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A Golden Goal for Refugee Youth Soccer Academies

By Katie-Jay / June, 5, 2016
The iACT Team

The iACT Team

On May 21st, over 180 people gathered for One Strong Kick to celebrate the success of iACT’s sports programs: the Darfur United Men’s Team and our five Darfur United Soccer Academies currently serving up to 10,000 refugee boys and girls in eastern Chad. The event focused on celebrating each and everyone’s power to act. Darfur United is a movement for hope, connecting communities in action to create a more connected and joyful world.

The event, hosted by Kari and Dennis Doody in Hermosa Beach, CA, raised $48,000, a record amount for iACT’s annual, signature event, although it was just shy of our goal of $50,000 (you can still donate here!). With three sets of live music—from family duo David Veerman and Crystal Kakabeen, local blues rocker Kira Lingman, and headliner The Hitstorm — the crowd was rockin’, drinks sponsored by Suerte Tequila, Brack Mountain Wine Company, and Monkish Brewing Co. were flowing, and tacos from Villegas Tacos were tasty.

Here are a few photos from the evening:

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Upon arrival, guests were greeted by Mustangs4Change, a Mira Costa High School club dedicated to supporting iACT’s work and whose members helped throughout the entire evening. All attendees were invited to choose a Darfuri to honor with their presence at One Strong Kick by wearing a photo badge of their chosen Darfuri for the evening. Action opportunities at the event included signing a petition to Senator Feinstein, decorating flags to be hung in the camps, and sponsoring a Darfur United Soccer Academy player.

One of the most exciting parts of the evening was the live auctioning of a one-of-kind Jose Barahona-shaped surfboard with the Darfur United logo, donated by Barahona Surfboards. The piece raised $3,500 and was sold to a lucky surfer in Hawaii!

This year, iACT honored Darfur United Coach Ambassador Bridget Grant with the 2016 Spirit Award. Bridget has opened three Academies in eastern Chad and supports other iACT programs such as Little Ripples, an early childhood education program for refugees, and Little Ripples Global Citizens, a program dedicated to creating a meaningful connection between our children and Darfuri children while fostering compassion and empathy.

With the support raised at One Strong Kick 2016, iACT will expand to seven more refugee camps in eastern Chad for a total of twelve, as well as begin to serve refugees from the Central African Republic living in refugee sites in Cameroon. The team departs Friday, June 10 for this expansion!

A big “thank you” to our One Strong Kick sponsors:

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iACT is a Hermosa Beach-based organization providing humanitarian action to aid, empower, and extend hope to those affected by mass atrocities. Since 2005, iACT has facilitated refugee-led education, sports, and human rights programs that build resilience and cultivate recovery in refugee camps in eastern Chad.

To get involved, contact iACT’s COO Katie-Jay Scott at ktj@iactivism.org.


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