Rio’s Street Children celebrate a Day of Inclusion

In Cemasi, treatment a pitch located in the community of Caracol, the voices and music were loud!

In order to celebrate the International Day for Street Children, Team Brazil Girls and Street Child United hosted an entertaining and relaxed day of football, dance, graffiti and – most importantly, according to many – churrasco (Portuguese for barbecue) in the community of Caracol, part of Penha’s complex in the North Zone of Rio.

The excitement was visible in each kid’s eyes. The few planned short matches weren’t enough to tame their fiery energy and most started taking turns to eat lunch and keep the game going. They were only persuaded to drop the ball when the hip hop and funk music started playing and the dance instructor showed them a few steps. It did not take them long to form a tight circle and battle each other with their swift and groovy moves. Measuring by the laughter and squeaky screams, it was pure joy!
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Simultaneously, the kids took the opportunity to contribute with the freshly painted I AM SOMEBODY themed graffiti mural. A football, two girls, Penha’s church and some artsy favela drawings in full and lots of colour were complemented by a ‘Pinte seu sonho’ (Paint your dream) saying. A clear invitation for them to leave their own mark which led most to write their biggest dream written on that wall: their names and the hope it carries. Their signatures are there for everyone to see and represent their confidence in a better life and future.
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It wouldn’t be a genuine Team Brazil girls’ event if it did not end in some football. Lead by Jessica and Dhryka, coaches to the Team, the final session mixed kids, supporters and volunteers – all in a bundle of fair and fun play.

It was the first time Favela Street, AMAR and São Martinho projects had the opportunity to spend a day together. Each one of the seventy children had a message and – united – they screamed louder: I AM SOMEBODY.

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  • “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
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    Abdul Faquir, Team Mozambique, Project Leader
  • “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