Trilho, Mabubas, Sao José, Mota, Sao Paulo, Dondo, Calulo, Palanca. These are the names of the Inter Campus centres in Angola. On hearing them, they sound musical and easily remind us of tropical climates and the capoeira, although in reality, as we work in collaboration with the Salesian Fathers, it’s much different.
Whether it’s in the favelas of Luana or the local countryside towns, ourselves and the Don Bosco sports centre aim to remove hundreds of children from the streets (623 up until today). Split up into 29 squads, football helps support their school and educational progress. A total of 51 kids have so far grown up with the guidance of the Salesian teachers and our sports-teaching training course, eventually going to then become themselves coaches-teachers of the smaller children. As always, the Inter Campus coaches Alberto and Silvio have been in charge of this training course, holding five morning theory sessions in Portuguese and also afternoon sessions simply with the ball, with the latter also including dozens of joyous children.
Crossing the dilapidated and rubbish-strewn streets of Mabubas, one can feel a true sense of helplessness. However, when one enters these schools and witnesses the local children all kitted out in the Nerazzurri colours and playing together, it really does provide you with a sense of hope for this beautiful country, one that is so full of potential and contradictions. At one time, we used to call Luanda the ‘temporary’ city, as we stigmatised the precarious infrastructure and conditions in which most of the population lived. But now nine years later, we can see that the seed planted by Inter Campus is becoming a garden, with an increasingly stable centre and more active social participation. We will continue our work until one day we can call it ‘Luanda a toda bonita’, Luanda where everything is beautiful.