier League certainly did!
With the artists from the Street Child World Cup anthem I am Somebody in attendance it was fitting to end the evening on this note. This in fact was the message throughout the evening from street children around the world: “I am somebody”. As one supporter put it the following morning: “Cycling past the Emirates, in crisp cold sunlight, I swear you can still here the incessant chant – ‘Hey, I am Somebody’”.
“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.”
“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.”
“No child should have to live on the streets and I fully endorse this campaign giving street children a voice to claim their rights”