Harnessing the power of the humble football #IDSDP2017

Posted on the 5th April 2017

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

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.

The Street Child World Cup is more than a game. There’s nothing quite like it, join us on the Road to Moscow

Our common language is football. Through it we can start to understand each other.”

Erica, Team Philippines

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