RECIFE – The Inter Campus delegation returned to the Northeast Region of Brazil, accompanied by coordinator Del Goncalves, to carry out the first of three scheduled visits in the country this season. In Recife, the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco, we met up with local contact Augusto, together with the group of instructors. All of them operate in the six favelas in which the project is active, involving 600 children. Inter Campus coaches Gabriele Raspelli and Andrea Galbiati oversaw the first training session, which was interrupted for several minutes due to a sudden tropical downpour.
There are few paved roads that reach the outskirts of the city, where the pitch in Olinda is found, and the town consists of a cluster of makeshift buildings surrounded by lush greenery. The following day the Inter Campus staff moved on to another favela, between Olinda and Recife, which is part of the project. As per the current government policy of clearing out dilapidated areas (even if they are still inhabited), this still green area will soon become a single suburb that will permanently transform the landscape. “There were seven football pitches when I used to play here as a child,” our instructor Tarcisio Cavalcante informed us.
The delegation then set off towards Pititinga, over 600 miles north of Recife, to visit our local partner, the Vida a Pititinga Foundation. For several years now they have been acting to improve the residents’ quality of life by way of various projects dealing with health, education and sport. In the village of Pititinga the children of the Inter Campus project experience a rhythm of life that differs greatly compared to that of children in the cities. At sunrise they go fishing, then to school, followed by football training in the afternoon at the Centro Facchetti. Vida a Pititinga president Enrico Bertolino, along with the children and instructors, helped make the atmosphere even more special and festive than what we are used to with the customary Inter Campus visits. Then in the evening, after dinner, there were capoeira lessons. With everyone wearing the blue and black, naturally.