Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018

On 18 May 2018 Juliana from the USA stood in front of a packed audience in Moscow to say: “We are the youth holding the world accountable for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

She was one of 23 young people speaking on behalf of the teams taking part in the Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018 and the millions of street-connected young people across the world.

The young people’s statements addressed the situation of street-connected children in their countries. Collectively they called for an end to the stigmatisation of street-connected young people, protection and support from their governments, for all children to receive a legal identity at birth and access to education and healthcare.

The message spread far beyond the people present that day – the Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018 was reported on in every country that took part, and many more, reaching an audience of millions.

Watch the video below to see what happened at the Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018 through the eyes of the young people who took part

What happened

The third Street Child World Cup took place in Moscow from 10 – 18 May 2018, bringing more than 200 young people from 19 countries together to campaign for the rights and protection of street-connected children.

The young people played football at Lokomotiv Moscow – the Russian Premier League Champions – were welcomed at the British Ambassador’s Residence, visited Red Square and enjoyed a boat tour of the river Moskva.

Brazil Girls and Uzbekistan Boys won the football tournaments, but all the young people are champions. The global football community supported the event, including FIFA World Cup Winner and Arsenal Invincible Gilberto Silva, Khalida Popal, Ryan Giggs, Gary Lineaker and Alan Shearer.


Congress & General Assembly

The General Assembly and art exhibition took place in Moscow’s Amber Plaza. A representative from each of the 23 teams that took part in the Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018 spoke on behalf of their team and street-connected young people from their country.

The young people had crafted their messages through Congress workshops, which were run over the course of the previous week. The Congress workshops were led by StreetInvest, our Official Child Participation Consultant and Facilitator for the Congress.

The General Assembly and art exhibition was attended by FIFA World Cup winner Gilberto Silva as well as the ambassador of Burundi, and representatives of the British and Brazilian embassies. The event was hosted by Street Child United Alumni, young people who have taken part in previous Street Child United events and are now working to support other young people from similar backgrounds.

You can read the Teams’ General Assembly messages below:

Team Belarus Boys

Hello everyone, my name is Kiril. I’m from Belarus. My team is outgoing, friendly, full of positive emotions and because of that we dare to smile every day.

A lot of children around the world are united while playing football. In my opinion it’s not just a sport, it’s part of our live. While playing football you can make new friends, you can even learn foreign languages.

Through taking part in this event we can be role models for other young people in Belarus, who face problems like violence and substance misuse.

All the young people at the Street Child World Cup are one big family. We are somebody and it’s time to change our story.

Team Bolivia Girls

Hello everyone, my name is Deyna and I’m here to represent my beloved Bolivia.

Through this event we’ve understood that Bolivia shares problems with many countries in the world. These problems prevent street connected young people moving on and accessing their rights.

The children of Bolivia want to be heard and respected, and we want the laws to be respected too. We want the government to support us so that all street connected children receive a birth certificate. Without this identification we can’t access education or healthcare.

We are somebody – let us change our story.

Team Brazil Girls

Good afternoon. My name is Rebecca and I’m 16 years old.

We are from Brazil and our vision is to have equality in this world. We ask for social equality, because we are humble.

We are somebody it’s time to change our history, thank you.

Team Brazil Boys

My name is Robson Rodriguez Do Santos, I am from Brazil.

Our vision is a world without violence, without inequality, without hunger, a world that is safe for the child.

We demand absolute priority for the rights of street child. A childs place is not on the street. We are the future.

Team Burundi Boys

Hello everybody.  I represent team Burundi.

Our vision is to have a better education, because education is the key for all children. We demand to respect teachers, to give them a good salary.

It’s not good for children to live on the street as this is our time.

Team Egypt Boys

Good evening. My name is Ahmed, and I’m representing Team Egypt Boys.

Our vision is a world with good education, healthcare for everybody, the implementation of child protection laws, the freedom to express ourselves and have our voices heard by others, a world where there is no place for discrimination.

We demand respect, an end to violence, we demand education and healthcare.

We are strong, brave, loving and we are determined to make the world a better place for children. We are somebody.

Team Egypt Girls

My name is Habiba Nasser. Our vision is a world with access to education. Access to identification papers, gender equality, tolerance between faith, care and respect. Our demands are good education and equality.

We are confident, loving, resilient, respectful, we love to laugh and dance. We are trustworthy. We are somebody.

Team England Girls

Hi my name is Jasmine and I’m representing Team England Girls.

Our vision is for young people in London to have freedom of expression and to not be judged by anyone. Inspired by Street Child United we hope to create a movement that could potentially impact the lives of young people around the world.

What are our demands? Well, we demand respect, we demand for people not only to hear our voices but to listen and take action.

Within our local community we will be committed to finding a location for young people to feel they have a safe space to express themselves. We hope to work with local businesses and possibly schools to engage potential stakeholders.

From the adults we ask only for the same patience and understanding we expect from each other. And to be honest, we ask for your help.

We are strong, independent, resilient people determined to overcome any problem that stands in our way.

We demand of our Prime Minister, Theresa May, our Mayor Sadiq Khan and all of our MPs in parliament to utilise the power given to them by the people to actually make a change.

We ask them to help us both with money and with publicity through the media. We must work together to create more than just a brand but a family.

We as passionate young people demand acceptance and understand but it must start closer to home. We must encourage each other to be the best version of ourselves before we can expect others to do the same.

We are somebody and it is time to change our story.

Team India Girls

Good evening to everybody. We are from team India. I’m Indhu.

Every street child should have the rights provided to everyone.

The present and the future generations of children shall have a society which protects the children from sexual abuse and violence and shall provide opportunities for children to go to school. There shall be no discrimination.

No child should ever be a child labourer and  all childrenshould have the opportunity to go to school. There should be no discrimination of gender, cast or race or any kind of language. Children shall be protected from violence and have their rights respected.

We demand:

  • Everyone should have a house to call a home, and that home should protect them from rain, sun and be safe from fire.
  • Every street child should get a birth certificate, community certificate and all documents with no difficulty to them.
  • Every street child should have a place to play.
  • Street children should not be subjected to sexual violence or trafficked for abuse. They shall be protected.

This society shall understand and acknowledge that street children have good hearts, they are kind, they are helping and want opportunities to display their talents. They are children like any other children in the world.

We are somebody and it is time to change our stories.

Team Indonesia Boys

Hello my name is Krisna from Indonesia.

Our visions are:

  • Every child in our country should have a brighter future.
  • Our education, economic and sport systems should be better.
  • No more violence against children. Our child protection system should be better implement.
  • Every child will be treated equally and no discrimination despite of their background. We will have a welfare community so people live in harmony, creating a safe space for every child.

For those visions we demand that:

  • Everyone in our society has awareness of about child’s rights and protection is provided without discrimination
  • We demand our government helps us to make our vision come true and fulfil our identity rights.

We are young people who are brave, hard workers, willing to give our best effort, creative thinkers, willing to learn new things. We are honest, humble, smart, respectful and faithful.

We are somebody. It is time to change our story.

Team Kazakhstan Girls

Hello my name is Marina and I am from Team Kazakhstan Girls. Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to be heard.

Our vision is a future without any wars, without discrimination, corruption, drugs and abandoned children.

We demand our government supports young families and single mums so children won’t be abandoned.

We demand education and healthcare be affordable for everyone in the world.

We also want all children to have the opportunity to enjoy sport and culture.

If you want to change the world you need to start talking about your problems and your requirements.

We are somebody and it’s time to change our story.

Team Kenya Boys

My name is Farijal, I’m from Kenya. We, the street-connected children of Kenya, are; strong, courageous, bright, intelligent, united and support each other. We never give up or lose hope for a better life and we believe in ourselves.

We demand that the government of Kenya to end the rounding up of street children and putting them in prison.

We also demand that all 12 rehabilitation schools across the country to be transformed into education and sports academies.

We are somebody and it is time to change.

Team Mauritius Girls

Hello everyone, I am Karin from Mauritius. Our vision is a child friendly world, where all children are respected.

We demand:

  • All children to have access to education
  • Gender equality opportunities for women
  • A world without any violence amongst children
  • Opportunities for better employment

We want our governent to work to reduce child pregnancy. As a team we commit to using condoms, and we will set up sexual education so that girls and boys can respect themselves.

Team Mexico Girls

Good afternoon. My name is Sandra and I’m representing Mexico.

We believe it’s necessary to give commitment as well as trust to all children in street situations so they can have a dignified and happy life.

We demand from our President, Enrique Peña Nieto, and all of the people that want to rule the government and the society:

  • Equality for women
  • To believe in us
  • To be supported
  • To have our voices heard
  • An end to corruption
  • To have options and opportunities
  • To be remembered and to remember our values

We are brave, we are capable, we are all the children in Mexico. We are the future, we are somebody, and it’s time to change our story.

Team Nepal Boys

Our vision is to make sure that no child lives on the street, irrespective of caste, creed, religion. All kids, despite their situations, need food, shelter, education, health, family, love and care.

Being a street child is not an identity – it is just an unfortunate situation. Society should respect us and support us. Governments should act like our parents and help us create a better future. We are the future of the world, we are positive, we are kind, we are creative.

The hands that were raised yesterday to beat us on the street are now raised to honour us. Until a few months back we were stigmatised, we were attacked as criminals, but today were have an identity as national players. But today we are the change, we are the voice.

Neither borders, colour or language will stop us. We all are one.

To win the football game was our desire, but to win all the hearts was our aim and I hope that we have done that.

Team Pakistan Boys

Hello everyone. I am Abdullah from team Pakistan. We have a lot of potential and energy and we understand the issues of our communities.

We demand education, peace, safe homes, playgrounds, bright futures, great jobs, travelling, identity, protection, respect for everyone so that we can all have a safe future. We are the children who have dreams for better futures.

We face different problems due to poverty, like Ijaz works in a brick factory, Nawaz works in a crop field, and I was orphan at the age of 2. Ibrar works in a cotton factory. But after these things we are strong, and friends, and love each other and share our problems to solve them.

It is time to change our thoughts and story. Don’t fight, don’t use abusive language, respect the others and their views. Stay away from bad company, respect of elders, respect everyone. Do everything for everyone not just for yourself.

We have been feeling so special through these 10 days, we have experienced so many new things and have learned about new cultures.

We are taking so many new things back home that will make us better humans. We may have lost the finals but we will win the rights of street children in our country.

We are somebody and the future depends on us

Team Philippines Girls

Good afternoon everyone, I am Hendra from the beautiful islands of Philippines.

We demand to be treated as children and people, not as a piece of trash.

We demand not to be abused by adults because we are young, strong and independent children.

We are the Avengers, why Avengers? Because we have faced many challenges and obstacles in our lives. But still we continue to walk the path towards our future.

We didn’t expect to be here and represent our country at this event. Even though we are street children we learn to value each other and take care of each other because we believe that when we show we care, everybody wins.

Team Russia Boys

Hello, my name is Alex. The most important thing for us is peace around the world. People should become kinder.

We want the problems of children to be heard by adults and that everyone to be considerate.

We want all children to have equal rights: the right to education, family, a home and care and attention. We Russians are strong, hardworking and hospitable.

Team Russia Girls

Hello everybody. I’m the representative of Russia girls team. We are so glad to take part in this event with such beautiful people.

Firstly, we would like medicine to be freely available all over the world. Secondly, we would like that all children around the world have access to free education that would help them in their lives.

We demand respect for other cultures and for people to accept each other’s values. We want to be heard. This will lead us to the equality of all nations.

We should remember that we are somebody and all of us deserve understanding, acceptance and respect.

Team Tajikistan Boys

Hello my name is Saderdin and I’m from Tajikistan.

We demand more opportunities in sport and education.

We want to be with our friends and we want to participate in tournaments like this and win first place.

We are strong, we are smart, we hard working. It’s time to change our stories, believe us.

Team Tanzania Girls

My name is Steria Roberts from Tanzania. Thanks to all of you who are here and the organisers of this event.

We are Team Tanzania. Our visions are:

– All children are equal, should be treated equally and should have the access to the same rights, boys and girls. For example, education and healthcare should be without discrimination.

– All street children should have access to education. What they need is support from the Government.

Our demands are:

– We want to be love and took care like other children in the world.

– Children living on the street should be treated like other children in the world.

– The laws which were created to protect children’s rights should be implemented. For example, early marriage.

–  We want the government to provide areas for sport so all young people have a safe space to play.

– Street children should be given opportunities to improve their situations and change their lives.

We are:

–  Survivors, patient, talented, hard-working. We believe in ourselves. We are creative. We are smart. We accept and respect ourselves. When we go back to Tanzania we will be leaders and role models for other street children. We are somebody, this is time to change our story.


Congress message:

– Vision: To see girls protected & treated well as boys at family levels and community level.

– Girls needs to be protected. Especially in families and communities. No more violence such as physical and sexual abuse

– Street Children should be given opportunities and priority as any other children in the world because despite of their past experience and behaviours they have strengths, abilities and they are talented.

– The Government should provide the stadium for children sports & provide plots to for Cheka Sana Tanzania to build a big own traditional centre since children have to develop in shelter before reunification.

– Laws made to protect children should be enforced full so that children live in a safe environment in their communities

Team USA Girls

Good afternoon, my name is Juliana Franco and I am representing team USA.

Our vision is to be able to attain unity and equality for the human race that will open up a pathway for peace.

We demand gun reform, basic life needs for everyone and proper allocation of government resources. We demand education reform, equal treatment for all, and an end to separation of families through deportation.

We are the youth holding the world accountable for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is time to change our story.

Team Uzbekistan Boys

Hello everyone my name is Ruslan, from Team Uzbekistan Boys.

We were glad to take part in this event. The organisers gave us a big opportunity and they have our gratitude. We wish good luck to all the teams we befriended – we wish them happiness in their caeers and lives. We will never forget the support we have recieved at this event.

We wish there was peace all over the world and we want everyone of you to love each other like brothers and sisters.


The Street Child World Cup Moscow gave street-connected children a voice ahead of the FIFA World Cup Russia, raising awareness, challenging negative perceptions and calling for street children everywhere to be better protected, respected and supported. Find out what happened.


Young people empowered

Feedback from the young people after the Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018 has shown that:

  • 99.4% of young people who took part felt their experience made them feel more confident about the future
  • 70.3% felt that representing their country would change things from them in their communities
  • 72.6% felt that they could change things in their own community compared to 48.5% before the event
  • 79% felt very confident expressing their opinion to other young people
  • 85% felt they were confident engaging with people from other countries, compared to 62% before the event
  • 100% of participants felt that the “I am somebody” statement represents them.

Partner organisations strengthened

22 partner organisations have increased their network – they have formally and informally affilicated with other organisations like SCWC teams, the Consortium for Street Children, StreetInvest, the British Council, sponsors, the UN and the Malala Foundation.

12 partner organisations have more relationships with the media or are strengthening existing relationships: media organisations have proactively contacted them for comment or advice on street-connected children.

14 partners have increased their funding capacity, engaging with new/more corporates and individual donors.

A global platform

Through taking part in the Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018, seven teams (Bolivia Girls, Burundi Boys, Indonesia Boys, Mauritius Girls, Nepal Boys, Pakistan Boys and Tanzania Girls) have been able to take their young people’s messages directly to their governments.

Team Burundi meet their President

Two SCWC Moscow 2018 participants, Rose Ann (Philippines Girls) and Marianna (Mexico Girls) were invited to speak at the UN’s Day of General Discussion on Children Human Rights Defenders.

Legacy projects

The Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018 wouldn’t have been possible without the Vitol Foundation. As well as providing core unrestricted funding to deliver the event, Vitol launched a Global Employee Challenge, tasking 1,400 employees in 42 offices around the world to raise legacy funding for the teams taking part in the SCWC.

The Vitol staff raised $218,414, which was used for projects focussing on access to education, protection from violence and legal identity – not just for the young people who travelled to Moscow, but for the 10,000 street children our partners support across the world.

Here are some examples of our partners’ legacy projects.

Team Kenya Boys

Glad’s House organised workshops, discussion groups and football matches to bring the young people they work with together with the police, government stakeholders and business people to challenge the stigma and discrimination street-connected children face.

Team Bolivia Girls

Alalaya Foundation organised a legal identity and birth registration campaign called ‘I Count as a Citizen Like You’. The campaign included a Forum with relevant Bolivian institutions, training workshops and a public mural.

Team Philippines Girls

Fair Play For All combined the SCU legacy funding with financial support from the Kulczyk Foundation to provide nine players who took part in the Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018, their Head Coach, and five other young people, with university scholarships.

Team Burundi Boys

New Generation provided legal assistance for imprisoned children and training for young people on their rights. Legacy funding was also used to reintegrate young people with their families and provide support for their education.

Festival of the Arts

Engaging the young people in the arts at the Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018 allowed them to express themselves, build confidence and communicate beyond language barriers. Arts workshops ran throughout the event and the young people shared aspects of their cultures with each other every evening at the Late Show. The Festival of Arts culminated in exhibitions at the General Assembly and at Action’s Loft during the FIFA World Cup.