Nine Egyptian children represented Egypt at the Street Children World Cup, four of them were from the ‘I The Egyptian’ Foundation; in total 25 other countries participated. The Foundation and the children prepared themselves thoroughly to attend this competition and the events around it.
The soccer training started early 2013 when Coach Kareem Hosny – the soccer coach at the American University in Cairo – volunteered to train 18 children from the ‘I The Egyptian’ Foundation at the Beverly Hills club twice a week. As of November 2013, the training continued excusively for those who were selected to travel to Brazil: Abdullah Ezzat, Yusseif Yussry, Khalid Mohamed, and Adham Khalid. Some of the trainings included children from other Foundations such as Face foundation, and HopeVillage in order to prepare all of them to participate in the Street Children World Cup in Brazil, in March 2014
2 children joined the trip to represent the folkloric art team of the ‘I The Egyptian’ Foundation to give a folkloric performance in Brazil: Samah Magdy Hussein and Shrouk Ahmed Mahmoud.
As part of the preparations there were discussion sessions and advocacy workshops for the children to gain the community support for the case of children at risk and to help the children drive home their argument of changing the Street Children’s World Cup’s name as they felt it mistakingly refers to Street Children as they have all found a safe haven before joining the Cup.
During their trip to Brazil, the children also did some sight seeing such as visiting the Christ statue, the Brazilian official stadium, and some famous malls; visited some slums in Rio, attended an artistic workshop for drawing, coloring, and handycrafts, and met with the Brazilian soccer player Pepito who participated at the world cup in the 90s, as he visited the team to encourage the children.
As part of the trip the accompanying staff and Board Members of the ‘I the Egyptian’ Foundation and partners from the foundation ‘Third investment’ visited the Foundation run by the Brazilian soccer player Juninho. He explained to the group the vision of the academy which is based on providing education and training in sports and arts for children from poor backgrounds.
This trip was an unforgettable experience for all of the people involved, it helped grow the self-esteem of the participants, and the participation in such an important tournament made the other children in the Foundation very proud!