The city of Sarajevo: a place where people groups, languages, and traditions have come together and flourished. Among these languages is Italian, and one of these traditions is football; since 1999, Inter Campus Bosnia has been active in the Balkan country, coming into fruition in the aftermath of the years of conflict with the aim of playing its part in healing the country’s wounds.
People sit up and take notice of the Nerazzurri delegation as we walk through the narrow streets of the old town and are keen to know all they can about Edin Dzeko: a role model and icon for all Bosnians, especially for the children who participate in the Campus project. Unlike Inter’s goalscoring machine, they were fortunate enough to avoid the war of the late 90s, when Edin himself was just a child.
One of the project’s chief aims is to use the power of football to break down barriers and promote the process of reconciliation between people groups. Inter Campus is highly active in the capital today with a project led by Rados and Anes, the former Orthodox the latter Muslim, who together are in charge of two groups of children.
Beyond the capital we headed to Mostar, appreciating a skyline punctuated by a mesmerising mix of Catholic and Orthodox church bell towers and mosque minarets. In the village of Domanovici children get stuck into the beautiful game under the guidance of coaches Josip, Ivan and Mirko. It is clear that they are fully immersed in the experience and take great pleasure from their involvement in the Nerazzurri’s initiative.
It is evident Inter Campus Bosnia is keeping on going from strength to strength.