From March 14 – 20 the inaugural Street Child Games took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil reminding the world of sport’s unique power to bring people together and promote social change.
The Olympic host-city welcomed former street children and young people from nine countries for a week of Olympic-themed sports and unique international Congress for street children’s rights.
“Street children across the world – this is our message to you.
You need to believe in your dreams. Never give up. You are strong. You are important. WE ARE SOMEBODY.”
Teams of young people, aged 14 – 19 represented Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Egypt, Great Britain, India, Mozambique, Pakistan and the Philippines in six events: 100m, Hurdles, 400m, Long Jump, Shot Put and 4x 100 Relay.
At the Congress the young people developed their Rio Resolution calling on the world to take concrete steps to protect street children’s universal rights to: protection from violence, access to education and a legal identity.
The United Nations sent a message of support to the young people speaking at the Congress and recognised their work in developing the Rio Resolution.
The young people have returned home to their countries, continuing as Ambassadors and working with our partner organisations to raise awareness of the specific challenges street-connected children in their community face.
“In Brazil I realised that street children face the same problems everywhere in the world. My aim now is to support Azad Foundation in its efforts for the rights of street children.” Salman, supported by Azad Foundation & representing Pakistan
They will use the Rio Resolution as a tool to support their ongoing work on the frontline with street chidlren.
“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, a platform to express their rights and celebrate their abilities – I’m proud to add my 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.”
“It was possible to gather many nationalities, cultures, 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.”