Street Child World Cup

All you need to know about the Street Child World Cup written by One Programme Participant for the Methodist Church Miriam Garnett...



What is the Street Child World Cup?

Street Child World Cup (SCWC) is a global campaign for street children to receive the protection and opportunities that all children deserve. Through football, art and the only international street child conference their aim is to challenge the negative perceptions and treatment of street children. In March 2014 street children from up to 20 countries will take part in the Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is the second SCWC to take place; the first was in Durban, South Africa in March 2010. Following this event police round-ups of street children in Durban have now ended.

Why have a World Cup for street children?

The Street Child World Cup was set up to challenge the way these children were perceived and treated. SCWC believe that the best way of making this change is to place street children at the centre of the call for their rights to be realised. Street children all around the world play football. It not only lets them escape from the fear and uncertainty which surrounds their daily lives but also provides an opportunity for other people to see them differently:

“When people see us by the side of the street, they say that we are the street boys. But when they see us play football, they will say that we are not the street boys. They will say that we are people like them. They are people like us.” Andile, South African team 2010.
 
 

Street Child World Cup in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Central America, with a very young population. 15% of all children between the ages of 5 and 14 are working on the streets to survive. This in turn leads to further problems such as human trafficking, drug addiction and involvement in gangs and crime.

The charity responsible for putting together the Nicaraguan teams (one boys’ and one girls’) for the SCWC is Casa Alianza. Casa Alianza is a charity which aims to defend and rehabilitate street children. Through a holistic programme of sports, art, therapy, group sessions, education and spirituality Casa Alianza not only provides a safe haven but also a place where these street children can develop self esteem and equip themselves for an improved life.
 
 

How does the Street Child World Cup help Casa Alianza and the children they work with?

The international coverage of the SCWC is forcing the Nicaraguan government to acknowledge the presence of street children and also the fantastic work that Casa Alianza does. The approaching SCWC has enabled Casa Alianza for the first time to meet and solicit the support with the Nicaraguan Minister for families, women and children and Minister for Sport. The children’s preparation for the SCWC has also gained national press coverage; interviews with the Casa Alianza staff and children being broadcast across the country.

The young people who participated in the SCWC in Durban 4 years ago are now all working and living independently of Casa Alianza. They all speak about the motivation and inspiration that they gained from the experience.

Jose Matute, one of the team members for the 2014 SCWC told us: “In our neighbourhood…the Matute name was synonymous with robbery and bad things. It makes me feel good just to know that I am changing that reputation by going and doing something different, something great.”
 
More than Just a Game...
 
 
To donate to our efforts to send Team Nicaragua to the Street Child World Cup Please click here

 
   Young people during their Big Sleepover at Cyncoed Methodist Church with their Street Child World Cup t-shirts

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