EU SOU ALGUÉM! (I am somebody!)
June 1, 2015. This past weekend marked the opening of the sixth pitch by Chevrolet FC and their #PlayItForward campaign, this time in Caracol, Penha, a favela in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Partnering with Street Child United, Chevrolet is also a sponsor of the Street Child World Cup that was most recently held here in Rio de Janiero last year. A legacy of that event was the formation of a Street Child United in Penha. However, despite their training of the girls World Cup champion Favela Street, this organization did not have a home pitch of their own and shared various spaces around the community. The opening of the field changes all that. This pitch will be a focal point for the Caracol community. Already the locals have embraced this pitch as their own, checking on the progress and making sure they were around for the official opening on Saturday, May 30th knowing that they could start playing on the pitch immediately after.
Street Child United challenges the negative perceptions and treatment of street children. Their slogan “I am somebody” (in Portugese – Eu Sou Alguém) expresses their desire to give children an identity as well as the life skills necessary to succeed. Just like Coaches Across Continents, they do this through football. Our ten days of sport for social impact training and partnership will allow this new facility to be used to educate, and just as importantly to provide a safe haven for all children in the community.
“This is our place to play football & to be happy. The streets are not safe. We are safe here. Thank you Street Child United and Chevrolet FC” – Coach Drika, Favela Street, Street Child United
Joining the various local community leaders for the pitch launch was Street Child United ambassador Gilberto Silva, a 2002 World Cup winner with Brazil as well as FA Cup Winner, EPL Champion, and member of the “Invincibles.” His smiling presence and easy-going nature makes him approachable to children and community leaders alike, allowing himself to be a charismatic role model. After the field opening, the congregation made their way down to Ipanema, one of the iconic beaches of Rio, where they enjoyed a kick-around with Gilberto. It seems that he took it easy on the children, availing himself of any tackles – however he displayed his world-class abilities as he dribbled the entire team on one occasion.
Coaches Across Continents is a proud partner with Chevrolet FC, winners of the 2014 Beyond Sport Award for Corporate of the Year. Together we have educated communities in six countries since 2014, using a new pitch as a focal point for social change.