The children come with a wide range of social and disciplinary problems. The aim is give the children a sense of joy at being able to play football, joy to take back home. This then has a positive impact in the family context. Day to day problems do not disappear, but nevertheless the valuable support and structure given to the way the children use their leisure time is much appreciated by parents, schools etc.
Football is played until it is too dark to see the ball (there is no floodlighting), or until stopped by heavy downpours. Team sport is a great way to learn discipline and a sense of duty. The children learn about responsibility at an early age, and the Camaquito football tournaments even allow them to set personal goals.
Football coaching allows the sports teachers to train technical, theoretical, physical, tactical, mental and social elements. In Cuba a university teaching degree is required to manage children's football teams. Football has been shown to be a good way to anchor children in a secure social environment. Educational supervision is provided additional to that given by parents and schools, and serves, in real life, to prevent adolescent violence. Unlike in Switzerland the children and adolescents are frequently 3 - 5 hours together for a single coaching unit, and "fútbol en los barrios" is at the same time a social meeting point.
Distribution of award for Maria Isabel Perez, with attendance of Mark Kuster (Camaquito Founder & CEO) and Andreas Keller (Project Coordinator "fútbol en los barrios", Volunteer)
A Camaquito award for the talented and commendable Camagüey footballer Maria Isabel Perez. Maria and lives with her grandmother in very humble conditions in the outskirt "El Jardín". She plays for Camagüey's 1st women's team, but frequently spends months at a time in Havana. Maria is a core player (striker) in the Cuban National Team.
Group photo at the award celebration
Cultural activities are a fixed part of children's football events