David Beckham, buy Alex Ferguson and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are supporting Street Child World Cup which kicks off on Sunday 30th March in Rio de Janeiro.
The tournament, organised by the UK based charity Street Child World Cup in partnership with global charity Save the Children, involves 230 former street children aged 13-17 from across 19 countries to play in their own world cup in Rio, three months before the world cup in June.
David Beckham, supporting Street Child World Cup says, “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. I look forward to Rio 2014 when street children from around the world will play football and represent the millions of children who still live or work on our streets.”
The championship sees ten days of matches, an arts festival and a global conference run by the children themselves. The finals and closing ceremony will take place at the iconic Fluminense stadium in Brazil and will culminate with the Rio Rights Declaration. The declaration aims to secure lasting change for street children, ensuring that Street Child World Cup continues to be used as a platform for change once the participating children have returned to their own country.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu says, “The Street Child World Cup demonstrates the tremendous potential of every single child, and especially street children, who are so often treated as less than human. I urge all governments to guarantee the rights of this most marginalised group of their citizens to lives in which their promise is ful?lled.”
Sir Alex Ferguson echoes these thoughts saying, “No child should have to live on the streets and I fully endorse this campaign giving street children a voice to claim their rights”
Together with Save the Children, Street Child Wold Cup is calling on governments, businesses and the wider community to invest in front line responses, legislate and implement policies that protect street children and listen to street children so they are no longer blamed, ignored or victimised. A £5 donation can help transform street children into champions giving them the skills they need to escape the streets and be somebody. People can pledge their support at streetchildunited.org
The draw for the Street Child World Cup took place this week and was led by two local Rio children, Luiz and Douglas, who have both recently left the streets. Footballing legend Romerito of Paraguay, who played with Fluminense for many years, attended the draw.
Egypt will face Brazil in the first game of the boys’ tournament
Indonesia will face Brazil in the first game of the girls’ tournament
“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.”
“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.”