© photoCopyright StefanoCagnoni/StreetChildWorldCup
“Sometimes it’s hell on the street, but when I play football I feel as if I am in heaven “ - Anon, street child, Brazil
The Brazilian Street Child Soccer team were welcomed to the capital at a special reception by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres today, Wednesday 18 April. The team are in London to raise awareness of the second Street Child World Cup, which will be held alongside the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
The team of former street children (aged 15 – 18) are from the Quixote project in Sao Paulo and took part in the first Street Child World Cup in Durban, South Africa in 2010.
Bishop Richard said
"Football can bring the world together and transform lives. It was thrilling to meet members of the Brazilian team from the 2010 Street Child World Cup. I heard about grim experiences in early life and the power of support and friendship to open up new hope and aspirations."
The team's ten day promotional visit to London has included attending Premier League games at QPR and Arsenal, a training session at Tottenham, meeting local school children in London, a visit to the Houses of Parliament and a reception at the Brazilian Embassy. The team have also met up with the English team who took part in the 2010 tournament, who are from M13 project in Manchester. Following their meeting with the Bishop the team were given a VIP tour of St Paul's Cathedral.
The Bishop joins football legend Pele and former England Captain David Beckham in showing support for the Brazil Street Child World Cup. David Beckham recently endorsed the event saying:
“I know 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.”
The 2014 event follows the success of the inaugural Street Child World Cup held in Durban, South Africa in 2010. The participants at the tournament drew up the Durban Declaration , a human rights manifesto for street children, which has been presented to the UN Committee on Human Rights and governments across the world
Through football, art and a truly unique international sporting event, this tournament aims to challenge negative perceptions and treatment of street children everywhere.