QPR coaches return to Tanzania to improve the lives of street children

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“People don’t always realise just how powerful football is. It’s the one sport that can break down barriers anywhere. If we can use it to pass on to others and develop them and leave a legacy then that’s what we want to continue to do.” Martino Chevannes, prostate Community Trust Manager

In June, buy coaches from Queens Park Rangers in the Community Trust travelled back to Tanzania with Street Child United for the second part of a ground breaking project using football to engage with street and vulnerable children. The project represents an important legacy from the 2014 Street Child World Cup for our Tanzanian partners, Caretakers of the Environment (COET) and Street Child World Cup 2014 champions, Team Tanzania.

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Martino Chevannes, Community Trust Manager and Pablo Blackwood, Community Development Officer returned to Mwanza – Tanzania’s second biggest city – to deliver a number of workshops both on and off the pitch.

The programme, funded by Comic Relief and facilitated by Amos Trust, is a mixture of interactive practical and workshops sessions designed to up skill and train members of the local community in how best to use football to tackle a range of social issues, focusing on engaging and working with street children and creating routes into education, training and employment.

The coaches worked with 20 community leaders on how to plan and run sessions using tools to deliver numeracy and literacy skills through football. They also learnt how to engage with hard to reach and vulnerable young people.

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QPR previously visited Tanzania in 2013, where they worked with our partners, COET and Tanzania Sports Academy (TSC) to deliver community-building workshops.

The 2013 sessions were part of Team Tanzania’s preparations for the 2014 Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The QPR coaches were happy to hear that the boys from Tanzania went on to win the championship, a fact not lost on Martino, he said, “I like to think we played our part in that, it was a great achievement for them, and when the next Street Child World Cup kicks off maybe they can do it again.”

Dennis and Saddock, former street children and part of the 2010 Street Child World Cup Tanzania team and Ambassadors at the 2014 tournament, once again participated in the workshops continuing their development as peer role models inspiring young people to find alternatives away from the street.

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“They’re not just there as a football coach, they’re role models, what they say, what they do can positively influence the young people they are working with.”

Martino was pleased to hear from the coaches about the fantastic community programmes they had set up since he last visited. He said, “I sincerely hope they continue their good work, it’s important they put into practice what they’ve learnt. The more community projects they can get off the ground the better.”

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Endorsements
  • “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.”

    Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Former Prime Minister
  • “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
  • “No child should have to live on the streets and I fully endorse this campaign giving street children a voice to claim their rights”

    Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager