KINSHASA – The Democratic Republic of Congo is so big it would cover an area from Spain to Poland, so visiting the two Inter Campus Projects in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi is genuinely like embarking on an international trip.
In Kinshasa, staff from Inter Campus started off by visiting sporting centres and medical facilities, which were constructed thanks to UNICEF funds and will soon be passed over for communal use. They then moved on to concentrate on the project helping disadvantaged children in Camp Kokolo and Father Hugo’s children’s hospital in Kimbondo.
Meanwhile, a great network of friends has been built up in the Katanga region of Lubumbashi and it’s alive and kicking thanks to our partner, ALBA Onlus. Kids from GoCongo and the Salesian Maison des Jeunes in the Bakanja Centre; students from the school ALBA constructed in Jama’a Yetu; young girls taken from the street by the RODE project; and, finally, children from the rural village of Cawarna greeted us with a celebratory tournament on the red earth of their pitch, which stains the clothes, shoes and faces of anyone who plays there.
“Mina kupenda” (“I love you” in Swahili) was written on the Nerazzurri backdrop to the structure we helped to build that gave the village functioning toilets and showers. And we really do love this immense country and its people, who still manage to enjoy a game of football even in the greatest misfortune. When the kids pull on the Inter shirt, we are greeted with smiles all round, full of teeth as white as coconut flesh.