Ibrahim’s strength to keep going
"Thanks to FutbolNet, I am fully integrated into Italian society. Playing with Italians has helped me to get to know them better and to be able to express myself without difficulty”.
Text: Josep Giralt
Photo: Jordi Valero
Ibrahim s a 17 year old Guinean. He only arrived in Italy one year and seven months ago, but he can already speak near-perfect Italian. He is one of the beneficiaries of the Cooperativa Prospettiva project in Catania, in the district of San Giovanni Galermo. This social cooperative was established in 1981 and traditionally works with people in vulnerable situations.
Guinea's literacy rate is one of the lowest in the world. According to 2012 estimates, only 29.5% of adults can read and write. Primary education has been compulsory for the last eight years, but most children do not attend school. Ibrahim could be Guinea's Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur. The most admirable thing is that he never accepted something that would normally come naturally. He has managed his past by adapting it to a present that he commands with determination.
Guinea is a country rich in minerals, including bauxite, diamonds, gold and aluminium. Its economy depends on agriculture and mining. But a large part of its population (more than 60%) lives below the poverty threshold. This young Guinean has taken his fate into his own hands and moulded it to his own needs. "I'm one year away from going to university” he says. “I want to be a computer programmer. Thanks to FutbolNet, I am fully integrated into Italian society. Playing with Italians has helped me to get to know them better and to be able to express myself without difficulty”.
Guinea was one of the countries hit by the 2014 Ebola epidemic, along with Liberia and Sierra Leone. "I always knew that I wanted to get out of Guinea and study" he continues. "I have never stopped having difficulties, but I also have dreams. Thanks to sport, I learned to have values, to play in a team and to respect my fellow players."