09 May 2013

Young Methodists back girls and boys from Nicaragua in 2014 Street Child World Cup

Street children in Nicaragua will have the chance to compete in next year's Street Child World Cup in Brazil with the support of the children and young people of the Methodist Church in Britain.

Young Methodists in Britain have pledged to back two Nicaraguan teams - a girls' football team and a boys' football team - in partnership with the Methodist Church in Nicaragua and the Methodist Church in Brazil. They aim to raise £30,000 by taking part in sponsorship events aimed at opening their eyes to the lives of street children. 

Methodist children and young people are encouraging local churches across the Connexion to help reach the £30,000 target by organising fundraising events of their own. A Methodist Church Youth fundraising pack is available here. Sunderland Samba Football Club, a Methodist-sponsored community football project, is organising a street sports taster day on June 1 at Ewesley Road Methodist Church to help the young people reach the £30,000 target. 

Hayley Moss, Methodist Youth President, said: "Methodist children and young people see sport as mission. It can be transformational and a force for good. Sport connects people. We have chosen to support Street Child World Cup as an expression of this. Supporting the Street Child World Cup gives children and young people an opportunity to see that their actions can really make a difference. We will speak out against injustice, raise money, and develop cross-cultural relationships."

Street Child World Cup is a global movement for street children to receive the protection and opportunities that all children are entitled to. Ahead of each FIFA World Cup, the Street Child World Cup unites street children from across five continents to play football. Through football, art and campaigning, the movement aims to challenge the negative perceptions and treatment of street children around the world. 

The Revd Tom Quenet, Partnership Coordinator for the Americas and the Caribbean, said: "The Methodist Church in Nicaragua is a small church that welcomes opportunities to share its work with the world wide community of Methodists. Like most Methodist churches in other parts of the world, it holds the Methodist Church in Britain in high esteem. It genuinely feels honoured to be in partnership with us in this. I join with the Methodist Church in Nicaragua in praying that this project will benefit the mission and work of this partner church that has a very long tradition of working with the poorest and most marginalised in the country."

On March 27 2014, the Street Child World Cup 10-day tournament and conference will kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There are currently 16 teams taking part, including: Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, Ukraine, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Burundi, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius, Egypt and the UK.

Pastor Eduardo Rodriguez, Head of the Methodist Church in Nicaragua, said: "Here in Nicaragua, soccer is played a lot; kids play it barefoot. I think it is an excellent idea to send children to Brazil next year, so that our children will be distanced from gangs and drugs; an excellent idea, and now we will be praying that some of the children from the Methodist Church in Nicaragua can go to Brazil."

The Street Child World Cup is a joint venture with the Amos Trust (that founded Street Child World Cup in 2010), Momentum Arts (which led the arts programme in Durban 2010) and Action for Brazil's Children (who will host the event in 2014). 

Chris Rose, the founder of Street Child World Cup, said: "The Street Child World Cup is about giving the most marginalised and vulnerable children across the world a voice. With a safe home, rehabilitation, education and opportunities, no child should have to live on the streets. We could not do this without our supporters and we are so grateful to the Methodist children and young people for enabling Team Nicaragua to join this global movement for change."


1) Images available from Street Child World Cups's website here.

2. The Methodist church in Britain has developed a strong relationship with the Methodist Church in Nicaragua, supporting them through the World Mission Fund. To find out more about the World Mission Fund, see here.

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