Dany is 15 years old and living on the streets for 8 years is starting to take its toll on him. He lives under a motorway flyover with a group of other street children in El Salvador’s dangerous capital city, San Salvador. He ran away from an abusive home in search of protection on the streets which he found with his friends. But with his new friends came the temptation to use drugs to try and escape the fear, cold and hunger that are synonymous with the streets. Dany is rarely seen without his bottle of glue hidden in the neck of his t-shirt to comfort him through the days.
However, the glue gets hidden safely away twice a week when Toybox’s Salvadoran partner organises a kick around at a local football pitch. Dany and his friends come and enjoy two hours of running around, kicking the ball, practising their penalties and sometimes even having a dip in the pool which is next to the pitch. For these two hours, they are normal teenagers who have some time to forget their worries and laugh over a cup of squash and a biscuit at the end.
Football is a universal language and is a sport that is enjoyed all over the world. By organising your own kick-around or shoot-out, you can support this work that allows children like Dany to escape from reality for a little while each week. You could ask people to create teams and pay a fee for entering or could even get sponsored to play the matches in ridiculous costumes – the pitch is your oyster! Have a look at our fundraising resources and change the world for street children like Dany.