Team Liberia joined with every other nation participating in the Street Child World Cup to remember all of the street children who have passed away, particularly those who were killed at Candelåria 21 years ago in Brazil.
A memorial service was held in the very spot where eight street children were shot dead by Brazilian police in 1993, to highlight the issue that since then not enough has been done to protect vulnerable children who are dependent upon the streets and that more needs to happen.
Paulo Roberto de Oliveira, 11 years old
Anderson de Oliveira Pereira, 13 years old
Marcelo Candido de Jesus, 14 year old
Valdevino Miguel de Almeida, 14 years old
Gambazinho, 17 years old
Leandro Santos da Conceiçåo, 17 years old
Paulo José da Silva, 18 years old
Marcos Antønio Alves da Silva, 19 years old
Street children used to gather at the fountain of Candelåria outside of the church to wash and for shelter to sleep, but since the killings it is now used as a place of tribute, with eight red bodies painted on the ground to remind everyone of such a travesty.
Deche, one of the survivors of Candelåria was present to say a few words: “I am really proud to be here and I want to thank everyone for joining me.
“We are a global community across five continents; today we remember the eight young Brazilians and all of the street children around the world and demand a positive change.”
In a shocking statistic 24 street children are killed in Brazil every day, something that local organizations are desperately trying to stop by reaching out to the Government for more aid in this matter.
Rodrego, aged just 16 was meant to be captaining Brazil at the Street Child World Cup this year, unfortunately he was one of those statistics that did not make it as he was murdered just four weeks before the tournament.
Meanwhile, Team Liberia lost the quarter-finals 3-0 to Burundi.