The OSCAR Foundation U17 Boys’ UK Tour arrives next week
A year on from the visit of the girls’ football team, the College is getting ready to host a life changing football tour for an U17 OSCAR Foundation team of 14 boys from the Mumbai slums. Our staff and pupils are dedicated to providing an enriching visit for the team, a combination of academic lessons, cultural opportunities and a football match.
We’ll be putting the visiting team through their paces on the College obstacle course, followed by a match against the 5thXI. Pupils have been fundraising through open-mic nights, food stalls and other charitable events. The target is to raise £3,000.
If you would like to help and support the tour you can find more information on donating.
The OSCAR Foundation is a charity based in Mumbai, using football as the tool to encourage underprivileged girls and boys to go to school. Of the 3,500 children in the OSCAR family, remarkably almost half are girls. OSCAR has one simple rule, ‘No school, No football.’
In slum communities, uneducated parents do not see the value of an education. Instead they send their young children out to work to help support the family. Girls in the community still regularly get married at 14 years old and youth pregnancies are common. OSCAR aims to stop this cycle by educating and empowering boys and girls to change their community’s mindset. OSCAR gives them back the control of their future.
OSCAR founder, Ashok Rathod set up the foundation aged 18 to serve his own community. From an initial 18 small boys in 2010 OSCAR now has 3,500 kids across India regularly attending school. The UK School Football tour is now in its third year and is an integral part and highlight of the OSCAR programme. The opportunity to provide young boys and girls with a passport and overseas travel is lifechanging. Not just for the individual, but that of their family and wider community. The OSCAR teams return to their communities as role models and mentors and their attitude and ambition is testament to the success of the tour.
“OSCAR is grateful for the support of the British Deputy High Commission in Mumbai and all the pupils and staff of the UK schools. Without the collaborative energy and enthusiasm of the many thousands of pupils in the UK we could not do what we do. We are proud of the OSCAR children, their positive outlook and determination to overcome their difficulties. Together we are working hard to put education first and break the cycle of poverty.” – Ashok Rathod, founder of The OSCAR Foundation.
“The children selected for the OSCAR tour come from very poor uneducated families. It’s a complicated process applying for passports, most have no birth certificates, parents have no marriage certificates and names on documents often don’t match. It takes time and patience.
Some of the boys have very harrowing personal stories. They all live in basic houses with no running water or bathroom. In their community there are 100 toilets for over 60,000 people. They lead very tough lives. This opportunity is a lifeline. Working in the community I can see for myself the positive impact the tour has on everyone. I also see how the host UK schools benefit. Everyone’s a winner.” – Lucinda Sowerbutts, Head of Operations, OSCAR International & tour organiser.
Watch the highlights from last year’s tour below.