Four boys from Karachi will represent their country at the Street Child Games. During the Street Child Games, team Pakistan will be focusing on protection from violence on the streets.
In 2014, following Pakistan,s participation in the Street Child World Cup, Azad Foundation secured a commitment from the National assembly in Islamabad for a national protection policy to protect 1.5 million street children.
The Pakistan Squad is made up of Mehr Ali and Salman Hussain, who both represented their country in the 2014 Street Child World Cup, and Naeem and Naseer. Azad Foundation manager Irfan Maqbool is also joining the team and believes all four athletes are motivated to do well in the event.
Named the Pakistan Squad, the group is taking part in the games as part of the Azad Foundation – which has been working in Karachi since 2001. The foundation is a leading advocacy and research organisation for childrens rights. It provides healthcare and medical assistance to children on the streets, as well as formal and informal education, leisure activities, shelter and family tracing/reunification. All this work takes place in day care centres, mobile units, safe spaces and transit shelter homes.
Over 6,000 children on the streets of Karachi have benefitted from the work of the Azad Foundation since it was set up.