'We Are All Somebody’ is an anthology which tackles the realities of being a street child directly, shining with a hope inherently linked with the work of Street Child United. Street Child United is a charity based in the UK, fighting the stigma and violence street children face. They believe these children are denied the opportunities necessary to reach their full potential. Their international sports events allow children who have known life on the streets to come together and inspire a brighter future.
One such young person was Samantha Richards. Samantha Richards left school after her GCSEs. She was selected to study with Arsenal FC, where she coached and played football whilst working towards a BTEC Level 3 in Sport. Identified as a vulnerable person, Arsenal introduced Samantha to Centrepoint, a youth homelessness charity. Centrepoint selected Samantha for their Team England football programme. In May 2018 she was chosen to represent the United Kingdom for the football tournament at the Street Child World Cup, Moscow.
At the tournament, street-connected children shared their stories with one another. Samantha was moved—her friends talked about experiences of trafficking, forced child marriage and lack of birth registration. Samantha found herself in tears in the bathroom.
Samantha was also inspired. One day, whilst back in Britain, she started to write. She shaped her feelings into poetry. Writing poems of gratitude, poems of need, poems of hope led to a discovery. Poetry might be a tool to speak the truth.
Samantha’s desire to bring together the voices of street-connected children was born. She wanted to create a space where their stories could be expressed. Aided by Street Child United, she quested and compiled poetry and artwork from across the world.
‘We Are All Somebody’ shines light on the challenges faced by street-connected children. It also stands as proof that Samantha was right. Poetry is a means to instil hope, inspire and speak the truth.
‘We Are All Somebody’ is released on February 23rd and paperback pre-orders are now open here.