Glad’s House and the Street Child World Cup

UK-based charity, Glad’s House, is using sport as a positive way to engage with street kids in Mombasa, Kenya.

When the charity was founded six years ago, Glad’s House had a vision of helping homeless children in the city through a programme of enterprise, education and sport, with the ultimate goal of reuniting children with their families and reintegrating them into society.

The children all have their own stories, and more often than not a personal tragedy to cope with, but using the power of sport Glad’s House is helping them rebuild their confidence and look to a brighter future.

Glad’s House is thrilled to announce that in 2014 the charity will be one of only 16 worldwide to enter a team into the Street Child World Cup, a football tournament being held alongside the FIFA World Cup to unite homeless children across five continents. No child should live on the streets and the competition will help to raise awareness about the plight of street children across the world.

As the 18 month countdown begins, Glad’s House is gearing up for an action-packed year, with the focus firmly on football. The charity already holds four training sessions a week for their resident teams, the Coastal Kings and Queens, with up to 60 children attending each time.

A team of five sports coaches work every day to mentor and encourage the kids, placing emphasis on team-work, communication and camaraderie.

Cliff Ferguson, chairman of Glad’s House, said: “The Street Child World Cup is a fantastic opportunity for the kids of Kenya to prove what they’re made of. We want to raise their profile and reduce the stigma around homelessness in the country.

Glad's House

“Many of the children we work with have been abandoned as a result of their parents separating, but being part of a sports team can give them a sense of belonging again. Over the next year our focus will be on preparing the children for the tournament, but we also use other sports such a volleyball, basketball, boxing and Tae Kwando as positive influences for the children.”

To cement the role of sport in Glad’s House engagement programme, each year the charity runs a ‘football extravaganza’ in Mombasa, a two week event which culminates in a number of finals where teams compete for the ‘Mombasa World Cup’. During this time one the Glad’s House volunteers, along with Trustee John Mcglasson and some of his colleagues from the RAF Football Development Squad, run coaching programmes for all the local teams competing.

In preparation for the Street Child World Cup tournament, Glad’s House is already planning a big football camp at the end of this year. This will be an opportunity to get many kids fully involved in the tournament and it’ll be a great opportunity to spot the ‘talent’ that might be going to Brazil.

www.gladshouse.com

For more information about Glad’s House including images or interviews, please contact Amy Bullen on 07593327935 or amy.bullen@live.co.uk.