World Challenge employee Claire Davis (pictured standing third left, third row) has described her experience as a “privilege” after recently returning from the Street Child World Cup (SCWC) in Brazil.
SCWC, in association with Save the Children, is a global movement for street children to receive the protection, rehabilitation and opportunities that all children are entitled to.
In April, over 230 former street children from 19 countries united in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a football tournament, festival of arts and a participatory conference for children’s rights.
VIP visitors to the event ranged from Brazilian World Cup winners Bebeto and Gilberto Silva to Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. There was also a message from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and footballing legend David Beckham.
Claire, an Expedition Planning Manager for Central America who joined the High Wycombe-based office of World Challenge in July 2013, acted as Team Nicaragua’s volunteer coordinator and translator during the two-week showpiece.
Claire works alongside Casa Alianza – an international charity dedicated to street children – who sourced the Nicaragua team.
“I always knew it was going to be busy but I was so privileged and humbled to be constantly in the company of such inspiring young people and witness at first hand the outpouring of emotion, happiness, solidarity, understanding, hugs, friendship and shared experiences,” she said.
“The strength of character of all the children, but particularly Team Nicaragua with whom I spent all of my time, is admirable and I have taken much of it on board from a personal level.”
Most of Claire’s working life has been in translation – she speaks seven languages – and even acted as an interpreter for the Mexican Olympic delegation and Spanish Paralympic delegation at London 2012! She has also lived in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Brazil.
Claire added: “I have been fortunate to have travelled a lot in my lifetime but being allowed into the children’s world at the SCWC, and hearing their stories, dreams and hopes for the future was a unique experience that not everyone gets and I may never get again so I plan to treasure it.”
For the record, Brazil girls and Tanzania boys were the winners of their respective competitions.
Sportsworld, also part of TUI Travel Group PLC alongside World Challenge, was a global partner of the event.