LEEDO’s Children in Street Child Football World Cup in Qatar
Imagine a time when children with a life of hardships from the streets will stand their ground strong enough to represent Bangladesh on an international platform doing what they love. That time is here. On Thursday 8 September, British Deputy High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Javed Patel hosted a send-off event for the girls' football team, which will shortly represent Bangladesh in the Street Child Football World Cup in Qatar.
The Street Child Football team comprises children who were all rescued from life on the streets. They currently reside at the non-profit organisation, LEEDO (Local Education and Economic Development Organisation) Peace Home in Dhaka.
The voluntary-based development organisation was founded in 2000. LEEDO aims to protect vulnerable street children and help them return to the mainstream community through the provision of education, shelter, and lifestyle support.
The young guests shared stories of their life on the street and appealed to guests to help improve the life chances of other less fortunate children. To make their brighter, they
were greeted by two players from the Bangladesh U-19 National Football Team, Most. Aklima Khatun and Mst. Halima Akhther. They also showed off their football skills, and
challenged the British Deputy High Commissioner to a 'keepy-uppy' contest!
Kazi Nabil Ahmed MP, Vice President of the Bangladesh Football Federation, and Abu Nayeem, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Football Federation, were also present at the event.
British Deputy High Commissioner Javed Patel added, "Ensuring 12 years of quality education for all children is at the centre of the UK's drive to tackle poverty, promote gender equality, boost economic growth, and reduce conflict. In Bangladesh, we are investing up to 54.5 million pounds over the next eight years to improve educational outcomes for children, particularly girls and marginalised children. I wholly believe that sport is integral to a child's education, and today we are proud to stand with the girls' football team that will be representing Bangladesh on the international stage."
Forhad Hossain, Executive Director of LEEDO stated, "We should all raise our voices together to protect the most vulnerable children from the dangers of the streets so that they can create a better Bangladesh. According to the UNCRC all children have the right to survive with dignity. I want to thank the British High Commission for organising this event with LEEDO."