Teams of young people from across the world have arrived in Cambridge for the start of the Street Child Cricket World Cup.
Some of the young people at the event didn’t have birth certificates or passports just a few months ago, without which a person can be denied access to basic services like education and healthcare.
Our partners and the organisations representing the countries have gone to great lengths during the lead up of the tournament to secure passports and visas for each young person to attend.
Laura Devine Solicitors, a law firm specialising in immigration law, were pivotal in the process to get all the teams to Cambridge. They supported the visa process by supplying one lawyer to support each team on their applications.
John Wroe, Street Child United Co-Founder and CEO, said: “Laura Devine were absolutely sensational from beginning to end! The task is virtually impossible, but somehow it happens – Laura Devine are critical to that.”
Geeta Venkadakrishnan, Team Leader of Team India North from the Hope Foundation, said: “The passports were difficult. It took a long time, especially for running around for the visas.”
Taking part in the Street Child Cricket World Cup not only allows street-connected young people to challenge negative perceptions and treatment they face, it also enables them to secure a legal identity.
Parvati Pujari, Team Leader of Team India South from Magic Bus, said: “These four children from Magic Bus, they’re the first generation who has received their passport and the passport documentation shows the legal identity, because they have a full name, address and the photo – that shows their identity.”
The young people are settling into Cambridge and have participated in cricket training, arts activities and matches with local schools to prepare for the start of the Street Child Cricket World Cup on 4 May on Parker’s Piece.
An excursion day into London saw the young people hosted by Street Child Cricket World Cup Patron, Sir John Major, at The Oval for Surrey vs Kent and a sight-seeing walk took the teams to Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. But the highlight of the day was Street Child Cricket World Cup players speaking at the Houses of Parliament about the issues street-connected young people face.
Now the young people are ready for the Street Child Cricket World Cup matches to begin – please come to Parker’s Piece in Cambridge on 4 & 5 May and Lord’s on 7 May to cheer the teams on!
by Teshani Nanayakkara