penedo de cima
Unity and Autonomy
Visit the community of Penedo de Cima today, and one will see children and adults enjoying themselves on the fútbol field next to the local school. It wasn’t always like this. The space, once infamously known as a wasteland, had no lights, teemed with drug use, and was the scene of many communal fights. Despite the dangers, kids still found a way to play fútbol.
The construction of the community soccer field gave new life to the space and helped turn a page for the locals. The field now serves as a safe meeting place, local training center for the Jogada do Futuro fútbol school, and strong focal point of positive activities like capoeira, dance, and physical education classes for the whole community to enjoy.
What's more, the local commission organizes regular fundraising drives to ensure the maintenance of the field. Fresh coats of paint go onto the playing surface and repairs to the lights that surround it allow for the game to be played day and night, as well as children's birthday parties and celebrations to mark the anniversary of the field's inauguration.
During a love.fútbol project, the community is empowered to manage the space on its own, with the local commission coordinating efforts to maintain the court and make improvements to it with each passing year.
“I didn’t even dream that there would be a field here. When the project began I went everyday and tried to participate. I went to see the machinery at work. I wanted to participate because I knew that one day it (the field) would be of use to me. Nowadays, many people come here all the time. More people play soccer and no one stirs up trouble, nor starts fights. We know that there are people who use drugs in the community, but they stop once they’re here on the field playing. They stop because the desire to play is bigger. Without the field we either played where we could or stayed at home. Soccer gets me pumped up, and makes me happy.” -
Izaque, 13 years old
witnessed the transformation of the space from the very beginning.