We took some time out with Drika, ed 18, cure and Jessica, 23 in a Cambridge park and asked them how they had found their first two weeks on the inaugural Street Child United Cambridge Ambassador Programme learning English and developing their skills as Ambassadors for street children.
How did you feel when you were told you were going to come to Cambridge to study English and develop your skills as an ambassador for children at risk of the streets?
Jessica “I was very happy to start travelling and leave Brazil for the first time”
J&D “We felt very excited and thankful for the opportunity because that sort of thing does not happen to girls like us”
How did you feel when you landed at Heathrow after an eleven-hour flight?
Drika – “Thank God I am alive! I felt very special, very important.”
Jessica – “I realised that this trip was really happening. I thought about my family, and how I want to show them what I can achieve. I can prove to them that I am good enough to be here.”
How have you found learning English at the school?
Drika – “I cannot put into words how amazing this experience is for me. I know how important English language is to the world and I’m very pleased because this will open many opportunities for me.”
Jessica – “It is very good for me, for my future and I am really enjoying it.”
How does Cambridge compare to Rio de Janeiro? How does England compare to Brazil?
Jessica – “Cambridge is very peaceful and Rio is not, it is very violent.”
What activities have you enjoyed so far?
Jessica – “I loved meeting the neighbours of our host family. I really enjoyed playing football with John (CEO of Street Child United) in the 5-a-side. We felt lots of respect from John and his team.”
Drika – “I really enjoyed the first day of school because I knew it was the start of two months of a great experience and meeting lots of new people. I also loved going to St John’s choir because she had never seen anything like it before. ”
How did you feel when Camille from Team England told you that they had managed to raise over £500 for Favela Street in their recent campaign?
Jessica – “I thought it was amazing!”
Drika – “This is incredible for us because it’s going to be really helpful to invest in the Favela Street Girl project.”
How are you feeling about being joined by the Mehar, Razziq and Rashid from Pakistan and Innocent and Eric from Burundi?
Drika – “I’m really excited that we are going to have more people because it is just the two of us. When more people arrive it is going to be even more fun! More activities with each other!
Jessica – “It’s amazing, I can’t wait to see them again.”
Why is it important to develop your skills in English and as ambassadors for street children?
Jessica – “I want to use my English to be able to work on cruise ships.”
Drika – “I want to travel the world and I know it will be important for job opportunities. Also, I will be able to use my English to coach sport in other countries as well as Brazil.”
The girls have now been joined on the programme by 2014 Street Child World Cup participants Innocent and Eric from Burundi, and Mehar, Raziq and Rashid from Pakistan.
The SCU Cambridge Ambassador Programme is in partnership with Studio Cambridge English Language School.
“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.”
“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.”
“No child should have to live on the streets and I fully endorse this campaign giving street children a voice to claim their rights”