‘Colombia has one of the highest incidences of child casualties from landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) in the world’
This week we interviewed Coach Mercedes Vasquez to find out about her experience as a female coach in Colombia.
1. What is your role with Spirit of Soccer?
MV: I am a Mine Risk Education Coach
2. What city/area were you born? How have you been affected by landmines or UXO?
MV: I was born in Puerto Tejada, Cauca, and my town is not affected, but many surrounding towns are affected, so I am providing a much-needed support to those places.
3. Tell us about some of the challenges girls in your community face
MV: Many of the girls in these towns face having to grow up in the middle of the conflict. Sometimes close where they live or practice their sports are polluted with mines.
4. As a woman, have you faced any particular challenges being involved in soccer?
MV: Many, as a woman who is not even from these towns it’s hard to reach these places without, many times, even knowing what challenges I am facing, but I love what I do, because with my work I will help spread the knowledge we have learned.
5. What inspires you to be a coach?
MV: Gain more knowledge and teach and save lives.
6. What impact has SOS had on your life or family?
MV: A huge impact, I have grown as a person, I am a better leader and I am more confident.
7. What is your greatest hope for the future of your country?
MV: That war is over and to save many children
Want to help a coach like Mercedes? Go here