This weekend the Brazil team from the Street Child World Cup got a taster of both warm British hospitality and the cold British weather.
Friday evening the young people from ABC Trust/Quixote were re-united with the UK team (M13) from South Africa 2010 with whom many of them had kept in touch via Facebook. This proved a particular highlight for the young people playing football and taking on an assault course.
Saturday they were given a tour of Camden Market alongside students from South Camden Community School.
This was followed by a taster of home at St Luke’s Islington where they received Brazilian-themed food, made presentations and showed the Brits how dancing is really done.
Team member Rodrigo José Inácio said: “The Street Child World Cup has taught me a lot about other cultures. Especially when we were in South Africa and we met with Umthombo. I hope others can understand and respect our culture in Brazil also.”
Vicente Silva dos Santos added: “Everyone is unique, if you respect their culture then you will find every individual is valuable.”
Looking forward to Brazil 2014 Rodrigo said: “I really want to see all the street children from Brazil to take part and learn like we learned and to have the opportunity to change like I have changed”
Vicente said: “I really want to see the Street Child World Cup being a success so that there will be no more children on the streets of Brazil.”
All those in attendance were asked to a light a candle to remember the millions of children still living and working on the streets across the world.
The next day the Brazil team took part in the Cambridge-based ‘Suits and Boots’ tournament for businesses in Cambridge. The young people warmed up the brisk-fen conditions with their Brazilian skills. Most notably Josilene (Leni) dos Santos who scored a wonderfully memorable penalty.
Thamires and Leni keeping warm
Douglas raises the cup
“When ever people come across me they laugh. It seems like my mouth is zipped because they talk for us. I wish they could give us a chance to talk for ourselves.”
“It was a privilege to be invited to the launch of the Street Child World Cup at Downing Street. It gives children a voice through football, a platform to express their rights and celebrate their abilities – I’m proud to add my support.”
“I know from personal experience just what power football can have to inspire and change young people’s lives whatever their background or nationality. This is what the Street Child World Cup is all about and I give it my full support.”