Pakistan’s Street-Connected Youth Make us Proud Once Again!
Pakistan’s Street-Connected Youth brought laurels to the country by winning Bronze in the Street Child Football World Cup in Brazil in 2014. Now at the first ever Street Child Games which was also held in Brazil; from 14th to 20th March, the Pakistani team comprising of Mohammad Naeem, Mehar Ali Mustafa, Naseer Ahmed and Salman Hussain performed brilliantly and outshone all the others by winning 10 medals (4 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze). They were exuberant on their success and really happy on the felicitations from Pakistan and especially from Olympic Champion Usain Bolt who they deeply admire!
The Street Child Games 2016
About 60 young athletes aged 14 to 19, from 9 different countries which included Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina, Burundi, UK, India, Egypt, Philippines and Mozambique participated in a week of Olympic styled sports. These consisted of Long Jump, Shot Put, 4 x 100m Relay, 400m, 100m and 100 m Hurdles. A fierce qualifying event took place on the 19th of March, and 8 of the best athletes (three of these were from the Pakistani team) qualified for the final that took place on the 20th of March.
The Street Child Games Congress and Cultural Event
At the end of the games, the first of its kind International Congress was held so that all youngsters could interact with each other as well make their demands to be known. It spanned a course of 4 days, during which three very important rights that street children are denied were, discussed:
- The right to Education
- The right to be protected from violence
- The right to have a legal identity.
A Resolution was also passed which will be sent to the United Nations and Governments all over the world so that tangible steps maybe taken to give street children their rights.
The Pakistani team proved to be true ambassadors for all the street children back home. They apprised the audience of the problems face by children on the streets of Pakistan through facts and heart touching tales, as well as presented certain solutions. Furthermore at the cultural showcase, Mohammad Naeem and Mehar Ali Mustafa performed the famous Baluchi dance ‘Lewa’ and got an overwhelming response from the crowd.
The Pakistani team was representing Azad Foundation and was supported by Habib Bank Limited.