The Soccer Boys Dream
There is a group of boys who have been so inspired by
the possibility of a soccer tour to England next year that
they have willingly moved off the streets, have settled into
our Children's Home, and are going to school.
This is one boy's story:
My name is Samson. I'm 14 years old and come from Khayelitsha
which is a township in Cape Town, South Africa. I lived on
the streets of Cape Town for a few years because my family
couldn't take good care of me. On the streets I learnt to
survive on my own and also defend myself as there were many
My first friend on the street was Cassiem. Cassiem and I would
spend nights begging so that we could have enough money for
milk, bread and games. He taught me about the good and bad
things on the street which Cassiem said I needed to know to
survive. Cassiem took me to The Homestead or Yizani which
is the Drop In Centre for street kids. Titta was the cook
and always made the best pap. We got clean clothes, breakfast
and did a lot of fun things. The people were very friendly
and they wanted me to stay at the shelter but I refused because
I didn't want to stay in some shelter.
Since then I've been on the street. One day I was picked up
by the police after doing one of the bad things Cassiem showed
me how to do. They took me to a reformatory. The boys there
were very rough and often bullied and robbed me. When I came
out I went home but life at home was still the same. Back
to the streets I went. On the streets I met many more friends
and I tried to stay away from Cassiem. My new friends were
fun. We played soccer on the streets and I learnt a lot of
new tricks. Soccer became my favourite game. All the boys
gathered at Yizani from all around the city in the mornings.
Mr Jakes was in charge of the soccer. I always tried my best
to impress so that I could be chosen for the soccer team.
Everybody improved and we practiced on the field opposite
Yizani where we played a game every Wednesday.
One day I realised that life on the streets wasn't good for
me and Gerald told me that I can be a star if I can learn
to trust big people to help me. Soon after that I heard that
Cassiem died on the street, a cigarette fell on his clothes
and he burnt to death. I was very sad. Since then Gerald and
Mr.Jakes has helped me off the streets and the people at the
Homestead got me in a school called Learn to Live. Now for
the last year I'm attending school and staying at The Homestead
and they have helped me and all my friends come off the street.
Our soccer team is very good and I'm looking forward to going
to England to see where David Beckham lives and play against
the teams in England.
So now I'm working hard. All the staff at The Homestead are
helping me with my school work and to give me a better future.
My life has changed and I'm very happy. My skill is also good.
In the picture with me is my friend Johan on the right. He
is the smallest at The Homestead, he wants to go with to England,
but he is gonna have to impress Gerald first. He is getting
better. Gerald told me that many people are trying to help
our team go to England and I'm very happy. I hope that my
dream can come true. That is why my favorite song is by R.
Kelly and is called " I believe I can fly. "