Bangladesh street child cricket team head for India World Cup Tournament

Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor, Shottobani  

London: Four boys and four girls who, until recently, survived on the streets of Dhaka are heading for Chennai today to participate in the Street Child Cricket World Cup. Before receiving help from the Local Education and Economic Development Organisation (LEEDO), which now provides the children with a home, the children were experiencing exploitation and abuse in Dhaka at the railway station, the ferry terminal and in domestic service.

The children are representing Bangladesh in the Street Child Cricket World Cup. They will be playing cricket with other teams of children from India, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, South Africa, England, Mexico, Nepal and six other countries.

Before their departure, Friends of Street Children Bangladesh, with LEEDO, organised a reception at the British High Commission in Dhaka. Several companies offered support for the team at the reception, including Dhaka Inner Wheel, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), IDP Education Specialists, AHZ Associates and London College of Legal Studies South.

During the tournament, the children from Bangladesh hope to make people more aware of access to services, including schools and essential health provisions for children surviving on the streets. They will have their say in discussion sessions with other children and guests attending the tournament.

The children taking part in the tournament now live at a long-term Peace Home for children surviving on the streets. The Home is run by LEEDO, an organisation that has been working with children on the streets of Dhaka since 2010.  LEEDO also provide outreach work and education on the streets and a transitional shelter that supports children’s rehabilitation, making long-term arrangements for their care.

UK charity Friends of Street Children, Bangladesh, have raised funds to support the participation of children from LEEDO Peace Home in the Street Child Cricket World Cup. During the tournament, Friends of Street Children Bangladesh aim to raise more funds for LEEDO’s education and outreach work with children at the ferry terminal and the station in Dhaka. The cricket tournament is being organised by Street Child United. They arrange international sporting events where street children from around the world take part. They aim to change people’s negative perceptions of street children, inspiring a brighter, safer future for street-connected children everywhere.

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