This blog is part of i-ACT Expedition 20. Read more about the entire trip here.

Though we just returned from our first day in Camp Touloum, we’re already just 9 days from returning back home. The countdown has begun, yet we’ve only just started. Walking around the camp today was once again a stark realization of the many different lives people live around the world. As Anjelina Jolie once said, there is no rhyme or reason why some are born into lives of freedom, liberty and privilege, while others are not (paraphrasing of course).

From a young age, we all remember our parents telling us that life isn’t fair, however I didn’t realize this truth until I became an adult. Especially after visiting victims of crimes against humanity and observing them live day-to-day on the bare minimum. After walking around refugee camp Touloum today, it is very obvious how desolate this region of Chad really is. Northeastern Chad has hardly enough resources for its own locals, let alone tens of thousands of refugees. Wood scarcity has become a troubling issue which has perpetuated issues of violence among locals and refugees. However, the overwhelming issue concerning the refugees are the food shortages. Families barely have enough food to eat twice a day, and I truly mean barely. Keep in mind that most of these families consist of 5-10 children, plus parents. No individual or family should be expected to live on lentils and porridge alone. This is just not ok.

Today, Darfur United Soccer Academy (DUSA) #2 officially is underway. It took a few hours to gather enough male and female coaches who are truly legitimate (qualified?) for the job. After a couple meetings and probably many conversations amongst the locals, we finally got our 10 women and 10 men.

Most of today consisted of explaining to the candidates the philosophies of DUSA, coaching responsibilities and expectations, and most importantly, that DUSA is rooted in equality. Equality is particularly important for the two male and female coaches, but as well as between the boys and girls who will be encouraged to register and participate as an Academy member. The northern camps are much more conservative, however I am confident we will be able to launch DUSA #2 in Camp Touloum as successfully as Camp Djabal.

Excited to report more details as the Coaches training continues! Stay tuned.

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Interested in learning more about the values that guide DUSA? Check out the 2015 DUSA Curriculum.

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