After many months of restrictions caused by the global pandemic, Inter Campus is finally travelling the world once again, showcasing the values of friendship, peace and brotherhood through football.

The warm welcome from the boys and girls, local coaches and friends of Inter Campus at the Shatila refugee camp was proof of the importance of the huge effort that Inter Campus and its local partners have put in to keep activities moving – where possible and always in accordance with local legislation and protocols – during the long pandemic-filled months.

It was particularly emotional when the gate at the refugee camp was opened once again with training materials and the latest kits ready for our little Inter Campus attendees. Everyone’s relentless desire to play the beautiful game almost wiped out the lack of activity over the last year and a half. Within a few minutes, everything was back up and running as if the programme had never been affected in Beirut.

Unfortunately, however, recent months in Lebanon have been and continue to be extremely tough due to a serious political, economic and social crisis that has brought the entire country to its knees. Inflation is sky-high and the price of everyday necessities has become prohibitively expensive for most of the population. Medication is very hard to get hold of, just like petrol, where endless and chaotic queues can be seen outside the few petrol stations that are currently open. Even today, it is unknown whether school lessons will be resumed in person. The electricity supply is inadequate and only few residents are able to afford a regular supply through private generators.

The seriousness of the situation is magnified in Shatila, where many primary services simply do not exist. Drug and arms trafficking also make life there much more dangerous, yet such difficulties will not take the smiles off the faces of the boys and girls at Inter Campus where they are able to enjoy a safe space to play and learn through the project.