Gwent youngsters help Brazil football project

TAKING PART: The Gwent youngsters joined forces with other coaches from around the UK to help bring fun and football to children whose lives are affected by drugs gangs.

HELPING HAND: Omar Behaldeen (front, left) and James Taylor (front, right) joined forces with other coaches from around the UK to help bring fun and football to children whose lives are affected by drugs gangs.

First published in News

WALES might not have made it to Brazil for the World Cup, but that didn't deter two young volunteers from Monmouth and Newport who went to coach homeless children just a stone’s throw from one of the tournament venues.

The programme, organised by British Charity Lionsraw, took place in host city Curitiba, and saw Omar Behaldeen, 18, and James Taylor, 24, joined forces with other coaches from around the UK to help bring fun and football to children whose lives are affected by drugs gangs.

The charity aims to get British football fans to volunteer their time and money to make a difference to the lives of youngsters everywhere through football.

Omar, a former Llanwern High School pupil, and James, who attended Monmouth Comprehensive, joined forces with other coaches from around the UK to help bring fun and football to children whose lives are affected by drugs gangs. In the past two years, 16 young people associated with the group have been shot by rival criminals while working as drug runners.

Jacqueline Theodoro founded the project in Parolin, Curitiba, having spent her entire life in the favela community.

She told James that because of Lionsraw, the football sessions can now take place indoors throughout the week, rather than just on a Saturday, thanks to donations and the number of volunteers.

She said she hopes even more people will now get involved and an area can be built for the children to take part in a greater variety of activities to help keep them off the streets.

Visit http://lionsraw.org for more details about the trip.

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