CARACAS – Petare, part of the urban area of Caracas in Venezuela, is one of the largest slums in the world and located in a city that is rocked by protests virtually every day.

For many years, the country has been going through a severe political crisis that is heaping misery on its populace: little actual democracy and widespread corruption has filtered to the heights of state power.

In the heart of the slum, Inter Campus coaches managed to build a small artificial pitch thanks to their perseverance in securing funding from the council. Despite all the troubles, football is still able to bring together dozens of girls and boys, while the training ground has become important location for them and their families. Here we’re using the sport to create the safe spaces that the state is unable to guarantee children.

Recently, the project received official backing when the local government sanctioned the refurbishment of the entrance of the site, thus reiterating the important role of football as a tool for social development. These kids often grow up without the permanent influence or presence of parents, and often without proper nutrition, but at least they’re able to play football and have fun in a safe environment.

Our local coordinator, Mario, was chosen as the manager of the structure while the work is in progress. He deserves credit for the contribution football and Inter Campus have given to the community over the years. The responsibility therefore falls to us to make the best of this opportunity.