Street kids in Mauritius? A reality of our contemporary world. All across the globe, children are having to spend their lives on the streets. These kids may be brilliant. They may have lofty dreams of their own. They may have high IQs. They may have the capability and ability to contribute to making of this world a better one. But, what difference does it make? They do not enjoy the opportunities that other kids have.
Moreover, street kids generally have to bear intolerance from the public. Intolerance coupled with indifference. However, as a ray of hope, many organisations having come forward to enhance their mode of life exist. The local NGO Safire is one such company which aims to lift these children off the streets. It does so by initiating Mauritian street kids to football. Recently, they made a great step ahead: the children have flown to Rio de Janeiro last Wednesday to participate in the Street Child World Cup.
The Street Child World Cup is an association that has as aim to allow street children to enjoy the same opportunities that all kids around the world deserve to have. They do so by focusing on football and art. 20 countries are participating in this international event. And, admit it, of all the cities on our planet, Rio de Janeiro is the ideal place for this meet-up of young kids united by the passion they share in common: football.
The Street Child World Cup tournaments start today itself. It will last till the 9th of April. Many associations like Safire exist worldwide to provide assistance to children compelled to the street life. Our Mauritian stars – well, don’t they deserve to be called stars?! – have put in tremendous efforts in preparation for this grand event. For the past few months, they had been followed by Ashley Mocudé, Mauritian footballer, and the coach Joe Tshupula, together with social worker Edley Maurer.
As per the statements of Edley Maurer, the children have been chosen to participate in this international competition based more on their experience on the streets than on their sports performance. This project, funded by Canal +, will, according to him, push the children to new horizons. An investment of Rs 400 000 has been made to finance the project. The social worker has expanded the scope of the project by adding that this could increase awareness of the situation of street kids in Mauritius. Studies have been made in line with this. Also, the authorities could develop strategies to take in charge the children.
The world be may a cruel one. Empathy, compassion, helping others may have become foreign concepts. Not for some of us, though.