The Brazil girls’ and boys’ teams came from separate organisations.

The Girls Team: IBISS-Favela Street (Rio de Janeiro)

IBISS has introduced projects to tackle social exclusion, discrimination and violence in more than 60 communities in Rio de Janeiro, where it is based. The organisation runs a wide range of programmes that include outreach work with young people on the streets and a scheme to help orphans find a home with families living locally. IBISS works in many of Rio’s most deprived communities, where violence and the drugs trade are rife but where basic infrastructure, and education and work opportunities are in short supply.

Soccer and sports are a key part of the holistic approach; IBISS runs soccer schools to help keep children out of the drugs trade and in education, as well as to monitor their overall health and any social problems. Former child soldiers often work as young leaders in the soccer schools and in social programmes. Where appropriate, IBISS engages in mediation to help young people leave the streets and return to their communities.

Team Brazil Girls: the team was selected from among 20 girls who are currently coached by Jessica, a former street child. Jessica is now 18 and spent 18 months on the streets shoe-shining in Lapa but has been reintegrated into her family.

IBISS Founder, Nanko van Burren:

“What is exciting about the SCWC tournament is the opportunity to make the world aware of street children – it’s a chance to show people that, when you really want to, there are many ways that you can involve them in projects that help them. Of course, football is just a game – the exciting part is the political statement.”

The Boys Team : O Pequeno Nazareno (Fortaleza)

O Pequeno Nazareno works with street children and their families in the cities of Fortaleza and Recife in north-eastern Brazil. The organization has grown from a small group of individuals doing outreach work with the children on the streets almost 20 years ago to the largest organisation of its kind in the country. It is now leading a national campaign calling on the government to introduce a public policy for street children.

O Pequeno Nazareno provides street children with a secure home at a rural location where they also receive schooling and counselling, and can take part in sports and other activities. A key part of the approach is working with the young people’s families; the charity helps them to overcome problems with the aim of reintegrating the children into their families. Where this is not possible, PN aims to provide a home for small groups of teenagers living with an adult. In recent years, the organisation has introduced the Projeto Gente Grande to help the young people to further their education and gain professional training and a foothold in the world of work.

The boys’ team comprised one boy from Recife and eight from Fortaleza.

What the SCWC means to O Pequeno Nazareno:

Bernardo Rosemeyer, Founder:

“Street Child World Cup is an opportunity to let the world know that there is a movement for change in Brazil; that there is now a campaign calling for a public policy to address the situation of street children. The football tournament is a chance to focus on the issues that affect street children in Brazil, and to grab the world’s attention.”

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