As 2016 draws to a close, we are reflecting on all the incredible things we have achieved together this year, using the power of sport to change the way the world negatively sees and treats street children.
In March, ahead of the Olympics, we organised the first Street Child Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Street-connected children from nine countries came together as athletes and ambassadors for all street children on the world stage.
United, these former street children took part in Olympic-inspired sports, and a Congress for street children’s rights.
They created the “Rio Resolution”, which was recognised by the United Nations. It highlights every child’s right to a legal identity, protection from violence and an education regardless of their circumstance, and calls on governments to take concrete steps to protect street children worldwide.
“Because we have no legal identity – welfare, education and healthcare are all impossible for us to access, leaving us with no way out.” Usha, Team India
For Team India Hepsiba won 100m gold and made her country proud. When she and her teammates returned home they were invited to present the “Rio Resolution” to Mrs Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, the Indian Minister for Women and Child Development. Inspired, Mrs Gandhi pledged that the Government will work to provide birth certificates to street children in India.
“This is very significant and one of our biggest achievements, made possible because of the Street Child Games, Team India winning medals and the Rio Resolution.” Paul Sunder Singh, leader of Team India and Karunalaya – Center for Street and Working Children
For Team Burundi, the Street Child Games was a platform for their campaign for legal identity. Their achievements inspired the government to provide birth certificates to almost half (and counting) of the 79 children in the care of our partner, New Generation. Now these children will be able to complete their education, access vital healthcare and vote.
“Because of them [Team Burundi], it was easy to get my birth certificate…Now I can get an ID, have the right to vote, to continue my studies…” Jean Claude, 20, young person supported by New Generation, Burundi.
In 2017, we will keep working to improve the lives of street children around the world, and build towards the next Street Child World Cup in association with Save the Children, which will take place in Moscow, ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Next year there will be lots of new exciting opportunities for you, our wonderful community of supporters, volunteers and donors to get involved with – but in the meantime, thank you, have a lovely holiday, and a very Happy New Year.
Together we are Street Child United.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”