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DARFUR UNITED’S KICKS & HOPE USA

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A Short Curriculum that Teaches About the Power of Sport, Tells the Story of Darfur, and Gets Your Students and Players Moving!

As a coach or PE teacher, you know that sport has the power to change lives.  Sport teaches lessons that carry beyond the field and into the future.  They teach leadership, collaboration, and empathy.  Sport builds healthy minds and bodies.

The Darfur United Soccer Academy (DUSA) is a safe place to play and learn for refugee children living in remote camps on the Chad-Sudan border.  It is run by trained refugee men and women coaches.  Many of the children, the older ones, that are a part of the academy escaped extreme violence in their homeland. The rest, the younger, were born in the refugee camps and don’t know any other life. The Kicks & Hope USA Curriculum is based on the curriculum that is used with these children at DUSA.

The Kicks & Hope USA Curriculum is a tool for USA PE teachers and coaches to demonstrate to students and players the impact of sport in other parts of the world, and how children everywhere are the same—and deserve the same opportunities to play. Children need sport and play to thrive, and soccer, “the beautiful game,” is the perfect vehicle to bring about positive change.

Below is the curriculum guide!


 Section 1: Darfur and Guisma’s Story – 15 Minutes

Ask your class: How many of you have heard about Darfur? Raise your hand if you have. (Ask someone that raised his/her hand to briefly talk about Darfur and what has been happening in that region)

Give a summary:
Darfur is a region of Sudan, which is a country in Africa. Violence in Darfur began in early 2003. On July 23, 2004, the United States Congress declared what was happening there genocide. The United Nations says over 300,000 people have been killed and over 3 million are displaced. Those are big numbers, but each number is real person, just like you and me.

Guisma is a beautiful girl from Darfur that now lives as a refugee in camp Djabal in Chad. She loves to play soccer and is a part of the Darfur United Soccer Academy. I will show you Guisma’s story, and we can talk about it and about how sport can be an important part of making Guisma’s life better.

Play: “This is Darfur: Guisma’s Story”

This is Darfur: Guisma’s Story (full length) from i-ACT on Vimeo.

Ask your class:
What do you think of Guisma’s story? How did it make you feel?
How is Guisma’s life different than yours? How might it be similar?


 Section 2: Darfur United Soccer Academy – 15 Minutes

Give a summary:
Last year, the Darfur United Soccer Academy started in camp Djabal, where Guisma lives. i-ACT, an organization from California that has been working with Darfuri refugees for ten years, brought professional coaches to select and train young refugee men and women to be coaches. They plan on opening Academies in 12 camps on the Chad-Sudan border. Here’s a video that shows the opening of the Academy. Look for Guisma!

Play: “Darfur United Soccer Academy Opens in Refugee Camp”

Darfur United Soccer Academy Opens in Refugee Camp from i-ACT on Vimeo.

Ask your class:
Do you think sports can make Guisma’s life better? How?
How important are sports and play in your own life?
What lessons do you learn through sports?

Give a summary:
At the Academy, boys and girls from different tribes get to train in soccer and have fun. They learn about leadership, collaboration, and being healthy. The three Academy Pillars are: Peace, Helping, and Sharing. More than anything, playing soccer is about fun! Here’s one last video, showing Guisma and her brothers experiencing the joy of soccer.

Play: “Clap Along to Darfur Refugee Soccer”

Clap Along to Darfur Refugee Soccer from i-ACT on Vimeo.


 Section 3: DUSA Activities – 15 to 30 Minutes

A: Mindful Soccer – Breathing (bring players out to the field and have them sit)

Give a summary:
When playing soccer, you want to be “in the moment.” As you step on the field, you want to leave all your other worries and problems on the sideline, so that you can focus on the ball and on your game. This will help you make the best decisions for your team, and it will make the game the most enjoyable for you!

Play: A good technique to focus yourself and be in the moment is to sit for a few minutes and follow your breaths. I want you close your eyes and breath normally. Focus all of your attention on your breath as it goes in and out of your body, starting through your nose, to your chest, until it raises your tummy and then slowly back up and out. If you start thinking about anything, don’t worry. Just let it go, and go back to focusing on your breath. We will do this for 3 minutes. OK, start breathing.

B: DUSA Warm Ups (everybody up!)IMG_9666

Play: Set up 2 lines of cones, approximately 10 yards apart

  • Players on one line, arms distance apart, facing the coach
  • Coach claps hands once, players begin jogging in place
  • Coach claps twice, players run at 25% speed to the other cones, turn and jog back
  • Same as above, 50% speed
  • Same as above, 100% speed
  • Coach claps hands once, players begin jogging in place
  • Coach claps twice, players skip (bringing knee up) at 25% speed to the other cones, turn and jog back
  • Same as above, 50% speed
  • Same as above, 100% speed
  • Coach claps hands once, players begin jogging in place
  • Coach claps twice, players butt kick run at 25% speed to the other cones, turn and jog back
  • Same as above, 50% speed
  • Same as above, 100% speed
  • Coach claps hands once, players sit on ground, legs crossed
  • Coach claps twice, players run at 100% speed to the other cones, turn and jog back
  • Coach claps hands once, players sit on ground, legs crossed but with back to Coach
  • Coach claps twice, players run at 100% speed to the other cones, turn and jog back
  • Coach claps hands once, players lay on ground, on stomachs, hands on back of heads
  • Coach claps twice, players run at 100% speed to the other cones, turn and jog back

C: DUSA Circle Activities

Play:  Separate into small circles (6 to 12 players)

  • Pass, trap the ball, say your own name (progression: add up to 3 balls)
  • Say the name of another in the circle, pass to that player (progression: add up to 3 balls)
  • Dribble to other player, high five, say favorite food (progression: add up to 3 balls) (Mix it up: say color, sports player, animal, etc.)
  • Keep-away, 1 player in the middle (go up to 3 players in the middle, encourage movement and communication)

D: DUSA 4v4

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Play:  Set up small fields, goals are 2 cones approximately 5 feet apart

  • Divide up group into teams of 5 (4 players + 1 substitute)
  • Before games begin, players shake hands and introduce themselves to teammates
  • Team decides who sits out first as a sub and makes sure that they sub him/her in, so that all play approximately the same amount of time
  • No hands allowed. No goalies.
  • Encourage teamwork and positive interactions
  • At end of the game, shake hands with players on the other team, “Good game!”

All come together in small circle, put hands together and say:

Darfur, United (loud)
Darfur, United! (louder!)
DARFUR, UNITED! (LOUDEST)
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Sponsor Kicks & Hope

Only $10 sponsors one refugee boy or girl for one full year at the Academy. Have your class, team, or club be a part of this movement for hope!

DONATE TO DUSA