More than 200 young people from across the world headed for Moscow in advance of the World Cup to play football and speak out on street children’s rights
For three boys in the Kenyan team, taking part in the Street Child World Cup in Moscow has meant swapping their prison shirts for football kit. The teenagers were released from a juvenile detention centre to play in the tournament and will serve out the short time left on their sentences back in Mombasa. Their crime: being on the streets.
“I had to fight really hard to get permission to bring them, but I wanted to give them a really positive experience,” says the team’s manager, Frederick Achola, from the Glad’s House organisation.
The 10-day tournament aims to raise awareness of homelessness among young people and challenge negative stereotypes about vulnerable children at risk on the streets. This year, 12 boys’ teams and 12 girls’ teams took part in the event, representing 24 countries, including Belarus, Egypt, Kazahkstan, Mauritius, Nepal, Russia, Tanzania, the UK and the US. Uzbekistan took the trophy for the boys, and previous winners Brazil lifted the cup for the girls. All the matches were played at the home of Russian Premier League champions Lokomotiv Moscow.
People would drive by and sometimes shoot kids living on the streets