Olympic legend Michael Johnson helps Brazil Captain realise dreams

We thought you’d like to hear how sport and your continued support is changing lives. Drika led Brazil to glory at the 2014 Street Child World Cup and is now fulfilling her potential and inspiring other children at risk of the streets to realise theirs. Over to you Drika…

Drika Michael Johnson

Thumbs up from Drika and multi-Olympic champion Michael Johnson

“I was honoured to be asked by Coaches Across Continents to join the Michael Johnson Positive Track programme in Dallas, Texas for an intense 10-day course with other young leaders from around the world. The course focused on leadership in reaching our full potential through sport.

From the Street Child World Cup I know that I am somebody and when I was in Dallas I met Freya who was diagnosed with FSH muscular dystrophy, but this never stopped her from achieving her goals. She is strong, smiley, talented and she plays for England’s basketball team – she is somebody!

This was one of the most incredible and wonderful experiences I have had. The experience taught me how to make the most of my passion and talent and improve training sessions for the benefit of the children at home.


Drika joins young leaders from around the world in Dallas.

Since the Street Child World Cup in 2014, I have started working for Street Child United Brazil, this has been an incredible experience. I am a soccer coach at the Safe Space pitch in Complexo da Penha where we work with children at risk of the streets and teach them life skills through soccer training.

I learned so much and was sad to leave but at the same time I’m thankful that I can apply all I have learnt in Rio de Janeiro. Now I’m home I’m focused on improving the impact for the children I work with across four key areas:

Community: starting the ‘Familia Caracol’ soccer team – Caracol is the name of the community where the Street Child United Safe Space is.

Personal development: improving the life path of the children I coach primarily through focusing on their commitment to the right choices around education, health and work skills.

Environment: we’re seeking to build a garden around the pitch for plants and vegetables which the children will maintain.

Learning: we’re adding Capoeira and English lessons to the football sessions.

I’m very proud of my path and what I’m doing, I know this is only the beginning and lots of positive things will happen. I just have to take these opportunities and move forward towards my dreams. I’m grateful to you, Street Child United, Coaches Across Continents and the Michael Johnson Positive Track.”

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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
  • “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.”

    Manny Pacquiao, Filipino professional boxer
  • “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.”

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