Dear Omar,

We would like to invite you to begin a journey that will change your life. Please become a Darfur United Soccer Ambassador.

Here at i-ACT, we are huge fans! You rock with the L.A. Galaxy, our home team, and you represented the United States with honor and passion at the World Cup. At a more personal level, it makes me proud that you, a Mexican-American with roots in Monterrey, that beautiful northern Mexico city where I grew up, have risen to the highest levels of the most beautiful of all games, soccer, and are respected on and off the field.

Based in Hermosa Beach, i-ACT is located in your own home-field. The South Bay is where you live and hang-out, and it is also where we have created community between the wonderful and generous locals and refugees from Darfur, living in isolated camps halfway around the world in Eastern Chad. As you know, soccer is powerful. It brings people together in ways no other thing can. The refugees have experienced violence and hardship we would not even want to imagine. For them, soccer is much more than a game. Darfur United is a movement for hope.

In 2012, the Darfur United all-refugee team was formed, and it traveled to participate in its first international competition in Iraqi Kurdistan. Soon after, collaborating with the refugee community, i-ACT created the Darfur United Soccer Academy in one of the 12 camps on the Chad-Sudan border that are home to approximately 300,000 refugees. Our goal is to have the Academy open in another 3 camps before the end of 2014, 4 more in 2015, and in all 12 camps by the end of 2016. With the Academies in each camp serving 2,000 boys and girls, this would offer a safe place to learn about leadership, cooperation and health, develop and practice soccer skills, and a place to simply experience the joy of play to 24,000 children.

With your experience and position in the soccer world, you would be an amazing Ambassador, with unlimited potential for impact on the lives of so many⏤not just of refugees but also of people around the world that will learn and grow from connecting with the issue. What you will discover, though, is that the greatest impact and change will be on you, Omar.

We would love to get together and talk about what it might look like to become a Darfur United Soccer Ambassador. I am sure that you’ll have some great ideas of your own. Of course, you could help us in spreading the word about the refugee kids and how soccer is bringing them hope. But, traveling with us to the camps would be the game-changer. You know the power that this round object can have, and when you kick it around with refugee boys and girls, soccer will change your life, again.

Peace, Gabriel Stauring
i-ACT Executive Director

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