In the first weeks of September in Bulgaria, temperatures are still very high, schools have not yet gone back and the sports season is ready to kick off once again.

In the small town of Banya, a few kilometres outside of Plovdiv and located between Ancient Thrace and the Rose Valley, it’s the time of year for harvest. The workers employed in the fields are predominantly of a Romani ethnicity, and many of the children who form a part of Inter Campus cannot come to training because they have to go work in the fields themselves. Regardless of age, everyone contributes to their own family’s needs by helping with the harvest.

On the football pitch, Doncho, the local Coach, is a guide and reference point for these children and youths. Together with Yordanka Yaneva, the coordinator of our local partner, the Stefan Noykov Foundation, we then continued our visit and headed to the centre of Dupnitsa. All of the children from the orphanage were present, and together with some children from the school with whom they play all year round in the Inter Campus project, they took part enthusiastically in the training sessions run by Davide and Roberto and the two local coaches Ventsislav and Stefan.

In these contexts Inter Campus uses the game of football to help with our objectives of ethnic integration, prevention of juvenile delinquency, development of the children and their personalities, and finally education in values and the incentive to attend school.