VORONEZH – The Inter Campus delegation has once again made the trip to Russia to check up on its two bases located in the country. The principle aim of the project, which is supported by Pirelli Tyre Russia, is to promote the social inclusion of orphan children.
Though temperatures had been fearsome in the run-up to the visit, our touchdown in Moscow was greeted by some unseasonably warm weather, which had melted much of the snow in the city centre.
After a few hours’ shut-eye on the overnight train to Voronezh, which whisked us through the sprawling Russian countryside, we were welcomed by Pirelli’s Ekaterina Petkova, our local contact. Ekaterina would prove to be invaluable during our stay in Russia, and we were glad that she was on hand to supply her excellent organisational and intermediary skills wherever we went.
Our delegation enjoyed a three-day stint at Voronezh’s Boarding School No.1 for Orphaned Children and Children left without Parental Care, providing training to local instructors and meeting with the school’s director to establish the guidelines for the renewal of terms with partner organisation the Valentinovich Foundation.
An hour and a half’s journey from Voronezh is the Bobrov school, where the second Inter Campus centre in Russia is located. As we did back in Voronezh, we once again met with the school’s director before laying on training sessions for the kids and development meetings with the local staff.
The challenges facing the local instructors in Voronezh and Bobrov are innumerable. Yet each challenge represents a potential solution, with football playing an important role in overcoming the obstacles.
One of the most apparent issues is the lack of psychomotor development in some of the children, yet a mix of football, school and reading is allowing their cognitive abilities to develop and shine through.
As ever, the boys and girls in Voronezh and Bobrov are delighted to receive the new Nerazzurri kits brought by our delegation. Indeed, each pair of black and blue shirts and shorts has come to represent a child’s right to social inclusion, to practice sport and to have a fulfilling education.