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Enigma Alliance proud of Tanzanian Girls Soccer Team Success At Street Child World Cup

Latest News May 31, 2018
Enigma Alliance proud of Tanzanian Girls Soccer Team Success At Street Child World Cup

This story and image first appeared at Okay Africa. You can read the original full article here. Photograph thanks to Jo Griffin.

Enigma Alliance is a proud supporter of Cheka Sana Foundation; based in Mwanza, Tanzania, the foundation works to reduce the number of children living on the street by building a better relationship between street children, their families, relatives and their community. One of their ways of empowering vulnerable children is through sports. The girls soccer team in this story were trained by the TSC Sports Academy that is run by Cheka Sana. Congratulations to the team!

With a huge smile and surrounded by some of her new friends from 20 different countries at the Sapsan Arena in Moscow, Asteria Robert, the 14-year-old captain of the Tanzanian girls’ football team, takes in the atmosphere following the final of the Street Child World Cup.

“When we left we couldn’t believe we could reach this level and we’re so glad we got this far in the tournament,” says Asteria, after leading her team on to the podium to receive medals and a trophy for coming in second place.

The Street Child World Cup is a football tournament for children all over the world who have experienced homelessness or are considered at risk of living on the streets. It takes place before the FIFA World Cup.

After a high-octane performance with many chances at goal, the Tanzanian girls were defeated 1-0 by a team from Rio de Janeiro at the stadium—a stone’s throw from Lokomotiv, home of the newly-crowned Russian Premier League champions. Some of the girls slumped on the floor at the final whistle but soon gathered themselves to show sportsmanship and congratulate the winners from Brazil

The final game was live-streamed by Goal and seen by more than 130,000 people. In the stadium the team were cheered on by teenagers from across the world, banging drums and waving the Tanzanian flag.

“Day by day, the games have been hard—from the first to the last. We’ve had to work really hard,” says Asteria.

The girls aged 14-17 from Mwanza have become as well-known for their victory shouts of “Kilimanjaro” and “Zanzibar” as for their skills on the ball.

The girls came second in a competition of teams from Bolivia, Brazil, England, Kazakhstan, India, Mauritius, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia and the United States. In the boys’ competition, teams from Burundi and Kenya have played teams from Belarus, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. Burundi made it to the semi-final, but were eventually defeated by Pakistan.

Along with more than 200 teenagers from across the world, the girls were also given the opportunity to explore Moscow, including the Kremlin and Red Square, at the 10-day event for young people at risk of the streets. And they have taken part in a cultural festival at venues across the city.

“This has been a great opportunity because apart from the football we have been able to build relationships with children from other countries, exchange ideas and share culture,” says Asteria.

The team has been training hard for months with the TSC Sports Academy, which is run by the Cheka Sana Foundation, and they faced stiff competition to qualify.

For the rest of the story head to Okay Africa here