Thanks to our partner ANERA – ONG which has worked for 30 years in the area, we were able to get here to this place where the tall buildings obstruct the tight alleys. Here, the electrical cables and water pipes merge to form a kind of spider’s web above the heads of passers-by.
The headquarters of Ahlam Laje (Dreams of a refugee) is found among the alleys in Shatila. It’s a local association at the refugee camp that operates directly with our staff at the Al Siraj pitch with the 80 boys and girls who take part in the project.
During the week of the mission, our technical staff that consisted of Lubes and Redaelli held a development course for the local coaches Othman, Bilal, Khalil, Habib, Issa and Mohamed who are all volunteers and big football fans who were born and grew up in Shatila. Now, they’re all keen to make themselves useful and offer help for the youngsters.
Despite the stifling heat, the boys and girls showed great intensity and joy while at training, all of them proudly wearing the Nerazzurri’s shirt. “Since I’ve had the shirt, I always pick Inter in video games,” was what young Omar told me with pride, his few words describing this sense of belonging that we all feel as brothers of the world.
By speaking to mothers, we had the chance to see how this project is encouraging girls in Shatila who are passionate for football and now finally have the chance to take the pitch as equals to the boys.
In a setting such as Shatila where crime and violence rule, the presence of Inter Campus provides an important space for fun, development and safety, somewhere where the children can do what they were made to do for three hours a week and play.