Save the Dream
Organisers of the Street Child World Cup and Street Child Cricket World Cup
The mission of Street Child United is to tackle the widespread stigma street-connected children face and raise awareness and understanding of their situation, so they are protected, respected, and supported to realise their fullest potential.
The initiative focusses on street-connected young people aged 14-25.
The vision of the organisation is a world where every child can access their rights, no matter their background. They campaign for birth registration, access to education, protection from violence and gender equality.
In the run-up to major sporting competitions, like the FIFA World Cup, Olympics and Cricket World Cup, Street Child United organises sporting events for street-connected children. They bring international teams from partner NGOs, to the host country to compete, make their voices heard and change the way the world sees and treats street children. The programme consists of sport, art and a human rights congress. Past participants form the core of the Young Leader programme, which runs annually.
Partner NGOs are selected through a vigorous application process and then become part of the SCU Network. Partners work with street-connected young people on the front line.
A typical Street Child United event requires a budget of £1million.
The impact of the programme varies from country to country but some of the highlights include:
- Inaugural 2010 Street Child World Cup acts as a tipping point helping end illegal police round-ups of street child in Durban.
- 2014 Street Child World Cup results in:- I AM SOMEBODY tour in Pakistan achieving a national resolution for 1.5 million street children, led by partners, Brazilian Government invites our partner to participate in summit for a first National Policy for street children, Street Child United secures funding to rebuild a derelict community football pitch in Complexo da Penha, Rio de Janeiro, providing local at-risk children a sustained alternative to the violent drugs trade.
- 2016 Street Child Games in Rio de Janeiro creates the Rio Resolution, a document listing recommendation for change from street-connected young people across the world.
- 2017 The UN publishes its General Comment on Children in Street Situations, including input from the young people at the 2016 Street Child Games.
- 2018 Through taking part in the Street Child World Cup Moscow, seven teams were able to take their campaigns directly to their governments.
- 2019: Most recent event details
- Team Tanzania has been working with the Tanzanian Cricket Association to engage more street-connected young people in their community through cricket and leadership sessions;
- The Bangladeshi High Commissioner in London, H. E. Ms. Saida Muna Tasneem, met with Team Bangladesh and committed to taking their message to the Bangladeshi Prime Minister;
- Young people from Team India North have been leading talks and workshops in their communities promoting children’s rights.
- Team India South have been supporting other young people in their community to secure legal identification.
- Team England captain is selected in the BBC’s 100 most inspiring women of 2019.
They deliver impact on three levels:
- Individual: empower former street children as ambassadors for the rights of all street children
- Local: raise awareness of and increase support for partner organisations working in-country to protect and support street children
- Global: highlight the issues faced by street children and change the negative perceptions and treatment of street children worldwide.
Detailed monitoring and evaluation is carried out during events, working with partners before, during and after, to ensure the delivery of impactful change.
Key highlights of the project include:
Network of partner NGOs – knowledge sharing
Creating a platform through use of media and ambassadors
Young people returning home as champions
International Volunteering Programme
Partnerships make delivery possible
Improvements brough to the programme as a result of evaluations and monitoring:
Selecting teams at least 18 months before each event, to allow for work and advocacy strategy to begin at earliest opportunity and maximise the opportunity for partner NGOs
Each country where the work is delivered has a different context, so there is the need to tailor each event appropriately – the model is transferable but only with considerable work.
The results at the individual level are illustrated in the below examples
Jasmin from England spoke at the Beyond Sport Conference after the SCCWC 2019 and Samantha (also from England) was offered a work experience at Give Me
- Sport Women after meeting a GMSW producer at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.
- Tarek (Team India) and Sopna (Team Bangladesh) had their stories told by World Bank in video format. The videos were played during our Westminster reception and at the General Assembly at Lord’s. The videos were released on the World Bank and SCU’s social media channels, and have been viewed more than 122,000 times.
- Ronalyn is now enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas as part of the Varsity Football Team. As the coach of Team Philippines for the 2018 Street Child World Cup she also earned a scholarship through the Kulczyk Foundation who supports the team. Over the weekend she got a goal and an assist in her first game for the team. She is studying for her Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science and has already spoken about her hopes of heading the sports program at Fairplay when she graduates.
- Drika’s commitment and hard work has been recognised by sporting legends and leaders. In 2016, Drika was accepted on the Michael Johnson Positive Track leadership course in Dallas, Texas. During the Rio 2016 Olympics she met with Wilfried Lemke, the former Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on sport for development and peace, to discuss how she uses sport to promote peace and inclusion.
The results achieved by the programme at global level:
- Seven teams met their Prime Ministers or Presidents after the SCWC Moscow 2018.;
- The United Nations, national and local governments, Pope Francis, HRH Prince William and football legends show their support for previous Street Child United events;
- The Pakistani government passed a resolution to protect the 1.5 million street-connected young people in Pakistan after SCWC Rio 2014;
The Indian government committed to birth registration for millions of street-connected children in India after the Street Child Games Rio 2016. What worked in this programme was – treating individuals as individuals, but also as part of something much bigger. Tailoring programmes to suit individuals. Working with a range of partners, to ensure a variety of opinions etc. Deferring to experts and ‘giving the World Cup away’ when others are better placed to deliver specific aspects.
We say ‘the world conspires with us’.