COCHABAMBA – Inter Campus returned to Cochabamba to visit the children of the San Sebastian prison, as well as those of the underprivileged Ticti Norte neighbourhood. In Ticti Norte, a cluster of primarily unauthorised homes surrounded by the imposing Cordillera del Tunari, we visited the CER (Recreational Education Centre) of the Fundación Casari, run by husband and wife Massimo and Veronica Casari, who have been helping to raise local children for over twenty years. For some of the Inter Campus children here, spending time with friends, playing football and taking part in other CER activities also means time away from abusive and alcoholic fathers. Some of the kids complete their homework before making snacks for themselves; some in fact only eat half since they want to take the rest to their mothers, which is why Massimo and Veronica end up giving them two. One young girl received her long-awaited Nerazzurri shirt and could not hide her beaming smile as she finally overcame her shyness.
Then there are the children of the San Sebastian prison, a penitentiary built for 150 people but holding 700, including kids whose only crime is that of being the children of prisoners. Obviously it’s an intimidating atmosphere and even more frightening at night. Thanks to Fundación Casari, Inter Campus and Sister Maria Angel, the kids are able to leave the penitentiary and spend a day in the open air, in a relaxed atmosphere in which they focus only on play – a right that must be guaranteed to all children. With the enthusiastic thanks from the parents in confinement, and confirmation from psychologists regarding the improvements being made, we were happy to demonstrate the positive results the Inter Campus experience provide: through education, a serene environment and the joy that comes with playing together.