Chennai, March 1st
A team of street-connected young people will represent India at the inaugural Street Child Games 2016, taking place ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
From March 14 – 20, five young people will represent their country and the rights of millions of street children in India and across the world. They will join former street children from up to 10 countries for Olympic-themed sports and a Congress for street children’s rights.
Team India is organised by Karunalaya Social Service Society, Centre for Street and Working Children in Chennai, an organisation working to protect and rehabilitate street children. The centre provides shelter, education, as well as arts, music and sports for street children. They work to empower marginalised communities towards sustainable development through a human-rights focused approach.
Three girls and two boys, who have experienced life on the streets and continue to live in shelter and pavement dwellings will represent India. Each young person has been rescued, protected and trained by Karunalaya.
The team is training hard for the Street Child Games and Congress under the guidance of special coaches. Team member Hepsiba, 15, is a passionate to become a sprinter. Sneha, 15, is looking forward to taking part in the Long Jump competition. Silambarasan and Ashok, both 18, are both looking forward to becoming sprinters.
Team India officially launched in Chennai and was attended by Government offcials, artist and friend of Street Child United Joel Bergner, and former Olympian, Shiny Wilson, who encouraged the team to work hard in order to reach their potential.
You can get involved. Follow, support and share #TeamIndia at the #StreetChildGames – help street children tell the world: #IamSomebody
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”