Yaounde – In Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, Inter Campus Angolan representatives were keen to share their experiences of their first time meeting their fellow Campus project workers from other African countries.
“We’re really happy with what Inter Campus has done for our lives,” Gouveia Caquezo, Manuel Quarta and Mateus Songue, representatives of Inter Campus Angola. “Thanks to the project in the development of projects in resilience through the medium of football has allowed us to meet our African colleagues and friends for the first time in person. This comes after two years of online meetings and remote working.”
"For us Angolan coaches this was the first trip out of our country, away from our families yet forging ties with fellow Nerazzurri projects. It was a special experience; nobody spoke Portuguese which made things difficult initially, yet we soon realised that language is no barrier when it comes to children playing football. We have trained coached children from Douala and Yaounde in Cameroon and it was useful to be able to share experiences and ideas with other coaches from other countries such as Uganda, Cameroon and Congo, get to know other cultures, and learn to respect and appreciate them through common experiences."
The theme of resilience in children, their development and their educational pathway towards adolescence and adulthood were addressed in this trip to Cameroon. Each delegation brought their point of view and their experience, respecting that of others with the common goal of finding a learning path for children through football.
"We think that aspects such as optimism, trust, giving and perceiving support to peers, tolerance and managing emotions can help African children in this difficult period, in which many social relationships have been limited due to the pandemic.
“When we arrived in Yaounde we were invited to eat at a restaurant and we experienced a cultural exchange at the table between the various delegations that were present. We were very surprised to discover that it’s Cameroonian tradition to eat with your hands, especially when it comes to the most typical dishes.
“We also attended a musical show where one of the most famous Cameroon singers performed live; it was exciting to find out about traditional local dances and music. We also participated in the Wheel of Friendship: a typical experience in African education where each coach talked about the positive outcomes of the journey of the children and coaches within the Inter Campus project and the consequences on everyone's life; then each participant shared their experience of Inter Campus in their own country, and despite the different languages we were able to understand each other and share aspects of our cultures and how this project is helping us.
“We rounded the visit off by teaching Cameroonian children a typical Angolan dance; it was very nice to see the children dancing and singing in Portuguese, which is proof of the extraordinary power that African culture possesses!”