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Africa Vera
Brian MacGarry
Gesuita dello Zimbabwe
Football for peace
Football isn't just Africa's favourite sport.

It brings people together, so when our trauma counselling groups started accepting perpetrators of violence along with victims, the next question was: «What more can we do to break down the divisions that cause these problems?», and the first answer was a football team.

We now have five teams in four of Harare's low-income suburbs, who play regularly against each other and other «social soccer» teams in their areas.

Our star team in Mbare is playing a return match this afternoon against the one team that defeated them this year, which represents the whole muslim community of Harare and its million-strong dormitory town of Chitungwiza. This team has more professional training and proper football boots, so they present a real challenge.

Among the victories this year, our team beat the local youth of both main political parties: winning against Zanu (Pf) 1-0 and Mdc 3-2. They also played a match against the visitors for the Jesuits' Magis Africa programme in August. The visitors had some good palyers, and a couple of Germans (when memories of this year's World Cup were fresh), but our team had been kicking a ball around in the street together as rivals since they were able to stand on two feet and as a united team for three years. The result was a foregone conclusion: Ayema Street, Mbare 8. the Rest of the World 0. But, as usual, a good time was had by all.

27 ottobre 2014