'Street Child World Cup' launched

By staff writers
20 Mar 2009
Gary Lineker at the launch of Street Child World Cup

An initiative involving Christian charities and others was launched last night in Westminster to highlight the situation of street children.

The Street Child World Cup aims to bring teams of street children from around the world to take part in a football competition to coincide with the FIFA World Cup which will be held in South Africa in 2010.

Campaigners, including the Amos Trust who organised last nights event, say that the World Cup should be a celebration for the whole country, but especially for street children, the "world's biggest football fans".

Whilst many children on the streets are abused and ignored, football allows them moments to escape where can they play with "complete commitment" say the charities.

The aim of the initiative which will take place in Durban in March 2010, is to give a voice to street children and highlight their situation for policy makers.

Street childen from eight countries will come together, supported by some of the world's leading street child charities.

The teams will work with international coaches and [also] with specially trained artists who will help the street children to tell their stories.

It is hoped that decision-makers will hear about the issues which matter to street children and will be challenged to make changes so that children around the world who are forced onto the streets get a chance at a future which is "healthy, dignified and safe."

Attended by celebrities and footballers, the launch event at the Cinnamon Club in London was addressed by, amongst others, former England striker and presenter of BBC's Match of the Day, Gary Lineker.

Gary Lineker told Ekklesia: "For the children it is of great value that they can play a sport which teaches them so many things. But bringing them together to play football in this way also means that their situation will be brought to public attention."

"Football is a rich game" he continued, "and it is important that it gives to those who need it most. And the great thing is that the children wll get out there and enjoy it and have a great time too."

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