• 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.

    DSC02940

    This new Chevrolet FC pitch is a safe space for the community of Caracol

    DSC03115

    Gilberto Silva still has it!

  • Protecting Street Children in Penha (Rio)

    May 29th, 2015.  Penha is a favela in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, located in the north zone.  It is a favela which has tremendous social problems including drug trafficking and seemingly weekly shootings often involving the ever-present police.  We are here with Street Child United which dedicates itself to improving the lives of street children and ensuring that they have access to the same rights as all other children.  You may also recognize them as the hosts of the Street Child World Cup, their flagship event where they bring teams of street children from dozens of countries together to compete every four years.

    However the impact that they have on the street children occurs daily, as they run training sessions with children in Penha.  Our award-winning partnership with Chevrolet FC and their #PlayItForward campaign has allowed our two groups to work together for the past two weeks, collaborating as we implement a training plan that highlights specific aspects of our curriculum – most notably Child Rights and Conflict Resolution.  It is easy to state that children should have certain rights, such as the right to education, the right to safe sport, and the right to a protected home – but if adults are not fighting to ensure those rights, how could they be ensured?

    Our curriculum specifically teaches both coaches and children about the rights afforded them under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Most important is that they are fun, extremely soccer-specific, and create a safe space for children to learn while they are playing (UN Child Right #31).  Street Child United will take our curriculum and implement it into their training to ensure that their goal to create a world in which street children are protected, supported and given opportunities to realize their potential is reached.

    Also joining the training this week were coaches from Favella Street and PlayLife, and our staff was joined by Camila, a Community Impact Coach from our São Paulo partner ACER.  These coaches (all women) and girls who participated in training made this one of the most gender-balanced training sessions CAC have had.  These powerful female role models are helping to ensure the rights of young boys and girls in Brazil and through Street Child, around the world.

    DSC02522

    The coaches of Street Child United, Favella Street, and CAC

    We enjoyed a weekend beach training session on the Copacabana!

    We enjoyed a weekend beach training session on the Copacabana!