At the begging of this summer group of street living youths (Dinberu, Debesh, Million, Tomas…) come to Sport The Bridge with surprised request. They were in the STB’s rehabilitation program in different time and finally dropped out. Still they trust STB and for them STB is the only place to share their situation. Their current proposal of request has been they organized street foot ball teams and want to participate in sub-city football tournament. To be part of this tournament they need some support from STB. The organization welcomed and encouraged their participation in social activities like sport.
There is not opportunity for street children with out affiliated in institute to get equal chance with other age mates. For me it is the first time to see street children organized themselves positively to use any chance in their environment. This is one of STB’s impacts on street children. The street children said that “we are able and competent for this tournament. They added that we like to be part of this event”. As they expected they won all consecutive five games.
During the matches the street children team has got many supporters from street living people as well as the community. Their supporters are preferred to support the street children team not because of the team is minority group rather by its attractive foot ball talents. Thanks for Sport – The Bridge the street children know well how to behave in football field. They don’t use violence to solve problem during the matches as they doing in daily life, rather they encourage each other and respect the opponent. All team members excited to play. But to get chance to play in the matches depend on foot ball talents per their opponents strength, it is not the gang leaders take the first place. This is example of good team working for the same goal. The street children usually not have this kind of experience. Foot ball game shaped them to work together for mutual objective in fair manner.
The street children said that they are far from drug and anti-health behaviors in this tournament season, because they want to stay and to win in the tournament. The tournament also inspires the player for new life. They start to dream to be football player. Currently their issues of discussion changing from violence, crime and movie to talking about their foot ball game. Their relationship increasing positively, they are caring more for each other.
Sport – The Bridge is teaching life long skills for street children through play and game. The learner could use the skills where ever they live and doing. The above incident is one example, even if some street children could not go in STB way for unification, they could use what they experienced during their time in STB when ever they get opportunity. Currently they use one skill among many what they adapted, which is socialize with community through foot ball games. What else skills the drop out children can able to use in life which they experienced from STB? Which could able them to live positive life style? I hope they wait for opportunity.