Arts festival shows SCWC is more than just a game

Brazil is famous for a great number of things, but high up the list is a flare for football and vibrant, colourful culture. Here at the Street Child World Cup we’ve had it all, watching some fantastic sport by day and taking part in a world of art by evening at our very own Fringe Festival.

Throughout the Street Child World Cup the Street Champions have been joined together post-match to paint, create and make. The results are not just beautiful and entertaining, but also they show how the Street Child World Cup is more than just a game. Megan Wroe, Arts Coordinator at Street Child World Cup, thinks the Fringe has even gone as far as to impact on the game itself:

“Art has the power to transcend language barriers and this has really been the case at the Fringe. The children have had so much fun, laughing and making friendship bracelets, choosing colours for each other and painting together. Then when it comes to match time, the teams are still coming together in a way unrecognisable from the norms competitive sport.”

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As well as providing some much-needed down time for our international athletes, the Fringe workshop are also helped the children to learn invaluable skills. Lívia Diniz, one of the artistic directors of the opening and closing ceremonies, explains what art can teach us:

“Creativity and group work are motors to life. Every day we need to be creative to deal with people. We need to materialize things. It´s a way to practice every day life in a light way, in a comforting atmosphere.”

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The visit to Vidigal showed the children how the arts are embraced by the children in Brazil. Not only were they blown away by the capoeira dancing, wall-painting and song of Brazilian culture, but they also learnt some invaluable lessons, as Renato Rocha, trip organiser and Street Child World Cup’s charismatic Artistic Director, explain.

“The children from Nós do Morro are an incredible example for the Street Champions. Over the past 30 years children from the theater worked on their art and avoided the dangers facing children, not only in the favela, but all over the world. Drugs, gangs, crime. Many went from Nós do Morro to work in the arts, as actors, directors, and artists, and this is something I think the children really learnt on their visit.”

The atmosphere was electric at the Street Child World Cup for the exhilarating final and closing ceremony at the Estádio das Laranjeiras aSeven days of football and art reached their climax, as the 2014 Street Champions took the stage one last time to tell the world – I am Somebody.

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  • “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.”

    Manny Pacquiao, Filipino professional boxer
  • “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.”

    Mbali, 15, Durban
  • “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.”

    Wilson Palacios, Stoke City and Honduras Midfielder