Real de Indias – A better future thanks to football

Real de Indias is a non-profit institution constituted as a Football Club with the purpose of educating and developing children and adolescents in the city of Cartagena in Colombia. The club uses football as a tool to approach these kids and help them change their conduct and develop values from a very young age to improve their possibilities of having a better future.

The past 5 years, more than 100 kids were part of the team; some of them are already playing in the lower division teams of Professional Clubs in Colombia and others are part of a study program in local universities.

The club has players from all kinds of social and economic backgrounds. Those who have the blessing of an excellent quality of life are in the minority. Most players were born and raised in urban slums, sons of teenage parents, sons of fishermen, informal day to day workers, orphans and sons of families that can barely provide daily food to their children.

These kids and young adults also deal with growing up surrounded by a negative environment that includes drugs, alcohol, prostitution, vandalism, gangs, among others.

In 2018, a small group of Charity Cat’s members travelled to Cartagena to learn more about the project. They met the founder and the kids in person to understand the reality that they live in and find out if we can support the efforts the club is making in improving the children’s’ lives.

“The impression we got was that, even considering the lack of opportunities, all the kids put so much passion and joy into football,” explains Daniele, one of the Charity Cat members who travelled to Colombia. “Watching a training session from the Under 17s allowed us to see how much importance the club and coach give to education and values, and how football is the perfect tool to make that happen.”

As Charity Cat, the goal is to boost and build up Real de Indias’ long term goals with any means possible. For example, possibilities are:

  • Help the club with materials (Uniforms, footballs, football boots, etc..) to facilitate the job of the coaches in order for them to focus on guiding the kids towards becoming good citizens and increasing their chances of having a bright future
  • Involve the kids’ parents in the dynamics of the Club’s ideals to help them educate their children and to change the whole ideology
  • Provide a contribution to the rent of football pitch and training ground. Currently the plan is to adapt a terrain and turn it into a football pitch/ club house. This will allow the club founders to increase the amount of kids benefiting from the club and will give the opportunity to provide English lessons to the children in the future.
  • Developing and helping these kids realize that following their dreams is OK and that they should not feel restrain by their economic background to do so. Dreams of becoming professional football players, lawyers, doctors, etc… We want to give them the possibility to believe that it is all possible!

In 2018, Charity Cat started into this new project with support in the form of materials like football kits, balls and boots. During the last general meeting, we also decided on providing financial support and money was raised during some of our bigger activities for this project. Stay tuned for more!

Interesting facts:

  • 30,6% of the population in Cartagena survive with less than €92 a month.
  • In Colombia, a family of 4 is only considered poor if they have a combined income of less that €127.
  • Colombia was considered the second happiest country on earth after Fiji in 2016, the warmth of its people and beautiful landscapes help alleviate the discomfort and pain caused by social and economical disadvantages of the many.
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