Sara-Christine has joined the Darfur United team to help manage the project. Here’s a note from her:
In 2010 I visited the refugee camps of south Chad, which host refugees from the Central African Republic. There I witnessed the desperate living conditions of the people living in camps – little education, little health care, small food rations and dilapidated tents. The purpose of my trip was to find out what the people living in these camps wanted and needed most. One of the most prevalent responses given to me was unexpected – the chiefs, the men, the woman and the youth all wanted soccer. Of course I was surprised and skeptical at this request. I couldn’t grasp their desire for sport while the camps suffered of malnourishment, women dying of preventable birth complications and a lack of basic education. Yet one Saturday, I was able to witness a rare organized soccer game in the camps that changed my entire perspective. Two games were organized, one for girls and one for boys. The players were barefoot, the field was barely marked, there were no coaches but the entire community gathered to watch. The players were focused. The crowd was rowdy and for those few hours I was caught up in the game, completing forgetting where I was.
It was this day that I started to understand and believe in the power of sport for the refugees living in the camps. I no longer saw the desperate situation and the sullen faces under the shade of trees. Instead I saw a people full of spirit and energy, full of hope and camaraderie. I decided that if soccer is what helped make this community come alive, then this is something that I wanted to be a part of.
Thanks to i-ACT, a team of persistent and passionate people across the country and the world, I now have the opportunity to blend my passions of health and human rights and my belief in the power of soccer. This coming year, I will be assisting i-ACT in increasing support for the Darfur United soccer club as well as working with the refugees to establish organized soccer academies in all twelve Darfur refugee camps.
Go Darfur United!
You can contact Sara-Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org.