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    • SCWC Conference: The Brazil Team Manifesto - 16.11.10

Next Wednesday 24th November, fifty delegates will be attending the Street Child World Cup conference at Deloitte's offices in London. Those attending are mainly from street child organisations of a variety of sizes and approaches and others are coming from embassies or larger child rights NGOs.

The manifesto from the Brazil Team from this year's Street Child World Cup meeting will be presented by a group of actors at the conference. This document pulls together all the thoughts of the players in Team Brasil on topics such as the meaning of 'Home', the issues that lead to family breakdown and the serious problem of violence on the streets in Brazil.

Some of the comments that the Brasil Team players made include:

“Before changing the world, we should change ourselves."
"We are all champions.”

“Victims of violence in turn become violent.”

“Police and legal systems don’t work. Umthombo and similar social projects work well.”

This manifesto is great proof of the fact that these children have opinions that need to be heard and that Street Child World Cup gave them a chance to voice their fears and their ideas.

The team’s manifesto was:

  • We want to change the mindset and attitude of people with regard to the treatment of street children.
  • We want the government to include the theme of street children within its proposals and electoral campaigns.
  • We are going to apply pressure on the government to change its attitude:

    - By delivering a report on the work of the SCWC

    - By using the media to ensure that a list of questions is submitted and adequately answered. 

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  • SCWC: "We, the girls living on the streets..."

Within the teams at the first ever Street Child World Cup back in March this year, there was an inspiring group of bright, resilient, powerful young women, all between 14 and 16, from each of the seven different countries taking part in the event. At the three day conference that followed the football tournament, these girls shared their stories with each other and with us, and came up with a manifesto for change.

Up to 30% of children living on the streets around the world are girls. Their gender makes them particularly vulnerable to some abuses, and street girls can come up with distinctive survival strategies. Some of these are ultimately damaging.

On Monday 27th September, this manifesto was published as part of Plan International’s Because I am a Girl report. The report says: “Projects with adolescent girls need above all to listen to what the girls themselves have to say, and to use existing legislation to ensure that protection means they are protected rather than abused yet again. We owe this and more to [the girls in this report and others like them]. We have seen their strength, energy and resilience in the face of adversity. There is no excuse not to match this with our own, and to ensure that during the next decade of the 21st century, no girls will have to live on the streets of our cities."

Brazil Team's Rogeria at SCWC

This is what the girls had to say:

“We, the girls living, and who have lived on the streets, and those of us in shelters from seven countries [the UK, Brazil,Tanzania, South Africa, the Philippines, Ukraine and Nicaragua] met during the Deloitte Street Child World Cup conference which took place 20-22 March 2010 in Durban, South Africa."

We, the street girls, have the following rights and we want them respected:

• The right to live in a shelter and home
• the right to have a family
• the right to be safe
• the right to be protected from sexual abuse
• the right to go to school and get free education
• the right to good health and access to free health services
• the right to be heard
• the right to belong
• the right to be treated with respect and dignity
• the right to be treated as equal to boys
• the right to be allowed to grow normally.

We identified the following ways to be safe in our communities:
• step parents should love all children

• community leaders should punish people who abuse children

• adults should know about child rights

• there should be good lighting on the streets

• street children should be treated with dignity and respect

We identified the following factors that make us safe at national level:
• training for police to keep children safe
• tough laws on child abuse
• good relations between government and children

• put money into support workers who can pay detailed attention to children

• governments should build homeless shelters for street girls to feel safe in

• give us access to education – there should be better security in schools

• there should be more social projects

• get rid of corruption.

We declared that the following actions at a regional and global level will motivate our governments to protect street children:

• the whole world should recognise and protect street children

• all countries should have good child laws

• girls should be allowed to speak and be heard

• there should be awareness campaigns about street children

• there should be more awareness of the problem of violence”

This report is going to be discussed with parliamentarians, ambassadors and other officials at an All Party Parliamentary Group meeting later this month at which we hope that actions for change and their implementation will be discussed.

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  • Street Child World Cup: The Next Step for ABC

Although the first ever Street Child World Cup is now over and the teams are all back in their home countries, the work does not end there. ABC will be working with the team to develop a four year national campaign aimed at making sure that the voices of street children are heard and changes are made to improve the plight of the vulnerable young people of Brazil.

ABC will now be working to support the team on their return; these young people have been part of an extraordinary experience and now return to their lives back home with new hopes and dreams.

We will also be working towards the launch of our 4 year campaign in the lead-up to hosting the Street Child World Cup in 2014 in Brazil.
Through this campaign, we aim to give support to members of the team as they take their messages wider, in the media and, in an election year, to the politicians seeking re-election in Brazil.

The Street Child World Cup is a very exciting project for ABC Trust to be involved in and we are now very much looking forward to developing our campaign on the ‘Rights of the Child
and taking the next steps to making SCWC 2014 another successful event for everyone involved.


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  • Team Brasil arrives home in Sao Paulo - 25/03/10

Edited and translated from an article by Roberta Tasselli, ABC Trust

"I don't want to leave," said Lene. "I want to volunteer at the Street Child World Cup 2014," said Rogéria and Thamires. "I want to take everyone who participated in this Street Child World Cup to Brazil with us," said Vicente. It was amidst many other comments like these that Team Brasil boarded the TAP aircraft in Durban and landed in Sao Paulo the following morning.

It was difficult to sleep on the flight with so many memories and knowing how much they would miss everything and everyone. How to choose the favourite moments among so many memorable ones? For Jimena Page, founder of the ABC Trust, the three best moments were when England raised Brazil’s flag after their victory over our team, the Shosholoza (the hymn of victory of the South Africa Rugby Cup in 1995) being sung in unison by all countries at the end of the art show at Durban’s Art Gallery, and the moment when the Headmaster of the Hillgrove Secondary School made a farewell speech and gave medals to everyone from Brazil involved in the Street Children world Cup saying that every day there are one thousand and two hundred children praying for them, since the day they met.

There were so many other moments that we cannot forget, such as when Brazil and the Philippines shared stories about the social realities in each of their countries at the Street Children’s Rights Conference. We shall never forget the surprise of our children when they realised that those countries, that seemed so far apart, share such similar realities. And seeing these children talking like grown-ups, saying that the issue of street children in Brasil is not on the agenda of any candidate's campaign and that they would hold the candidates accountable for this in the next election was a very memorable moment too. Just as was the ceremony with the deputy mayor of Durban in the football stadium where Brazil will play his first match, against Portugal, later this year at the FIFA 2010 World Cup. There are so many unforgettable moments.

Rodrigo, David, Jimena and Douglas with the Vice-Mayor of Durban.

It is also hard to forget how the children stayed up until very late at night, talking to other children who did not speak a word of the same language. For hours, we could see boys and girls from Brazil talking to young people from Ukraine, England and Nicaragua. No effort was spared to get their message across, they did everything they could: mime, gestures and smiles. So many smiles….

Those were the same smiles that never left the faces of the South Africans kids, not even for one minute. These smiles meant so much as they came from children who have been banned from the streets by the country’s Metropolitan Police due to the imminent arrival of the FIFA World Cup. 

There is also so much to praise in terms of team spirit. There were endless applauses from the nearly 80 children that took part in the competition when India won the tournament. The visit to the nature reserve was the first time many of these kids saw animals such as rhinos. It doesn’t stop there – there is the time they all went ice-skating, the surfing lessons, the cultural presentations from all of the difference countries, especially when Brazil made all of the kids dance “Axe” together? It's just too much to remember.

Rather than making those moments just memories, we want to make them part of what is yet to come: the Street Children World Cup 2014 in Brazil and the campaign that we plan to lead until then, which will give a voice to these Brazilian street children who have so much to say. All this was just the beginning. Young people in Brazil still have a lot to say. And we, ABC Trust, Projeto Quixote and Sao Martinho, with the help of all involved in the Street Children World Cup, will help them be heard!

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  • Thoughts from Team Brasil and ABC at the end of SCWC

Edited and translated from an article by Roberta Tasselli, ABC Trust

The first ever Street Child World Cup came to an end yesterday, 22nd March, in Durban, South Africa after 9 days of intense activity and with Team India being named tournament champions. The event brought together approximately 80 children from 8 different nations, and who have all already experienced life on the streets, to participate in a football tournament and a 3-day conference addressing the rights of street children.

At the conference, the children discussed issues such as the idea of "home", protection against violence and the access to education and healthcare. As well as leading these discusssions, the children also put together the manifesto themselves, which included the following points:

"We want to change people's mindset and attitudes towards the treatment of street children."

"The Government needs to include the issue of street children in their political discourse." 

"We are going to pressure the Government to change its attitude towards street children and we will present all of the political candidates for the next election with a list of questions relating to the issues of children on the street. This will be a summary of the work that has been done here at the Street Child Word Cup Conference and we will work with the media to ensure that the politicians give us some answers." 

With the end of Street Child World Cup for 2010 already here, ABC Trust's CEO, Andrew Webb, speaks about how the work is by no means over and what is planned to make positive changes happen until the next SCWC:

"Children who are forced to survive on the streets deserve something much better. They are not criminals - and, instead of being treated with care and understanding, they receive harsh treatement from the police. All children have the right to a secure home, protection against violence and access to healthcare and education. Even more importantly, their voices should be heard and their hopes and dreams taken more seriously. ABC Trust will work with the organisers of Street Child World Cup to bring the event to Brazil in 2014 and we will give special attention to the way in which street children are treated during the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup. This is a fantastic opportunity for Brasil to take the lead in the next four years, not only on the football pitch, but also in taking concrete measures to defend and protect the rights of the country's most vulnerable children."

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  • Emotions run high on the day of the SCWC Finals

The day of semi-finals action on Saturday brought India and Tanzania together in the Street Child World Cup championship final on Sunday. However, the two teams had to wait until the afternoon before the final kick-off and in the morning were busy with the second day of the SCWC conference with the focus on the theme of protection from violence.

For the morning's conference, the girls were separated from the boys so as to give them more freedom to speak openly on this subject. Interestingly, despite the cultural differences and geographical distances between the children, many of the same issues were raised by each of the groups. Some of the problems discussed were the use of drugs by parents, the abuse of power by the police and sexual abuse of children on the streets. The talks ended positively as the groups discussed how local and international governments could work to push for the rights of street children.

That afternoon then saw India and Tanzania battle it out for the title of SCWC champions and South Africa and the Philippines fight for 3rd and 4th position. Anticipation was rising amongst everyone and you could feel the tension in the room as the runners up final kicked off. With a 1-1 score when the whistle blew, the match went into extra time but a header from one of the Philippines players secured them the win. It was a perfect match and the South Africans were incredibly gracious in defeat whilst the winners were given a standing ovation for their victory.

The final match between Indian and Tanzania provided the crowd with a high-energy and intense bit of spectating! Coming into the final 5 minutes and there had still been no hint of a goal After a sliding block-tackle from a Tanzanian player, India was given a penalty which became a goal, causing a wave of pandaemonium to break out from the Indian bench. Despite fighting to the very end, Tanzania could not bring it back and India became the first ever winners of the Street Child World Cup.

Many of the Tanzanian players were so devastated they were unable to come onto the pitch for the closing ceremony. It had meant so much to them and emotions were running high. This had been a huge journey for all of the children involved and disappointment was hard to take. By the evening everyone was all smiles and excitement again though.

That evening, after the closing ceremony, all of the children gathered together to see the artwork, which they had been working on all week with the help of artists from Momentum Arts, exhibited in Durban's Gallery of Arts. Their individual pieces had been done on hexagonal shapes, which when put all together created the sense of a giant beehive. This idea of the beehive image came from the South Africa team host organisation, Umthombo, as they say that street children are like bees, "they walk in groups when they are in danger, the like sweet things in life and can sting to defend themselves when they feel uncomfortable".

At the end of the gallery exhibition, the South Africans led an impromptu rendition of Shosholosa and soon all the members of all the teams joined in, adults and children alike. As Sam from the SCWC organisational body pointed out it was "another extraordinary moment in an extraordinary day in an extraordinary week".

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  • Conference for the rights of street children begins

Translated from an article by Roberta Tasselli, ABC Projects Coordinator

"Home: what does that word mean to you?" This was the question with which the Conference for the Rights of Street Children began here in Durban. Among the topics to be discussed on the conference's first day were shelter and reintegration whilst protection and access to health and education are also on the agenda of the next few days.

Guided by the educators, the groups discussed issues related to these themes and at the end of the discussions, they shared their findings with a different team. In a first exercise, terms like "name","mother" and "a place to shelter from the rain" were placed on different post-its and glued on a large sheet of paper, one for each team.

The aim of the exercise was to allow the children to raise the issues faced by street children and to put them in order of priority. In the Brazil team, "erroneous judicial decisions” is a factor that was believed to strongly affect the lives of street children, such as the judges’ decision to take custody of three of the four children of a mother who has children living on the street, as exemplified by the team. The poor performance of  the “Children's Protection Council" was the second factor to come up, followed by "lack of sense of family responsibility" among parents. The importance of being allowed a childhood also came up as a critical issue:  "I had no childhood, since I had to go out and work with my mother," said one. 

The possible solutions were analysed on many different levels: personal, local, national and global. First, however, the children watched videos featuring the testimony of teenagers at risk on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. The educators helped the children understand the differences and similarities involving the issue of street children in the two cities: Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, in order to work on a joint solution for the problems.

In the afternoon, Team Brasil played against South Africa in a battle for fifth place, but the hosts ended up beating us: 2 - 1. The day ended with a South African style barbecue which was put on for us by Deloitte. There was no lack of sausage and steak, and, of course, pepper. Lots of pepper - just as it should be.

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  • A busy day off for Team Brasil and a visit to the stadium

With all of the league fixtures over, Friday 19th March was 'Rest Day' for all the teams at Street Child World Cup, but that's not to say they weren't super busy!

Although having not reached the semi-finals of the competition, Team Brasil were soon thinking about other things and the greater reason for their being there as they visited parts of Durban city which are the most popular spots for children living on the streets.

Together with members of Uthombo, the host organisation for the South Africa team, Team Brasil visited a tree in the city centre which many of Durban's street children sleep in in order to stay away from the dangers that they could face at ground level. 

The Brasilian players learnt how the Fifa World Cup coming to South Africa has been a nightmare for Durban's street children as they are in danger of being moved away in order to keep them away from the eyes of the media and visiting tourists at the games. 

The team then met up with all of the other countries for an afternoon of relaxation at Ushaka Marine World where all the children made great use of the slides and games on offer. Language barriers and difference of nationalities did nothing to stop all the teams hanging out and laughing together.

Later that day, all of the teams headed off to the newly built Modes Mabhida stadium in Durban for a reception hosted by the city's vice-mayor, Logie Naidoo. For Team Brasil, stepping out onto the pitch where their country's team will be playing in the real Fifa World Cup in just a few months' time was a particularly moving experience. Each of the teams thanked Naidoo for the invitation and from Team Brasil it was Rodrigo who addressed the vice-mayor. All in all it was a jam-packed day off for all the teams!

The day came to an end with Team India's turn to present a part of their national culture to the teams. The Indians introduced the festival of Holi to everyone, explaining the significance of the presence of brightly coloured powder paints in the festival. Soon these paints were being flung across the room over everyone as a representation of the battle between God and the rebellios angels!

It is clear that the Street Child World Cup experience has had a huge impact on all of the children involved, and testament to this is that one of the Brazilian team members was overheard telling his mates to stop counting the days left in Durban before they return to Brazil as they were ruining the dream in which he was living. Viva SCWC!   

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  • Team Brasil v. the Philippines and a farewell to friends

Translated from an article by Roberta Tasselli, ABC Projects Coordinator

Never before has a team from the Philippines had the experience of facing Brazil in football. The expectations of the talented Philippines team was as high as the level of training they must have had before coming to the World Cup, and they ended up winning: 5 - 2.

But the defeat of the Brazil team was not the saddest goodbye of the day. In the morning, just before the game, the Team Brasil met for the last time with the students from Hillgrove Secondary School that had been with the team since Monday and participated in the art and advocacy activities.

The tears shed in that final goodbye demonstrated just how positive the experience had been. There were autograph sessions, photos, hugs and kisses. The students had no shame in being groupies and asked the Brazilian team to sign their shirts as a souvenir.

Brazil was presented with gold medals and in return the team gave their hosts postcards with signed images of themselves. Each Street Child World Cup team had a host school during their stay in Durban and students from the schools shared with the teams the African culture and also promoted the integration of children. On the first day, Brazil was welcomed with a very well rehearsed ceremony. All of the schools' students came together to sing "We Are the Champions" by the rock band Queen to the Brasilian players.

Even without speaking the same language, the children became friends and could not wait to see each other the next day. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the team went back to the school to participate in artistic activities in the morning with volunteers from the UK-based NGO Momentum Arts.

Plus, to end the day on an even greater high, the children went to the IMAX theatre to enjoy some 3D cinema. With so many new experiences to share, who will remember the defeat in football? Rodrigo, one of the Team Brasil players, said it all when he explained: "We have gained so much, in so many different ways."

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  • SCWC team come face to face with police round-ups

Amidst the excitement of the football matches taking place this week, the Street Child World Cup organisers were brought face to face with the very reason behind this campaign on the morning of Wednesday 17th March. Following a brief daily meeting, news came through to the organisers of a police round-up of street children happening in the centre of Durban.

The team were able to locate the police van and decided to follow in pursuit of it in an attempt to document what was taking place, but also to try to prevent it from going any further. It was apparent as soon as they got close enough to the vehicle that the faces that could be seen behind the bars of the police van were those of children.

Eventually being able to park up near to the vehicle inside a police compound, the team of eight Street Child World Cup workers approached the police officer, asking why these children had been locked in the back of his van. His reply was that the children had been sleeping in old municipal buildings and were therefore classed as trespassers. On the orders of their superiors, the officers had woken the children with tear-gas and taken them away in order to "keep the streets clean of vagrants."

It was the arrival of a local South African radio journalist who had been called by the SCWC team that pushed the officer to release the children. Fearing the media frenzy that would ensue were this story to get out, particularly during the week of Street Child World Cup, the captain allowed the six young children to be freed from the back of the van. One boy was even wearing a Street Child World Cup t-shirt and had been at the games the day before, cheering on his country's team.

Karen, of the Street Child World Cup organisational body, yesterday said "Whilst the street children teams battle it out on the football pitch here this week, there are adults battling it out on their behalf and taking their fight to city representatives. It's hard work and mostly met with shocking resistance, but thankfully there are people working to give children a voice and a happy life."

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  • ABC Founder, Jimena Page, on Street Child World Cup

By Jimena Page, ABC Trust's Founding Trustee

"I am enjoying the Street Child World Cup experience, and a big part of me would love to be hosting it in Brasil in 2014 but an even bigger part of me would rather there was no need and that there were no more children living on the streets by then.This was Rogeria's decisive input in our ABC-Quixote meeting this morning which gave the children a space to voice their thoughts so far.

It is very clear that all the children participating are thrilled to be here, but that they wish it wasn't necessary.

The highlight of the week so far was at the end of the Brasil-England match which sadly ended in a 4-0 victory for England. The Brasil team, visibly devastated, were invited to the victory lap around the pitch by the UK team (from the M13 project in Manchester) who held the Brasil flag up high and put their arms around their new friends. Very touching and astonishingly beautiful behaviour from these so called 'rough' inner-city kids.

I've got to say that I am impressed with all of the children here. In the evening the Brasilian presentation reflected what Brasilians do best - improvise - and of course it ended up an inclusive dance party with big smiles and loud cheers from everyone."

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  • The big match: UK v. Brasil

By Andrew Webb, ABC Trust's Chief Executive

On Wednesday, the big game arrived – UK v Brasil. Everyone had been really looking forward to this game, especially seeing as victory for either team would put a semi-final place within reach and both were strong teams. The game set off at a much lower pace compared to Brasil’s previous game with Tanzania as both teams settled down and testing each other out.

The UK were playing typical British tactics - using the wings, crossing to a tall striker and passing the ball around the pitch well. The Brasilians, although less structured, had flair in abundance and moved one of their mid-fielders to be their striker with promising results in the first few minutes and causing consternation in the UK defence.

However, it soon became clear they were nowhere near as well organised and were soon under pressure and went down a goal in the tenth minute of the match. It remained a tough physical contest but with the special bond between the Brasil and UK teams it was all played in a good spirit - players were always helping each other up and apologising for a tough tackle.

As the match went on the Brasilians were tirin
g and the UK team remained strong resulting in a final score of 4-0.

Within seconds of the end of the match the UK team ran to the side-lines and got a Brasil flag from the crowd and with the flag held aloft joined their Brasilian counter-parts, arms around each other, to celebrate a great game, worthy opponents and new friends for whom they had the utmost respect. It brought a few tears to the eyes of the many people there to see the moment. It was to be expected that there was anger and upset amongst the Brasil team players - the children had arrived with such high hopes and with this result they could not make the semi-finals.

An hour later they were coming to terms with it - even if slowly - but they had reason to think about something else. That night was to be the night they would put together a performance to share some of their Brasilian culture with all of the teams and everyone working on the SCWC. They did brilliantly - they performed an extremely gymnastic capoeira session with amazing moves coming from each member of the team and went on to highlight the links between Brasilian and African culture with capoeria as a form of martial arts defence practised by African slaves in Brasil, but disguised as a dance. They went on to perform some break-dancing and then they moved on to the popular Axe music and dance which was so infectious it ended up in everyone in the room getting up and joining in to make onehuge party - a Brasilian party in the way only they could do!

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  • Team Brasil's first match against Tanzania

 By Andrew Webb, ABC Trust's Chief Executive

Brasil's first game was against early tournament favourites, Tanzania - and within seconds the Tanzanians had a shot on goal which was to set the tone for a very high tempo and physical game.

Team Brasil were still coming to terms with playing on a very fast in-door pitch when Tanzanian scored with a blistering shot from 20 yards out. The Tanzanian team were very well drilled (they came from a very high profile and successful football project) and seemed to have 2 or 3 defenders every time the Brazilians broke into their half.

Even though our team showed great individual skills and 100% commitment to often bruising encounters they were getting few chances at goal and it was only a matter of time before the constant pressure from the Tanzanian team resulted in a second goal - 2-0 to Tanzania. This didn't stop the cheers for the Brasil team from their host school who are by far the most vocal of supporters with flags and Brasil’s colours painted on their faces. 

With the first match over there was a chance to adapt to the conditions and make improvements for the next game. Tanzania looked like worthy favourites and all spectating teams knew that both Brasil and Tanzania were very much in the hunt for the final.

After the tanzania game the Team Brasil knew they had another big game against the UK who had beaten the Philippines the previous day 4-2. The truth is that they are in the 'group of death' - with Tanzania, the UK, the Philippines and Brasil all thrown together in what looked the strongest group by far. However in the other group it is clear that India is looking very strong too.

Following this match, news came through that the Tanzanian team had been approached by a Tanzanian boy who had come to the football pitches to find them. He had been trafficked to South Africa and was looking for a way to get home. He heard about the Street Child World Cup on the local radio and heard that Tanzania would be there - so he came to SCWC football tournament to find them and ask for their help. He had been promised a career as a star footballer in South Africa but instead the reality was brutally different. The Tanzanian team have promised to take him back home and are now working with their embassy to ensure this happens.

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  • Team Brasil get a very warm welcome in South Africa

By Andrew Webb, ABC Trust's Chief Executive

On arrival, Team Brasil were treated to the most exhilarating reception at their host school when they arrived with teams from India and the UK. There were hundreds of children to welcome them and they were given the loudest cheers I have ever heard, with singing and dancing and much else besides.

The Brasilian team were treated like celebrities and though they were truely over-whelmed they rose to the occasion to join in with all the celebrations. 

The Brasilian team arrived a couple of days earlier than other teams and as soon as they met the South African team it was clear there was an immediate special bond - and though they do not speak the same language they had no problem communicating and trading dance-moves, greetings and laughing and joking together.

The players in Brasil's squad have also bonded very closely with the UK team
- again with language presenting no barrier at all. They are sharing a room at the Star Sea Side Home here in Durban and have become firm friends. Something which was to become very important later on.

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  • Graffiti artist Speto brings Gabriela's story to life

Top Brazilian graffiti artist, Speto, has designed an image for the fictional character, Gabriela, who was created by Team Brasil in the weeks leading up to the SCWC. Gabriela's story and image will be used to represent the thousands of children that struggle to survive on the streets of Brazil every day.

The story of Gabriela was put together by the group of teenagers who are representing Brazil in South Africa throughout the tournament and they will use her story during the conference that will follow the games to illustrate many of the difficulties that children in Brazil are forced to face. All of the team members drew on personal experiences and first-hand knowledge of what life on the street is like for young children like themselves to create this character.

Beginning her life as a young girl born into a world of drug-related crime and deprivation, Gabriela has little choice than to turn to the street to make a living begging at traffic lights. Her parents are consumed by drug addiction and her mother is a drug dealer. Soon Gabriela decides to flee from the violence she is living with at home and finds herself alone and homeless in the huge city of Sao Paulo. Gabriela is vulnerable and unable to protect herself from the many dangers that life on the streets pose to a young child and she becomes caught up in a triangle of violence and drugs with older men. Falling pregnant at just 12 years old, Gabriela turns to a care centre for help and is looked after through the birth of her child in the Menino Jesus hospital. At 13, Gabriela now lives in the Menina Mae shelter with her son, Miro, whom she adores.

Although this story is a fictional account created by the Team Brasil players, similiar stories are heard from young children all over Brazil and we hope that Gabriela's story will be used to bring positive change and make the voices of these disadvantaged young people heard.

The image of Gabriela that has been created by Speto is to be put onto t-shirts that will be sold across Brazil in the M.Officer shops of designer Carlos Miele. Proceeds from the sale of these t-shirts will go to ABC Trust's national social campaign that will be implemented following the Street Child World Cup project in South Africa and through which we aim to bring real changes to the lives of Brazil's most vulnerable children.

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  • TAP airline sponsors flights for Team Brasil 

Portuguese airline TAP has very kindly sponsored flights for all of the children in Team Brasil to travel to South Africa and back to participate in the Street Child World Cup in Durban. The Victoria Programme, which is run by the airline, is linked to organisations providing humanitarian aid and social care and through this campaign TAP has been inviting members of the Victoria programme to donate their airmiles to Street Child World Cup.

This programme is also being used to help other organisations that work to bring social aid such as the Portuguese Red Cross and The International Medical Assistance. By 2008, 6.5 million airmiles had already been donated by participants of the Victoria progamme which have been put to use in numerous aid actions and campaigns working on social solidarity by providing travel for volunteers from NGOs to many different locations where humanitarian aid is desperately needed.

People were able donate their miles up until 28th February 2010 on the Victoria Programme page on TAP's website at www.tapvictoria.com.br. ABC Trust is very grateful to TAP for their participation in Street Child World Cup and in ensuring that the Team arrive safely in South Africa.

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  • Rai trains with Team Brasil in Sao Paulo

"I want to shoot, but I'm afraid," said Josilene dos Santos when she saw Rai in goal. Lene, as she is better known by her teammates, was the only player who managed to score while the football legend was in goal - and the fear soon became a huge grin after she succeeded.

On Saturday 27th February, the former Brazil team player participated in the team’s penultimate training session, before they head off to South Africa where they will be representing Brazil at the Street Child World Cup starting on Monday 15th March.

Rai spared no effort to meet the demands of the team: he played in goal, in line, signed autographs and gave them plenty of advice. As well as already having played in the professional’s World Cup, Rai also has valuable experience in drawing people's attention to social causes through sport, such as in the work he does with the NGO he runs in Brazil, “Atletas pela Cidadania” (Athletes for Citizenship).

"The Street Child World Cup project is everything I believe in: using the power of sport to raise awareness and bring people’s attention to the great injustices of the world,” said the player.

The smiles on the faces of those children, from beginning to end of the training session, shows how much it means to them to have such a football legend on their side, fighting for the rights of street children.

The ABC Trust is very grateful for the overwhelming kindness of Rai de Oliveira, who shares the organisation’s vision for this project and we are delighted that he accepted the invitation to participate in a training session with the Brazil team before they arrive at the Street Child World Cup.

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  • Team Brasil's 10th player and brotherly love in the team

It hasn't all been plain sailing in reaching the final line-up for the 'Time do Brasil' (Team Brasil) and a few changes have had to be made along the way.

One of our star female players left the team as she was successful in finding herself a job after finishing school. The Street Child World Cup body rule that each team should have three female players so as to ensure that girls are properly represented in Durban. We are really pleased to have since managed to recruit a new female player, Thamires, to the team. She is an excellent footballer and will be a great addition to the team.

Team Brasil also has two brothers in the squad but with the SCWC rules stating all players had to be between the ages of 14-16 years old we feared that the younger of the two brothers, Douglas at only 13, would be too young to join the team. The older of the brothers, David, who is 16, is a great footballer and gets on very well with the other players and educators at Quixote. David lives at a shelter in Sao Paulo where he looks out for his younger brother Douglas. The two are rarely apart and are very dependent on each other.

ABC Trust requested that Douglas be allowed to travel to Durban and train with the team, which was granted so our team is now 10 strong (when it should be 9). We couldn't leave anyone behind, so we're taking them all! They have all come on a strange and exciting journey and we are very keen for them all to see this project through. They have bonded as a group, come to rely on each other and each one of them has so much to contribute to the project in Durban.

Vai Brasil!

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  •  Street Child World Cup: introducing Team Brasil

The Brazil team from São Paulo has been created, with some hard work both on and off the pitch. Our squad, ‘Time do Brasil’, have so far had 30 hours of football training and 70 hours of workshops helping them to consider all the aspects of their ‘Life on the Streets’, reviewing what made them turn to the streets through to who helped them to leave and seek a different future. 

The team has completed most of the preparations needed to be able to fully participate in the Street Child World Cup and the conference. They have already started to communicate their stories and raise their voices in Brazil.Our press launch which was held at the contemporary arts space, Escola São Paulo on February 9th, was a great success, with an array of media there. The major newspapers and radio stations were eager to finally meet the team that will represent Brazil in the first ever Street Child World Cup.

Every single player in our team has their own story to tell, and in some cases, histories that they still find difficult to come to terms with. Of the team, some have lived in the streets as infants, whilst others ran away from violent homes and have siblings who did not survive . They have all witnessed violence against themselves and others and all but one child in this group now live in shelters on a permanent basis.

Through their long term contact with Project Quixote, they have all taken the steps needed to come to terms with their past and continue to seek a better future. Their lives are now stable and hopeful, and through the SCWC they have an opportunity to use their spirit to inspire others with what they have overcome. They are all in school now except for the youngest team member who is still waiting for a place and they are all excited about representing their country and children who have lived similar lives to them in South Africa. They are more articulate about their lives and experiences and aim to explain the things they would wish for the thousands of other children who face a deeply challenging reality. This team will raise their voices to represent their peers in Durban in March and throughout this project.

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  • Graffiti artist Daniel Melim recreates SCWC logo for ABC

The canvas is put up onto the wall, the stencil goes on top of it and the spray paint passes over the outline. In between the hustle and bustle of the exhibition Daniel Melim is involved in at the MASP (Sao Paulo Museum of Art), “De Dentro pra Fora de de Fora pra Dentro” (From inside out and Outside in), and his latest show at art gallery Choque Cultural in Sao Paulo, “Dentro da tela” (Inside the canvas), the artist has found time to redesign the logo - and with an open heart.

"It's fantastic to be able to be a part of this project in some way," says Melim. Here at ABC Trust, we were so pleased with the new logo design that it is actually being used on the Brazil team’s Street Child World Cup uniform as well as the logo for the blog on the official SCWC website.

With exhibitions in Spain, England and France, Melim has also helped the ABC Trust on another occasion, when, along with 11 other artists, he designed a customized guitar which was sold in an auction at the ABC event “A Forca da Rua” (The Force of the Street) in London last year.

Melim's involvement with social issues goes back much further, when he began as an art educator in projects in Heliopolis and Maua. "I believe in the power of art to transform people's lives. Art works the sensitive side of the human being and awakens the senses that are not very stimulated in our day-to-day lives. With them, we can build a more humane society. It s a different set of skills you develop, very different from those acquired with Mathematics and Portuguese."

Today, the artist is a project volunteer at “Casa de Cultura” in Sao Bernardo do Campo. His involvement began in 2006, when he started giving graffiti workshops whenever possible. "I thought it was so little," he says. Six months ago, the workshops became more frequent and now are weekly, with up to 10 children participating in each workshop.

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  • Street Child World Cup campaign message

The Street Child World Cup is taking place in South Africa in March this year and will be accompanied by a national campaign in Brazil aimed at ensuring all under-privileged children get equal opportunities to develop their talents and minds through full-time education and greater access to arts and cultural activities.

This social campaign will continue on to the Street Child World Cup 2014, which will be hosted by Brazil. During these 4 years, we aim to develop a strong campaign that will make some real improvements to the lives of Brazil's vulnerable children, by changing public policies and by engaging the whole of society in a debate about every child's right to a good quality and broad-based education.

At the moment, the education system in Brazil is struggling to tackle the nation's problem of social inequality. For the majority of Brazilian children, and in particular those who attend public schools or who do not go to school at all, the poor level of education they receive severely limits their chances in life, often leading to a life of extreme poverty only to be repeated when they too have families of their own.

The education provided by public schools is generally very poor, with overcrowded classrooms, badly paid, untrained teachers and only 4 hours of classes a day – either in the morning or the afternoon. This leaves children with half a day in which they have little to do which is compounded by the fact that the communities in which they live can not provide them with any cultural or sporting activities to keep them engaged. Giving these children access to arts and culture has never been more important.

The poor quality of education provided by schools in Brazil is one of the major reasons why children leave schools and start a life on the streets. Many children feel that they are wasting time at school when they could be doing something more practical on the streets to help themselves and their families. By begging at traffic lights, or selling sweets or drugs in the streets they are able to make some money for themselves and their families.

Our broader goal for this social campaign in Brazil is to educate students from public schools about the world in which they live and to encourage them to think critically about their lives, making them aware that they are able to take actions to change their own lives. By making school a more interesting experience for them, where they will learn more than just the set curriculum, fewer children will leave school so young. The campaign will begin in the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio, then extend to other major cities in the country in the next four years. Our ultimate goal is to turn these changes into public policy.

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Thank you for your interest in donating to ABC Trust – you are doing something amazing.


Every hour in Brazil a child or teenager is murdered. This equates to an average of 720 every month 


Murder is the most common cause of death for young people (12-18) in Brazil


Children supported by ABC Trust have the same dreams as any child – to be a footballer, a pilot, a teacher – when they grow up.  But due to where they are born, for many this is not a reality.  With your help it can be.   ABC Trust football and art programmes can provide a safe place for children away from gangs or drug traffickers.  Children learn they are worth something and can become positive forces for change, and rivalries are put aside for the beautiful game. 


Please sign up now to be a monthly donor or give what you can.

ABC Trust is dedicated to helping the street children and most vulnerable young people of Brazil.

By raising awareness and funding we support the work of local, community-led organisations which give children the education, support and inspiration that they need to transform their own lives. 


Brazil has 16 of the 50 most violent cities in the World. The international drug trade and its passage through Brazil has led to a crack epidemic. Many children on the street are addicted, have dropped out of school and left home. They spend days without sleeping, eating or washing and engage in crime, prostitution and weapon trafficking. Many become victims of violence, HIV, hepatitis, unwanted pregnancy and murder. 

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