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Gemma’s kicking goals at street kids world cup

18 Mar 2014

Gemma’s kicking goals at street kids world cup Image

Southbank resident and law student Gemma Freeman is volunteering at a world cup in Brazil in April, but it’s not the world cup you’re thinking of.

The stars on the field at this world cup won’t be the celebrities that make headlines. Instead, they will be teams of street children from 19 different countries around the world.  

“Across the world millions of children live and work on the streets and are denied basic rights including right to an education, health care and protection from abuse,” Gemma said.

“I remember the first street child I ever met while working as a youth worker in Guatemala. He was 14 and incredibly cheerful and chatty, in spite of his awful situation,” she added.

“I was heartbroken to hear last year that he had been murdered while sleeping on the streets. This is why I am determined to advocate for the rights of these children. None of them should have to suffer that fate.”

Gemma said, together through soccer, art and campaigning, the Street Child World Cup aims to challenge the negative perceptions and treatment of street children around the world.

250 street children from around the world will be flown to Rio, offering them a platform to share their challenges and views. The cup will also culminate in the creation and presentation of a “Rio declaration”, calling on governments to do more to protect the rights of street children.

“I am so excited to be a part of this initiative and have been so encouraged by the support I’ve received locally. It’s great that our local community has such a global focus.”     

To learn more, visit www.streetchildworldcup.org and to help sponsor Gemma and a street child to get to the cup visit www.justgiving.com/gemmakate

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