How the Street Child World Cup can change a child’s life&

Team Philippines, organised by Fairplay For All, at the Street Child World Cup Rio 2014 (Image: Street Child World Cup)

The planet’s greatest footballers will take the starring role when the FIFA World Cup starts in Qatar in less than two months’ time – but not before the capital Doha hosts the Street Child World Cup (SCWC).

With 28 teams from 24 countries taking part, the SCWC is a truly global event that is designed to champion the rights of street children, such as the right to education and to live free from the threat of poverty and violence.

This year’s event, starting on 5 October, stretches over 11 days at Oxygen Park in Education City, also home to Education City Stadium, one of the eight venues for the actual World Cup, which itself gets underway on 20 November.

John Wroe, CEO and founder of Street Child United (SCU), said: We are extremely excited for this highly anticipated fourth Street Child World Cup 2022, our first SCWC in the Middle East. With everything the world has been through these past few years, we need positive, meaningful, heroic stories, and every SCWC delivers them in abundance.”

‘I am now a leader in my community’

This year’s tournament will be the fourth SCWC after South Africa (2010), Brazil (2014) and Russia (2018). The aim of SCWC is to provide examples like that of Sadock John, a young leader from Tanzania, who played at the first event. “That was the moment my life changed for good – I met my SCU family,” he said.

“By representing my country and taking part in the SCWC, I returned to my community a hero. I am now a leader in my community, helping to inspire the next generation through a local football academy. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities Street Child United have given me and their continued support via the Street Child United Young Leader programme, where I have found confidence and belief that I am somebody.”

Ten of this year’s teams will be taking part for the first time, including three refugee teams – Darfur, Hungary and Zaatari – plus a girls’ team from Palestine. Other teams new to the SCU family include Uganda, Nepal, England, Mexico, Peru and Zimbabwe. They will be joined by teams that have previously participated in at least one SCWC and include teams from: Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, USA, Burundi, Tanzania, Pakistan, and Mauritius.

Based in London, Street Child United is a UK charity which, it says, uses ‘the power of sport, specifically international sports events, to change the negative perceptions and treatment of street-connected children everywhere’.

Click here for more details on the tournament.

Author: Simon Weedy

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