Inter Campus: tales from around the world

MILAN – You can say a lot about the book just by leafing through it: that it’s great, it’s got hundreds of amazing photos, that children bring happiness to people all over the world. In this first look at "Inter Campus, sport, passione, impegno" (Inter Campus, sport, passion, hard work), published by Skira and compiled by the Nerazzurri staff who have worked with children, we learn about those involved and the author, Franco Origlia. A reporter and photographer, Origlia began his career as a journalist 15 years ago with a phone conversation about the favelas in Brazil and has since travelled to the 25 countries where Inter Campus work. He’s written the book. "Every picture brings back memories, of different faces and trips abroad. The war in Kosovo for example where the kids in the refugee camp had never seen the sea and they experienced it all like a big camping trip. Their pride, which I’ve seen all over the world, at wearing the Inter shirt, the focus they showed at training. I’ve seen a lot of suffering, but the people living through these things don’t waste time crying about it. They do something about it and look towards the future. If you’re a part of Inter Campus you know all about that."

Alongside him, Don Gino Rigoldi of the Children’s Association in Romania, who has worked with Inter Campus in orphanages, summarised the situation in real terms.

"In Romania, kids in orphanages were the lowest of the low. Now though, thanks to football, the kids leave the orphanages, they’re accepted and they go from being the lowest to being the best, by wearing the Nerazzurri colours. Football provides a playful environment where you can learn how to interact with one another in life, it’s better than any sermon."

Francesco Toldo, Inter Campus ambassador, prefers to describe himself as a "witness". He’s travelled a lot, and has plenty of stories and memories from his "life after football."

"Fifteen years is an awfully long time, the Moratti family have approached this project with a lot of hard work, and their presence here today is important (Carlotta Moratti, president of Inter Campus, along with her mother Milly are sat in the front row). I thank them for the opportunity they gave me. It might sound strange in Italy, but we were holding a training session in Venezuela and we heard gunshots and the kids were the least scared of anyone. Or when in Cambodia, the kids knew absolutely nothing about football but were delighted when we brought them a piece of mango as a snack and when we played with the ball. These are the stories we see all over the world."

The book has been published by Skira who always follow Inter with great commitment and professionalism. Once again Massimo Vitta Zelman was in attendance today. The book will be on the shelves in early December, following its official opening at bookstore Rizzoli in New York on 29 November. Before that Inter Campus will appear at the UN.

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