On June 22nd the community of Tarrafal, Cape Verde, gathered to dedicate the Tarrafal Football for Hope Center.
The weather was warm, with a pleasant breeze, and Cape Verde’s constant clouds cleared up to reveal a brilliant blue sky - a welcome, unexpected attendee. With a day full of football and food, the happiness was contagious--celebrations lasted well into the night! Congratulations to our hard working Design Fellows: Ana Reis and Ana Ramos, to our local partner Delta Cultura Cabo Verde, and the rest of the project team.
Read on for the full report, brought to us, with images, by Design Fellow Ana Ramos.
The day started with football games of various house teams with different age groups and both genders. The spectator turnout was spectacular.
Ana Ramos notes, “I was extremely happy to see that not only was the pitch in perfect condition, but the viewing steps, the ramps, and transformed containers were being used by many, many guests who were watching the games.”
The official ceremony began around 1pm with many guests of honor in attendance. In addition to the hundreds of children, representatives of Delta Cultura, and many of the construction workers, guests included the Minister of Education and Sports and the President of the Municipality of Tarrafal. The ministers and NGO representatives shared the responsibility of cutting the opening ribbon.
Ana relates, “While speeches were being made, lunch was cooking in enormous pots that the neighborhood friends of Delta Cultura were kind enough to lend for this special day.” Together, everyone helped to prepare a menu of traditional dishes, including cachupa: a stew of corn, beans, and different meats.
After lunch, celebrations continued throughout the afternoon with informal games on the pitch and musical performances from local groups. The main act was Princezito, a Tarrafal native who has taken his music across the world.
Later, guests moved down to the beach and the party continued until early morning.
It was a day of many emotions. The building's construction still wrapping up, everybody worked diligently these last weeks to get the critical elements completed. Among these was the football pitch and seating, allowing people to play and enjoy the beautiful views.
"Most importantly, a great number of local kids enjoyed themselves immensely and now have easy access to a pitch like none other around," Ana relates. "And soon they will have access to the most beautiful building in Tarrafal, too."
Everyone will head back to work as these celebrations wind down, and they will hold another celebration when the building opens to the public.