VORONEZH – While awaiting the official inauguration with project partner Pirelli present, the transfer of the Inter Campus staff to Russia took place in one of the last countries to become part of the project. More specifically, we refer to the city of Voronezh, which sits along the Don River, not far from the Ukraine border that is currently experiencing considerable unrest.
The visit took place at the Boarding School No.1 for Orphaned Children and Children left without Parental Care, a school that takes in many children and orphaned youths, some of which have behavioural and cognitive disorders. The Inter Campus visits aim to support their right to play and help to ease their problems through sporting and educational support, along with sporting and pedagogical training.
Football is loved throughout Russia and utilised as social and educational tool. This is also the case at the school in Voronezh, where Inter Campus, with the support of Pirelli Russia, involves 35 children that, despite the cold, enthusiastically took part in the activities organised by coaches Juri and Silvio, helped by Christian’s organisational support. It all took place on the small pitch that was recently constructed for them in record time; it will allow for year-round activity, even during the harsh Russian winters.
The sky was surprisingly blue and sunny, which allowed for plenty of carefree play with the ball; something important for kids that often must face difficult situations in their daily life. The school and instructors here are very supportive of the children and closely attend to their emotional, cognitive, motor and social needs, while remaining constantly alert in order to give them the right kind of stimuli for healthy development.
The delegation witnessed many touching moments, such as that of the evening in which the children ran after the coaches on the way home, begging them to stay just a bit longer. Or the time in which the kids had already warmed up on their own before the session had even started. Local instructors Alexi and Diniz welcomed the technical instructions and eagerly shared their own coaching methods related to Russian culture, which is strongly linked to the sport.
The visit ended in Babrov, a village in the countryside 80 kilometres south of Voronezh, in an orphanage in which a new project is beginning with other boys and girls that are hungry to begin playing with Inter Campus.
A special thanks goes out to the two orphanages that are allowing Inter Campus to contribute to the growth of these children in need. In the hope that the winter cold does not dampen their enthusiasm, we say “Arrivederci!” and, until next time, “Spassibo!”