24 October 2014 could have been just another regular work day for Antônio Carlos da Silva, social worker and coach to Team Brazil boys, if it wasn’t for the incessant calls from each one of the team members and the excited nervousness in O Pequeno Nazareno’s offices in Fortaleza, North East Brazil.
Antônio Carlos said the boys had been calling him several times during that week and even that day to confirm timings and to understand the plans for the most awaited event of the past few months: the premiere of the Road to Rio documentary.
Road to Rio produced by Gravy Media captures the lives and dreams of the boys each with unique stories but a common journey leaving the streets behind. It portrayed their playful side and their tough childhoods while offering glimpses of their lives during and after Street Child World Cup. It serves as a testament to the positive future every street child has when given the right support. On the day of the premiere these boys could hardly wait to see themselves on the big screen.
O Pequeno Nazareno received 160 guests at Casa Amarela, a movie theatre owned my the Federal University of Ceará. Unfortunately part of the team could not be present. Amongst those that could not make it were Vinícius, his dad and brother. The three of them were trapped inside their own home in a very dangerous community of Fortaleza during a shooting breakout that very evening.
The screening had to proceed, even though 4 team members and stars of that evening could not be there. ‘Now that you mention it, I am really anxious’ said Dario when I asked him if he was excited to watch the outcomes of all those months of filming. Dario is 17 years-old and is about to finish middle school while working as a trainee at Interfrios, a local business in Fortaleza that exports seafood.
‘I became famous!’ said Marcio, laughing. Marcio lives close to a landfill and in his early years was abused by his father. He dreams of being a football player and goes to school in the mornings. When asked if he is working, he says he isn’t ‘but I am playing football, which I really like’.
‘I could have never imagined listening to people speaking all sorts of different languages around me – It was like the movies!’ said William, 15, when I asked him what he thought of Street Child World Cup. William was the Captain of the Team, currently studying in the mornings and working night-shifts at McDonald’s. His dream is to be a chef in a great restaurant.
For these boys and the rest of their team the documentary was proof of a beautiful experience they had with other 220 kids from all over the world. Moreover, it celebrates their right to be treated and seen as somebody.
‘Street Child World Cup fulfilled my desire to represent street children from all over the world’ said Dario to the audience after the screening of the documentary. ‘Thank you O Pequeno Nazareno and Street Child World Cup for enabling this’.
Article written by Elisa Lamego.
O Pequeno Nazareno is one of Street Child United’s partner projects in Brazil. Located in Fortaleza, it also has a shelter in Recife and assist 110 children and families members in both cities. Team Brazil boys was represented by 9 boys from O Pequeno Nazareno.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”