Mexico City – Despite a visit from Pope Francis exactly two years ago, who expressed great commitment to the country’s cause, not much has changed. The political sphere still hasn’t found the right solutions, while it also faces issues of criminality.
The new President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, proclaimed change throughout his electoral campaign. He set out plans to fight corruption and redistribute resources, opposing the powerful elites and promising to save the country from Narcos and violence.
One of the four stages of the Pope’s visit to Mexico was in the municipality of Ecatepec de Morelos, located to the north-east of the capital.
This consists of two million inhabitants, although life is blighted by social marginalisation and violence. Here is located the Universidad Estatal del Valle de Ecatepec, which recently hosted our second visit of the season.
The modern structure of the university campus is an oasis of peace, not only for the students, but also the 50 children involved in our project and the Inter Campus staff. Beyond these walls, there are dangers lurking behind every corner.
The three days of Inter Campus activities that took place were alongside the University and the UNFPA – the agency of United Nations (Population Fund).
In addition to the management of the Inter Campus Uneve project, there is also a national course for local coaches, which is carried out by coaches Juri Monzani and Silvio Guareschi. They teach lessons in a classroom with 15 local coaches from every centre in the country. They also work out on the seven-a-side synthetic pitches with the 50 kids that are present.
There’s a great sense of joy at being coached by the group of 15 Mexican and Italian coaches and they’re all delighted to receive new shirts from the current season.
In collaboration with the University, there has been a study ongoing since last July to evaluate the impact of Inter Campus on how the children develop and how it can be a preventative tool to allay the risks of social problems which the children are susceptible to. At the same time, the University has been developing the 'Escuela para padres' (parents’ school) project with its own staff. It aims to raise awareness among parents of their educational responsibilities through structured meetings, during one of the kids’ weekly training sessions. The aims are similar and during this visit, Unfpa staff held a course on human rights which was split into three phases with one dedicated to the kids, one to the parents and one to the Inter Campus staff.
After the visit to the capital, a day of training was organised in the area around the Ceylan road area with 40 kids coming from the organisation and 20 from the notorious ‘Barrio bravo’ area of Tepito. Those 20 kids are associated with the Fundaciòn Renacimiento organisation which has offered support to the ‘callejeros’ on the street for over 25 years.
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