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

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

Young Methodists in Britain have pledged to back two Nicaraguanteams - a girls' football team and a boys' football team - inpartnership with the Methodist Church in Nicaragua and theMethodist Church in Brazil. They aim to raise £30,000 by takingpart in sponsorship events aimed at opening their eyes to the livesof street children. 

Methodist children and young people are encouraging localchurches across the Connexion to help reach the £30,000 target byorganising fundraising events of their own. A Methodist ChurchYouth fundraising pack is available here. Sunderland Samba Football Club, a Methodist-sponsoredcommunity football project, is organising a street sports tasterday on June 1 at Ewesley Road Methodist Church to help the youngpeople reach the £30,000 target. 

Hayley Moss, Methodist Youth President, said: "Methodistchildren and young people see sport as mission. It can betransformational and a force for good. Sport connects people. Wehave chosen to support Street Child World Cup as an expression ofthis. Supporting the Street Child World Cup gives children andyoung people an opportunity to see that their actions can reallymake a difference. We will speak out against injustice, raisemoney, and develop cross-cultural relationships."

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

The Revd Tom Quenet, Partnership Coordinator for the Americasand the Caribbean, said: "The Methodist Church in Nicaragua is asmall church that welcomes opportunities to share its work with theworld wide community of Methodists. Like most Methodist churches inother parts of the world, it holds the Methodist Church in Britainin high esteem. It genuinely feels honoured to be in partnershipwith us in this. I join with the Methodist Church in Nicaragua inpraying that this project will benefit the mission and work of thispartner church that has a very long tradition of working with thepoorest and most marginalised in the country."

On March 27 2014, the Street Child World Cup 10-day tournamentand conference will kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There arecurrently 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 inNicaragua, said: "Here in Nicaragua, soccer is played a lot; kidsplay it barefoot. I think it is an excellent idea to send childrento Brazil next year, so that our children will be distanced fromgangs and drugs; an excellent idea, and now we will be praying thatsome of the children from the Methodist Church in Nicaragua can goto Brazil."

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

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


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

2. The Methodist church in Britain has developed a strongrelationship with the Methodist Church in Nicaragua, supportingthem through the World Mission Fund. To find out more about theWorld Mission Fund, see here.