Havana – “When the papal nuncio here in Havana first told me about Inter Campus, I didn’t really understand what he was referring to when he spoke about the strong link between education and sport and, in this case, football. Of course, I knew that sport and recreational activities could be important for children who live in difficult circumstances, but I didn’t think that the educational scope of the project was so integral to their lives and personal development.” And with these words, Sister Honoria, the organising partner of the Cuban project, began the story of her meeting with Inter Campus and with the children from the barrio where the activities take place today.
She continued passionately without pausing for breath: “The Jaimanitas neighbourhood is one of the poorest areas of Havana, where many families live in difficult circumstances and have little money or job prospects. Since we started out working in this neighbourhood, there have been many applications from children to join Inter Campus. They are attracted by our unique educational methods and the opportunity to participate in activities without competitive pressure, something which is common in their country. I think it is important to have girls from the neighbourhood join too, since in this area there are problems with underage prostitution and gender integration; by doing these activities they can have a better interaction with the male gender. Above all, another success in this project was involving the parents and having the possibility to talk with the families to alert to them about risky behaviour. It is special because usually with the educational activities we provide, the parents are absent. In addition, each month we organise a meeting so that the children are always monitored in their activities and this ensures that as solid a support network as possible is created around them.”
Sister Honoria has time for everyone, excludes no one, and her attention is focused on all those who bring the Nerazzurri social project to life. “Jesús and Rubio, both coaches here and school teachers, are the first point of call for the children. Unfortunately, due to this pandemic, we’ve had to put a halt to the activities for some months now, and the negative impact on the children is noticeable. These are children who also lack technical resources, and so they experience an even greater level of social and emotional isolation. When activities restart once more, it is precisely for this reason that Inter Campus will represent something even more important for them all; we hope that this can happen soon.”