RIO de JANEIRO – Roll down the windows, take your seatbelt off and turn on the lights inside the car. These are just seem of the procedures to follow when entering the poorest parts of the city. You don’t always notice but each entrance is monitored by silent guards who check who comes in and out, and they’re equipped with radios and disconcerting expressions on their faces. The children here tell us that they’re the ‘protectors of the favela’ and that ‘you’re safe here inside’.
It’s an innocent thought but in reality, the situation is different. These parts of the city are a world apart where it’s difficult if not impossible to enter. Not even the Italian Console General in Rio de Janeiro Paolo Miraglia del Giudice who is with us for the ceremonial shirt presentation has ever had the chance to go inside.
A way in is required and ours comes in the shape of a football, the Nerazzurri colours and the desire to offer a better future for lots of the boys and girls who need help. Over the years, Inter Campus has become a well-known and respected project because away from everything else, it’s only interested in the wellbeing of the youngsters.
“This is an activity that the Consulate is happy to promote with Inter who are a Club involved around the world in social initiatives that have a great impact on the local communities involved,” said the Console General in Parque União in the Maré area. Here like in the other parts of Brazil where Inter Campus is active, the original Nerazzurri shirts and shorts can be provided thanks to the crucial support of the Italian Consulate. It’s a form of teamwork that goes beyond the pitch so that we can reach the homes of children in the most remote areas.