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A right to play for street girls South Africa 65@65 – Join our new campaign amos news no.124 www.amostrust.org

Rebuilding hope and home

The Road to Rio 2014 Street Child World Cup

Spring 2013


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amos news spring 2013

amos news

amos news

amos news spring 2013

I am somebody Chris Rose Director

‘The   Street Child World Cup has helped me to believe in the world again and to know that – I am somebody.’ — Lorelyn, Phillipines

Below Players from the Phillipines with their coach at SCWC 2010 © Wilf Whitty

We were looking for a simple statement to sum up the work of the Street Child World Cup for the 2014 Road to Rio campaign when we were introduced to a poem used as a rally call for the American civil rights movement – “I am Somebody” We adapted this call into a prayer. Not a quiet, reflective prayer but a rallying cry that we shout out to God. A call and

response prayer that we should scream at the top of our lungs, to shake the trees and to state that which we most strongly believe – that each and every one of us is created in God’s image and that God’s love for each of us gives us immeasurable worth.

It is why as I write, Amos Trust staff and volunteers are working with the local community to rebuild a demolished home in the village Battir (page 4 & 5) and why we are inviting you to join us in our new campaign for Palestine, 65@65. (page 6)

This simple statement has an even greater impact for those who feel forgotten, who are repeatedly told that they are nothing. It is not just a statement for children who live on the streets, it is the basis for Amos’ work and is at the heart of our journey with the God of liberation and justice.

I am Somebody is an affirmation for Dalits in India who for 3,000 years have been told by the caste system that they are untouchable. We are investing in the Tamarind Project’s education programme, seeking to provide learning opportunities usually denied to children and young people in these communities. We are delighted that Tamarind has received three further years of support from Compassion UK for this work.

I am Somebody is a powerful statement of support, solidarity and belief in the future. It is a call against the way that Palestinians are denied their rights and a viable future.

I am Somebody is why the surf tour of the UK this July by former street children from Umthombo is more than just a publicity event for them to tell their stories. It is an opportunity to join them in their celebration of what it means to be alive as they catch waves in Cornwall, Devon and Wales. (pages 8 & 9) It is also why Umthombo Street Children’s new work with street girls is so exciting. The Umthombo team are using sports outreach to engage young women living on the streets. These girls, who are often parents themselves, end up trapped on the streets, prey to abusive boyfriends and pimps. Umthombo’s team build a relationship with them and then support them to move to places of safety such as shelters for mothers and children. (page 8) Later in the year representatives from each of the 20 teams taking part in the 2014 Street Child World Cup will join us in London for a special Amos Day on Saturday 28 September. (page 7) Together we will pray, shout and proclaim – I am somebody!

I am Somebody A prayer inspired by the words of Revd W. H. Borders I am Somebody I may be poor But I am Somebody. I may be young But I am Somebody. I may be on the street But I am Somebody. I must be respected, Protected, never rejected. I am a child, I am Somebody. Father God, you created us all in your image and you see the worth in each and every one of your children. Grant us the wisdom to see the Somebody in everybody and help us to be somebodies who make a difference. Amen

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palestine – israel

palestine – israel

amos news spring 2013

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home rebuild Nive Hall Operations Manager

Just after Easter 23 Amos Trust volunteers plus staff members Nive Hall and George Middleton travelled to the village of Battir, just outside Bethlehem to join the local community and our partner Holy Land Trust in rebuilding a family’s demolished home.

Battir is next door to Al Walaja (location of our 2011 home rebuild) and is famous for its beautiful agricultural terraces watered by a unique Roman era irrigation system, which is nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However the village and the terraces are under threat from recently approved expansion of the nearby Israeli settlements and by the Israeli separation barrier, which is being built along the valley. On 31st December 2002, Battir resident Abed was at work, his wife Wafat was visiting her mother in hospital and their three sons were at school, when he received a phone call from a neighbour telling him

I will tell my grandchildren and great grandchildren about you for as long as I live. You are part of my family. — Wafat, Mother of the family

a squad of Israeli soldiers with a bulldozer were headed towards his home. Without any prior notice or a court order the home that had taken the family four years to build, and an entire lifetime to save for, was destroyed in less than two hours. As we go to press, Abed and Wafat’s rebuilt home is on track to have the main structure complete by the time the Amos team return to the UK on Saturday 13 April. Thank you to all those who gave to our 2012 Christmas appeal and to the 23 volunteers who have fundraised for the materials to rebuild the house.

This project is more than humanitarian support for Abed, Wafat and their family, it is an act of solidarity and a protest against the injustice of home demolitions. By helping rebuild we are standing with the family, the community of Battir and the people of Palestine saying that occupation, oppression and violence cannot win. Visit www.amostrust.org/news for updates on the situation in Battir and in neighbouring Al Walaja, as well as links to the videos of the home rebuild including interviews with the family and volunteers.

Below and opposite Home rebuilding at Battir © Amos Trust

When the roof of the house was completed, two Palestinian flags were placed on the roof by Wafat, the mother of the family and Norman, one of the Amos volunteers. It was an exhilarating sight. Then the 80 year old grandmother led the women in singing to bless the house. — anon, volunteer

Little Mohammed flew his kite high over the house being built for and with his family. His face was a picture of unbounded joy as he sent the kite higher and higher in an expression of pure, soaring hope. — Simon, volunteer

The sun high over the house formed a halo around it. — Marie, volunteer

I thank God I am part of this. We resist to exist. — Rafat, Holy Land Trust


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65@65

street child world cup

65@65

Below Marie & Maryam © Amos Trust Amos rebuild team over 65s with Maryam and Wafat © Amos Trust

May 15th 2013 marks the 65th Anniversary of Al Nakba (meaning the Catastrophe), when 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their land and became refugees, and over 500 villages were depopulated or destroyed as the state of Israel was established. 65 years on their children and grandchildren in the West Bank are living under occupation. A marginalised people facing an uncertain future.

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2014 street child world cup Enclosed with this newsletter, you will find a special birthday card to launch our new campaign, 65@65. We are asking our supporters to mark 65 years by organising a fundraising event, big or small, sometime between now and the end of the year, in aid of our work in Palestine. We are aiming for 65 events during the six months from 15 May 2013 until Christmas, that’s 65@65. Perhaps you could run your regular church coffee morning for 65@65? Or have a stall at a summer fete or go carol singing to raise funds? Download the special resource pack from www.amostrust.org/downloads for fundraising ideas and everything you need to run an event including campaign stats and facts, gift aid and sponsor forms. Then email sixtyfive@amostrust.org to order copies of the campaign birthday card to hand out at your event, which tells people about the situation in Palestine and where their money is going. For our press and publicity for the campaign, we are espectially keen to hear from supporters aged 65 or older who are hosting events. It’s a great illustration of how long the Palestinian people have been waiting for justice – 65 years – as long as you have been alive. You might even consider a fundraising event related to your age, for example a sponsored bus tour using your bus pass or an event for children and grandparents? Do get in touch, and tell us your plans if this is you. Whatever age you are and whatever you decide to do, we hope you will join us because 65 years is too long to wait for a just peace for Palestine.

Below Chris Rose with the Bishop of London and Diocese of London church members launching the Lent appeal on the steps St Pauls © Amos Trust

The pace is picking up for the 2014 Street Child World Cup, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 26 March – 5 April 2014.

There are new projects sending teams from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Mauritius, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, USA, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Burundi and Mozambique and we are busy trying to recruit a UK girls’ team.

Twenty countries are sending a total of sixteen boys’ teams and eight girls’ teams to take part in the tournament. Co-Founder John Wroe and Director of Communications Joe Hewitt are leading on the event and programme planning in Brazil, while Teams Coordinator Karin Joseph, supported by Amos’ Director Chris Rose are recruiting the teams and working with them to identify their local campaign message and the key legacy issues they wish to achieve.

The profile of the event is growing in the UK and we were delighted when the Bishop of London made Amos Trust and the Street Child World Cup the focus of the Diocese of London Lent Appeal. Churches across the capital held special collections and services and organised fundraising events. Many people took part in sponsored sleep outs including the Archdeacon of London himself.

Once again Amos’ partner Umthombo Street Children will be representing South Africa in the tournament. The projects from Nicaragua, Philippines, Tanzania and Ukraine who took part in 2010 will also be returning.

We are also thrilled that the Methodist Church’s Children and Youth team are getting young people across the UK to raise money to support the Nicaragua team going to Rio in 2014. From 23–27 September this year representatives from each country will take part in a special street child summit in Cambridge before coming together in London on Saturday 28 September for an expanded Amos Day. (More information to follow in our summer newsletter.) The Street Child World Cup is recruiting volunteers from the UK to help at the event in Rio. Artists, youth workers, administrators, first aiders, and general enthusiastic helpers (particularly those who speak Portuguese) are needed. To find out more, visit www.streetchildworldcup.org


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south africa

south africa

umthombo street girls Last August Umthombo Street Children appointed Bonakele Dladla to develop a new outreach and sport programme with street girls. Bona as she is known, has an infectious enthusiasm, an absolute commitment to reaching girls where they are, and a firm belief in the difference that sport can make.

Below left Bonakele © Umthombo Below right Street girls playing beach volleyball © Umthombo

Most street girls are from highly volatile and abusive homes and it is often inappropriate to try to reintegrate them back into their homes. It is essential to contact girls as quickly as possible when they arrive on the streets and to offer a temporary place of safety until a full assessment can be made. Within a short period of time it becomes increasingly difficult for girls to make a successful transition from street life. Many will have become pregnant and have children to support, others will have become dependent on abusive boyfriends, on pimps or prostitution syndicates. Sadly for girls over 16 there are very few places of safety. Bonakele and her team seek to reach out and engage with these girls through sport. For many it gives them a chance to play the

amos news spring 2013

surfers not street children games they love (volleyball, football and surfing), gives them time away from their situation and the isolation they face, and enables them to start to imagine a different future for themselves and their children. Already the number of young women involved in the programme is far higher than was expected. During our last visit to Umthombo, the front room looked like a crèche as there were so many of the girls there with their babies! Malnutrition means that most of the boys on the streets look far younger than their actual age, but the girls look so much older as street life takes such a huge toll on the girls who become trapped in it.

‘When   I surf I feel like I am flying. I am far above street life and can see a new way for me to be.’

spend a day at Thorpe Park and will be the guests of honour at a reception on a boat on the Thames in London.

— Khotso, age 15, former street child

We are keen for as many Amos supporters as possible to meet the team while they in the UK and hear first-hand about the difference Umthombo has made to their lives. To find out more about the events on the tour, contact katie@amostrust.org or visit www.amostrust.org/news.

From 18 June to 10 July, Tom Hewitt and four surfers, who are all former street children, will be touring the UK visiting surf spots in Wales, Devon and Cornwall. We are working with local organisers to plan a wide variety of events in each location including community beach parties and visits to schools and churches. The team will surf with a youth project in Cornwall, take on the famous Severn Bore and will be special guests at the GoldCoast Oceanfest in North Devon. In addition they will take part in family events in Swansea and Virginia Water,

Bonakele has just completed a course ‘Coaching for Hope’ on how to use sport to teach social skills and to build girls inclusion. She is just about to start her professional child and youth care qualification to further equip her for this vital work. See back page for details of how you can support the Umthombo’s work with girls through our Right to Play appeal.

Right Umthombo surf school, Durban © Wilf Whitty

The tour is being supported by Fat Face, Old Mutual, British Airways, Plain Lazy, Enterprise Car Rental and Ventia. This generous sponsorship means that every penny raised on the tour will go toward developing the work of Umthombo, piloting a new ‘Surfers not Street Children’ programme, and developing employment training for former street children.

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amos news for your kindle Did you know you can read this newsletter on your Kindle, phone and laptop? We upload all our newsletters, resource packs and publicity to Issuu, a free service which allows you to read print documents online and download them to your tablet, phone or laptop. Visit www.issuu.com and search for Amos Trust.

enews We send out an e-newsletter at least once a month, full of all the latest news, links and updates from our partners around the world. Drop us an email at info@amostrust.org if you would like to add your email address to the mailing list, so you receive our regular e-news as well as Amos News by post three times a year.

latin american pilgrimage sunday 17 –  thursday 28 november 2013 Join us for our 12 day Latin American Pilgrimage this autumn. Combine visiting Amos’ partner projects with relaxation and reflection in this country of great natural beauty. The itinerary will include visits to Amos supported projects including the Avocado Tree School, rural women’s projects and community initiatives in San Jose de Los Remates and opportunities to climb a volcano, swim in lagoons and relax on the shores of Lake Nicaragua as well as to meet local people and experience Nicaraguan hospitality and culture. £1750 including flight and full board accommodation. Contact info@amostrust.org for more information and a booking form.

spring appeal 2013

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a right to play appeal

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Right Church on Corn Island, Nicaragua © Wilf Whitty

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a right to play appeal When you meet the girls involved in Umthombo’s new programme for street girls, their vulnerability and their resilience leave an indelible mark on you. Most come from abusive homes that would not be safe to return to, so they feel trapped on the streets with nowhere-else to go. Umthombo’s new outreach and sports programme for girls uses volleyball, surfing and football to engage girls who are new to the streets and works to get them off the streets as quickly as possible, before they become drawn into prostitution or become pregnant.

The programme also works with those who have been on the streets for some time, who have children and feel dependent on street life. The team help these girls recognise that there is an alternative and support them in making the journey off the streets to a shelter for mothers and babies. It costs £300 to provide the sports outreach, staff follow-up and one-to-one support needed to help one girl to move from the streets into a temporary place of safety. The work does not end here of course, but this is such a vital first step to a better future for these girls and their children away from the streets. Any support you can give will be invaluable in transforming these girls’ lives.

Above One of the girls at the Umthombo safe space © Wilf Whitty Cover Meets the neighbours during the home rebuild © Amos Trust

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Amos News Spring 2013