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Making champions in Cape Verde

Our photographer from Cape Verde is Miliana Moreno, better known as "Kutxinha". Miliana is part of the Delta Cultura programme, based in Tarrafal on the island of Santiago, Cape Verde. Since playing for the team has won the women’s championship in the north of Santiago Island 3 times in a row. Miliana is now head coach of the Delta Cultura Senior Women’s team.

Making champions in Cape Verde

Our photographer from Cape Verde is Miliana Moreno, better known as "Kutxinha". Miliana is part of the Delta Cultura programme, based in Tarrafal on the island of Santiago, Cape Verde. Since playing for the team has won the women’s championship in the north of Santiago Island 3 times in a row. Miliana is now head coach of the Delta Cultura Senior Women’s team.

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Who is in these photos?

In the pictures are the children who attend the Delta Cultura Education Centre, mothers who play soccer and my co-workers. All of them are members of the Delta Cultura Senior Women’s team.

Outside the team they live hard lives in order to feed themselves and members of their family. When it is time for football training sessions they leave their family to come and take part. Most of them are mothers with one, two or three kids. 

Where were the photos taken?

The photos were taken in the Delta Cultura Education Centre and at the municipality football stadium in Tarrafal on the island of Santiago, Cape Verde.

In some photos you can see our main mountain called "Monte Graciosa" or sometimes "Elephant Mountain", because when you stop and look at the mountain it looks like an elephant sleeping. 

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What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with the photos?

In the photos I tried to show daily life, the things I do every day to help my people and the occupations of people in Cape Verde.

I came from a poor family. I was living with my mother and my two little brothers in a small village. Before Delta Cultura came to Cape Verde and started a football school, I had no opportunities to do other activities. With my friends I started to play football with them in 2002. They realised that they had to create a centre because there were so many children, which I helped build.

There are kids with the same story as me. Most of them here at the centre came from a problematic family where our work is to deal with that. We help them to a better future by taking part in our monthly programmes. I have a child, Rodrigo, he is 5 years old and at Delta Cultura Centre as a Kindergarten participant for the second year, and next year he will go to school. 

Why is football so important for Cape Verde and Cape Verdeans?

Football is important for the people of Caboverdiano because it creates bonds of friendship; they develop the spirit of teams, the socialization of people, the occupation of time with exercises. In the end they unleash the physical and psychological spirit of the person.

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What role does football play in Cape Verde and Cape Verdean society?

I understand that football has an important role for the entire world. But in my opinion in Cape Verde there's no political desire for developing football because clubs and teams only use football for competition, not to achieve social impact that is more important. 

What is the future of football in Cape Verde?

In the future football will be important to Cape Verdean people. For example, 10 or 20 years ago football was just played by men, but now if we look at football as a sport it has been promoted to the entire Cape Verdean archipelago. Men, women, and children now play football, and we have competitions that involve everyone.

What work does Delta Cultura do in Cape Verde and why is it important?

As an NGO that uses football as a tool to achieve social change Delta Cultura does a lot. At the moment we are using the football3 methodology to increase children’s self-esteem and promote gender equality. We are working on social themes that involve football, doing workshops for clubs and organisations that want to implement social change. We believe football also increases critical thinking in everyone and gives opportunities to children and youth.

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