We’ve previously discussed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). We now write to help promote the rights of street children under the UNCRC by way of the Street Child World Cup.
The organizers of the Deloitte Street Child World Cup (DSCWC), comprising various NGOs and volunteer groups, have scored a big one. The DSCWC is the 1st international soccer competition for street children.
The competition began March 15 and ends on March 22, 2010 in
. It is not a coincidence that the World Cup will be held in July 2010 also in Durban, South Africa . South Africa
Games are played indoors (think futsal) with seven-a-side (instead of the regular 11). The rules require at least 1 girl to be on the field during the entire game. And when a girl scores, it’s 2 points.
The SCWC is open to street children between 14-16 years old. Besides the Philippines, Brazil, India, Nicaragua, South Africa, Tanzania, Ukraine Vietnam and the UK have also fielded teams to the DSCWC.
Apart from scoring points on the pitch, the project is aimed at scoring points on behalf of street children around the world.
“The Deloitte Street Child World Cup will place street children centre stage, celebrating their potential and providing a platform for them to talk about the issues that matter most to them. Through a process led by the children themselves, the Deloitte Street Child World Cup will formulate a global Street Child Manifesto, and launch a campaign calling for street children’s rights to a full, healthy, dignified life, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), are upheld.”
But regardless of the outcome and even before the games began, the lives of the particpants have already significantly changed -
Wanda Msani, 14, South Africa: "After my parents separated, my father started drinking all the time ... When he got drunk, he would beat me up so badly he wouldn't stop. I knew I had to run away.
“When people walk past us, they look at us like we are dogs. They look down on us like we are not even people, just because we eat from bins," he says, his eyes burning with anger. "They will see that we can be something."
Nosipho Mabaso, 16, and only girl in the South African team: "When I play football I forget about the bad things in my life... Before I moved to the street no-one had ever tried to force me to sleep with them, but since coming here I know what that is like, it is very scary ... I don't want this life any more. I want to go back home and go back to school... The tournament is the first step to my new life".
Roberto Orlandez, 15, Philippines: Having grown up pinside a truck yard, Roberto earlier dreamed of becoming a truck driver. And then he learned how to play football. “When I learned to play, and I got good at it, my dreams changed, they got bigger,” said Roberto. “I don’t want to be a truck driver anymore... When you live in a place like this, you should really have the courage to dream. It’s important to aim for something, because if you don’t, you’ll never leave this place. You’ll be stuck here for the rest of your life. You will amount to nothing”.
Tinikling vs Samba
The RP team has done good so far. They were formed from a pool of candidates from the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Street Children Village, Nayon ng Kabataan, Manila Boys Town Complex, Philippine Christian Foundation, Gawad Kalinga, The Tondo Futkaleros, Football Club of Leveriza and Muntinlupa United FC.
It may have helped that before leaving for the games, the players were given lessons in Tinikling because on March 18, 2010, a miracle happened: a Philippine team beat a Brazilian team in soccer!
We extend our congratulations and well wishes not only to our team but to all the players, mentors, coaches, volunteers, participants, and organizers of the Deloitte Street Child World Cup!
Deloitte Street Child World Cup . Deloitte Street Child World Cup , n.d. Web. 19 Mar 2010. .
 Fihlani, P. "Street children aim for World Cup victory ." BBC News. BBC, 15 Mar 2010. Web. 19 Mar 2010.
 Olivares, Rick. "From the streets with no names." Business Mirror. Business Mirror Online Space, 22 Feb 2010. Web. 20 Mar 2010.