Harnessing the power of the humble football #IDSDP2017

Today is the International Day of Sport for Peace and Development. In just over a year, ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, we will host the third Street Child World Cup in Moscow 2018 – an international football tournament for street-connected children from around the world – in association with Save the Children.

Opening ceremony of the Street Child World Cup Rio 2014

With the world watching, this unique World Cup will bring together children from over 20 countries. Yet these children will be playing for more than personal glory – they will be playing united by one goal: inspire change.

And, one humble object will provide the magical ingredient for the Street Child World Cup; the football.

It’s amazing how a simple object; the football, can be the unifier for so many children, inspiring them, giving them a sense of value and equality – all are equal with a ball at their feet, judged not for their background but given the space to be their true selves.

“I have never had the luxury of shoes or an education. But one day, I found an old ball and now here I am.” Jaquit, Team India 

India lift the Street Child World Cup Durban 2010

The children who play at the Street Child World Cup have experienced life on the streets, homelessness or have been at risk of the streets. Most know what it feels like to be seen and treated as less than human. All are determined to change their lives and the lives of others.

It is through playing football that they are empowered as athletes, proudly representing their countries and giving them the confidence to speak out as ambassadors on a global platform to help improve the lives of millions of street children worldwide.

“I feel that I can do anything now” Marta, Team Nicaragua

This is the magical ingredient for the Street Child World Cup, it starts with a football and leads to change.

In Pakistan this meant a national resolution for the protection for 1.5m street children. In South Africa, the Street Child World Cup helped local organisation Umthombo stop police “round-ups” against street children in Durban. In Brazil, a brand new football pitch was built giving children at risk of the streets a safe space to play and learn.

Pakistan arrive at the Street Child World Cup Rio 2014

“Our common language is football. Through it we can start to understand each other.” Erica, Team Philippines

The Street Child World Cup is more than a game. There’s nothing quite like it, join us on the Road to Moscow – volunteer, take on a challenge or simply drop us a line to find out how you can make a difference through football: info@streetchildunited.org

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Latest Tweets
  • “It was possible to gather many nationalities, story cultures, viagra 60mg and form a nation: a nation of free man, with equal rights and opportunities, mutual respect, rightful duties. It was 10 days when the world, in that corner of Rio, was fair to socially excluded children; they could feel the beauty of being somebody in this world.”

    Abdul Faquir, Team Mozambique, Project Leader
  • “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.”

    Mbali, 15, Durban
  • “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.”

    David Beckham OBE