“The Street Child World Cup 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 Leader, Team Mozambique
The second Street Child World Cup in association with Save the Children took place ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 230 former street children came together to play football, representing their countries and the millions of children living on the streets today. Street children united for their rights, as a result real change has been made.
The message from the children taking part was clear, “I am Somebody”. This message was heard around the globe reaching an estimated 220 million people worldwide including governments and policy makers, influential individuals, agents of change, businesses and communities.
Pope Francis blessed the SCWC and declared it a ‘significant initiative’ alongside praise from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge showing solidarity with the teams, letting them know they are not alone. Visitors to the tournament included World Cup winners Bebeto and Arsenal ‘invincible’ Gilberto Silva. As a result Gilberto Silva is now an official patron.
The finals day was attended by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne alongside Lord Deighton, former Chief Executive of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Following the Street Child World Cup, the National Secretariat for Human Rights of Brazil invited Team Brazil Boys and partner organisation O Pequeno Nazareno to present their ‘Children are not of the streets’ policy at a national summit for street children in March 2015. Should the government agree to and implement the propositions, it would be a significant step for the rights of street children and adolescents across Brazil. Read more here.
“The time has come that the rights of all street children and adolescents must be recognised. Children and adolescents from every state in Brazil have spoken and we hope the Government and society will now listen.” Manoel Torquata, OPN
Team Brazil Girls are ambassadors in their community, and one team member is spending two months in Los Angeles as part of the Global Girl Project. The girls have spoken at a wide range of events from a Model United Nations at the Rio British School to the Street Football World Conference during the FIFA World Cup. The girls also held a training session with World Cup Winners Patrick Viera and Fabio Cannavaro. The girls starred in the film, Street Kids United II.
When Team Argentina returned home they were honoured at a reception held by the Ministry of Labour in Buenos Aires, and shared their experiences with Carlos Tomada, the Minister of Labour and Security.
A major Argentinean TV station covered the boys’ participation, leading to some supporters offering assistance, and a donation of materials to upkeep the facilities.
Team Burundi returned to widespread support, including a welcome at the airport from a representative of the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
The team were greeted with a press conference and the Minister for Youth and Sports hosted a gala dinner to celebrate their achievements. According to local partner New Generation, since representing their country at the SCWC, they receive much more respect from the authorities. The boys continue to spread their message of reconciliation nationwide in a coach donated at the SCWC.
When Team Egypt got home they were hosted on the biggest national chat show to talk about their experience.
One of the participating organisations presented in front of a government committee, which included consultants to the President regarding the street children issue; two players who travelled to the SCWC were presented as examples of their success and the organization has received much government support since.
The girls from Team England were inspired by their Street Child World Cup, the young people they shared the experience with and the challenges they have all collectively overcome. The girls continue to support their friends from Rio and street children across the world, raising awareness and support through fundraising events.
Their Street Child World Cup journey was covered in the two-part BBC Three documentary, Street Kid World Cup, enabling the girls to challenge the stigmas associated with young people in care and raise awareness of the issues faced by children who have no choice but to leave their family home. The documentary was watched by an audience in excess of half a million people.
The girls continue to be supported by the Deutsche Bank Mentoring scheme to support their individual ongoing.
After coming third in the girls’ tournament the team received recognition of their amazing performance at the Street Child World Cup from the English Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The girls are participating in entrepreneurship workshops as well as sports and educational workshops. They won a $1000 prize in an entrepreneurship competition which they are using to help more children play sports. They are all continuing to do well with their studies, especially as a result of the potential that they showed in their participation in the Street Child World Cup Rio 2014.
The boys returned home to a great reception. One player has been reintegrated back to his home state of Kerala. He was offered a place to study at the Malabar Police School, and he now studies there and plays for their football team. The rest of the team have been reintegrated with family nearby or continue to live and study at the centre run by our partner, Karunalaya.
Participation in the SCWC has raised awareness of Karunalaya’s work in India, and people have come forward to offer support.
Before the team left for Rio, the boys and girls were invited to meet the President to discuss the challenges they face everyday. On their return after the SCWC they appeared on Indonesia’s foremost Friday night social show, and other breakfast TV shows challenging the negative perceptions and treatment of street children in Indonesia.
Benson, Captain of Team Kenya, has been asked to sit on the Children’s Assembly of Mombasa since returning from Rio giving a voice to Kenya’s street children. National Director Bokey Achola has presented on three radio programmes with several local meetings on the issues faced by street children.
NGO Muslim Hands has provided funding for Glad’s House, the organisation supporting Team Kenya, to launch new programmes supporting more street children in Mombasa.
Team Liberia returned home to a heroes’ welcome, from families, sponsors and the local press. The team were the most-read national News story in Liberia for 2 days during the SCWC.
As ambassadors for street children, Team Liberia have traveled to Sierra Leone to speak about their experiences, and also made presentations in their communities and their schools.
Since the Ebola outbreak took hold of Monrovia, the boys have been trained as health ambassadors to help in the fight against the disease, supporting their community.
The boys were continue to advocate for street children. One boy was invited to talk about life on the streets at a UN Conference in Geneva. The new national Government has said it will pay special attention to street children in it’s 2015 – 2019 programme. Our partner, Safire, and organisers of Team Mauritius said, “We believe the SCWC has raised public opinion on this particular issue.”
Our partner, Meninos de Mozambique (MDM), report that they are respected more as a serious and committed organisation, by families and in the communities where they work.
On their return from Rio, MDM organised meetings for the team with other street children from surrounding neighbourhoods. They talked about the event, the conference, the experiences they had. The girls also made presentations in the schools where they study.
The children have shared their experiences via a number of media outlets. This led to a meeting with the Ministry of Family, at which the children could share their demands and opinions on the topics that affect them.
FootballPakistan.com reported an audience of 2 million people watched the team’s participation at the SCWC. When they returned Team Pakistan led an 11-city tour called “I am Somebody”. As a result Pakistan’s National Assembly has passed a resolution for social protection for the countries 1.5m street children!
7,000 supporters (including the media and members of the National and Provincial Assembly) met team Pakistan as they landed at Karachi Airport. At 4am.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has agreed to support Azad Foundation, organisers of Team Pakistan, and nurture grassroots football programmes with street children in Pakistan. The boys are now HBL’s brand ambassadors.
The boys were awarded the National Colour by Pakistan’s Sports Minister and have been nominated for the UNICEF Champions Award.
Azad Foundation report that the boys are more confident, mature, responsible and sensitive to other people’s problems.
FairPlay for All Foundation, who led the teams taking part in Rio, report that all the children are continuing at school and several have been offered university scholarships. Team member Crystal performed in Turfed as part of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) in 2014 engaging new audiences on the global issue of youth homelessness.
Our partner organisation in Durban, Umthombo, says the Street Child World Cup had a ‘big impact’ on their children, with many showing a ‘more positive, can do’ attitude and improved self-esteem. Local businesses and schools have invited the team to share their experiences.
Tanzania returned home as champions of the boys’ tournament. They were invited to share their experiences with the Prime Minister and the Constitutional Parliament consisting of 600 MPs was suspended to welcome the team back.
When they reached their home town or Mwanza a cavalcade of 80 vehicles greeted them.
As a result of their success at the SCWC, the organisation behind the team, Caretakers of the Environment, have been awarded vital new land for their shelter for street children in Mwanza.
Team Tanzania’s Captain was selected for the Tanzania U15 national team. He travelled to Botswana to represent his country at the Olympic Youth Tournament. And support from a local bank has ensured school fees for each child until they graduate school.
All members of Team USA are doing well in school and are living with their families. Some boys have taken on roles as coaches and mentors in local football programmes. Street Soccer USA Team Leader said, “Brazil and the Street Child World Cup offered them an opportunity to step into a mentality of greatness and has given them great motivation to succeed in every area of their lives.”
The girls are enrolled in football teams and continue to take part in Grassroots Soccer activities so that they can be peer educators for other children. They said, “More people are starting to see [street children] as members of society.”
“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.”
“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.”
“No child should have to live on the streets and I fully endorse this campaign giving street children a voice to claim their rights”