A game of two boots: Football match in CAR is solidarity in action

Left boot: Best foot forward thanks to retirement gift

Left boot: Best foot forward thanks to retirement gift. Credit: Matthieu Alexandre/Caritas

A pair of boots, a new ball and four decades of service make CAR football match

Orphans looked after by the Oblate sisters in Bangui, Central African Republic played a football match with a difference on Saturday – they had a new ball.

John Coughlin of the Caritas Internationalis Emergency Response Team bought four footballs and four volleyballs along with basic necessities for the children.

The Oblate sisters had told him of the desperate conditions the 62 children, from 0-12 years, were facing.

A severe crisis is underway in the Central African Republic after the country collapsed into anarchy last year.

Part of money used to pay for the help to the orphans came from long-time Caritas Internationalis staff member Igina Aquilotti.

Right boot: Sharing hope and a pair of football boots in Central Africa. Credit: Mattthieu Alexandre/Caritas

Right boot: Sharing hope and a pair of football boots in Central Africa. Credit: Mattthieu Alexandre/Caritas

She retired last month after 40 years of service in the accountancy department in the General Secretariat in Rome. Instead of a retirement present, she asked for a donation to go to children in the Central African Republic.

To celebrate the arrival of the new balls, the children held a football game at the weekend.

The goalkeepers, two orphans staying with the sisters, had a just the one pair of boots. Luckily for them, one was right footed, and the other left so they could share the boots to keep goal.

Caritas Internationalis

President: Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle
Secretary General: Michel Roy

Caritas Internationalis
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Email: caritas.internationalis@caritas.va

The office is open from Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm.

If you need to contact a staff member outside of office hours in a humanitarian emergency, please call + 39 334 359 0700 or email emergencies@caritas.va