28 September 2016

On Monday, September 26, Mark Kuster and Philip Eberle from Camaquito paid a visit to streetfootballworld's Berlin headquarters. They provided an overview of Camaquito's advances in extending the range of recreational activities available to Cuban children and adolescents in the Camagüey province, and discussed some of their upcoming football-related projects.

 

“It was never really in my plans, it was more like destiny,” explained Mark on the emotional connection he developed with Cuba and the ensuing foundation of Camaquito in 2001. This year, the organisation celebrated 15 years of implementing an impressive array of social development projects. During this time, football has gained increasing popularity amongst Cubans of all ages and genders. Camaquito has harnessed the growing potential of football to launch a social development agenda that revolves around education, culture, sport and health.

 

Its long-standing interaction, consultation and engagement with communities in Camagüey has solidified Camaquito as one of the most reputable and credible organisations working in the field of football for good. The NGO organises training sessions and tournaments, and procures sporting gear for local communities. Its initiatives impact around 1,500 children and teenagers of both genders, ages 8 to 15. In addition to its football programmes, Camaquito organises cultural events, infrastructure renovation projects and health campaigns.

 

In Mark's own Words, Camaquito's work “is characterised by full collaboration with the Cuban government. Trust and respect are the central elements of our interaction with the communities we work alongside with”. Despite challenges, notably, a lack of infrastructure, Camaquito thrives and is in the process of devising new activities. Camaquito will soon organise a tournament for special needs youth. Additionally, the organisation will host a mixed neighbourhood tournament in order to foster inter-cultural dialogue and inclusion. Already, however, “the level of organisation and resolve communities have is impressive” remarked Philip.

 

It’s always a refreshing experience to put faces and voices to the projects streetfootballworld and its network members provide support to and carry out. Learning more about how our partner organisations came to be (even through chance encounters in some cases), their sustained impact, and steadfast commitment to social change is just the kick-start everyone needs on a Monday. 

"Trust and respect are the central elements of our interaction with the communities we work alongside with."

Mark Kuster
Camaquito
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