A team of young Liberians, under the umbrella, Street Child Team Liberia, left the country last Friday for Brazil (March 28-April 10) to participate in the Street Child World Cup.
The team includes nine players, Coach Samuel Burnette, lll, and Program Manager Michael John Bull.
According to Public Relations Officer Tasha Jackson, the main focus of the Street Child World Cup is to recognise the work of the NGO charity Street Child of Liberia and the issues that thousands of street children face on a daily basis.
In Brazil, they will meet teams from Burundi, South Africa, Liberia, Tanzania, Egypt, Mauritius, host Brazil, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Pakistan, US, Nicaragua and Argentina.
She said the Street Child World Cup will involve 19 countries in a 7 a side tournament and will be played in some of Brazil’s best facilities, including the Maracana Stadium.
She said there will also be cultural, art and story exchange programs among the young footballers. Street Child has been working in Liberia since April 2013 with a group of over 200 street children living in Monrovia. All of these children have now been reunited with their families and have been enrolled back into different schools.
Street Child’s urban programme ‘No Child Left Behind’ works with children whose lives are dependent on the streets. Through teams of social workers, children are given counselling and support to help place them back into their family and into school.
The model is made sustainable through The Family Business Scheme, which provides the families of former street children with business grants and training to develop profitable businesses.
It has a rural programme ‘Every Child in School’ (ECiS) that is aimed at bringing access to education to some of the poorest, rural locations and provide first-time schooling to thousands.
The players were Soko Gurley, Elijah Saysaw, Fallah Patricks, Leo Frank, Daniel Bowgior, Foday Marah, Zwannah Sonnie, Joseph Seepay, Saah Mitchael, Coach Sam Burnette, lll and Program Manager Michael John Bull.