As I was driving out today, I came across what we call “the boyz on the corner”. They all remember me as the condom lady from years past when Common Ground worked with them on reproductive health care.
The thing is…today we had a normal conversation. They weren’t all edgey. we talked about the “gangs” of La Carpio and how they longed for more peace and less violence. And how great it could be if we organized an activity where we could all just sit down together…who knows. ? Maybe the time has come, I thought. Finally. Maybe.
Soccer coach Pedro has 150 youth under his care. He has been doing this for 15 years. He is the father substitute for all of them . He takes them to games, to outings, to get the food. He sets up their competitions with other leagues. He organizes training sessions. He gives them advice and counseling. He lives in the community and he is available 24/7. When they lose a game he consoles them. When they win he celebrates.
His philosophy is that it is not about the win. It is about the play. He has made La Carpio to be respected and not made fun of. Before and after every game he does a circle and prepares the team for what is to come. I think this is Love.
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