On the 4th of May we were lucky enough to attend the finals of the Street Child Cricket World Cup (SCCWC) charity event organized by Street Child United, held at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. The luxurious pavilion and infamous Long Room, home to the Marylebone Cricket Club, may have juxtaposed where many of the children had come from, but to play on the holy grass of the 'Home of Cricket' provided an opportunity of a lifetime. Both the preliminaries in Cambridge and the finals in London allowed the children to experience cricket on a truly international scale.
The event united street children from around the world to play in their own cricket tournament to raise awareness and tackle the widespread stigma and negative treatment they face. The event also helped provide the children with a legal identity, as Najalashima, the 17-year old captain of the North Indian team said at the assembly, “Now I am somebody.”
A Day of Cricket
The children managed to play to their hearts content on an unusually bright and sunny day at the prestigious Lord’s Cricket venue. Nepal’s match against South India was as thrilling to watch and the children showed true determination and passion when playing, showing that their passion for sport was truly something that helped them develop as people, for the future.
On the pitch, national teams from Nepal, India (North and South), Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Tanzania, Congo, Jamaica and England, represented their countries. The teams comprised of 4 girls and 4 boys, Street Child United ensured that there were an even split of girls and boy because, as Maniratinum from the India South team said, “Our team is really strong because the women form a pillar of the team. Without the girls our team is nothing.”
Off the pitch, the young people made their voices heard and made recommendations to help improve the lives of street children worldwide at an international stage at the post-match street child assembly. The children from all different teams took turns standing on stage and shared their stories to paint a sincere and transparent look into the struggles they faced back home. The children also showcased the artwork they had created at the assembly, which were auctioned off as donation towards the Street Child United charity fund.
There are over 180 million children on the streets around the world. Street Child United gave street children around the world a chance to represent others like them, they could aim to inspire countries and communities to put more effort towards protecting, respecting, and supporting street children all across the world.
We supported Childreach Nepal to help the children from the Nepalese team come to London so they could compete, and also helped provide them with tracksuits for the event.
It is estimated that over 5,000 children live on the streets in Nepal with some estimations suggesting the real number is over 40,000. In January 2019, Childreach Nepal and Street Child Nepal, in coordination with 5 shelter homes in Kathmandu, held a Street Child Cricket festival in Kirtipur to select the participants to represent Nepal at the SCCWC 2019. Around 150 children participated in the festival.
The selection process was not just focused on cricketing skills; the selected participants were chosen to be ambassadors and to represent all the street children in Nepal. They had to opportunity to use the event’s international platform to voice their rights to education, protection and basic needs. This was a life changing opportunity for these young ambassadors and we are proud to be able to support the effort get them to UK to participate in the SCCWC 2019.
Childreach and Street Child Nepal
With the event now at its end, the young ambassadors have returned to Nepal as heroes. Not only have team Nepal been awarded the Fair Play Award and the Best Wicket Keeper Award, the knowledge and experiences they have gained during the event will give them the confidence to truly be avatars of a better future towards addressing the pressing issues faced by street children not only in Nepal, but globally.
With the assistance of Childreach Nepal and Street Child of Nepal, a legacy programme will be designed to address the needs of these young ambassadors, and we found it a privilege to be a part of it.
Karsons has been working with Childreach Nepal since 2017 and have since provided football kits to underprivileged children across Nepal and India and supported the building of a greenhouse to a school to provide home-grown tomatoes. Towards the end of 2018, Karsons also pledged to contribute $25,000 to build an earthquake-safe school in rural Nepal.
This, and the wealth of other examples of our Corporate Social Responsibility is a part of the pledge that Karsons has made to changing the lives of children around the world.