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

IMG_9422It’s hard to believe this is my second time visiting this country. Though I can’t say I ever imagined coming here, I’m grateful for the aligned stars that have brought me to Chad. This trip has already been much different than my first journey to this region.The permits and logistics have been much more difficult on this trip than the last, and our arrival to the east was a day behind our initial itinerary. But, what I love about working with the i-ACT team is their unrelenting determination to continue moving forward. No matter what the circumstance, environment, or obstacles that may lie ahead, this team won’t stop until the mission is accomplished.

After a long 7 days, we are all exceptionally eager to start our work with the refugees. Although there are a couple different missions at hand on this particular trip, we’re equally enthusiastic for the tasks which lie ahead. I in particular cannot wait to train more men and women to become potential DUSA Coaches! With one DUSA under my belt, I feel much more prepared to enter these next 11 days of training coaches and launching two more Academies. Soccer is the perfect platform to build the social and life skills that enable a better and brighter future for the next generation of Darfuris in this world.

Earlier today we met Mubarak, a member of the first Darfur United men’s team who went to Iraq to compete in the first CONIFA World Cup in 2012. We explained to him our plans for launching DUSA in his refugee camp, Touloum. He was overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement for this opportunity, and conveyed to us how much these camps need organized programs like DUSA for their children. Mubarak is just one of thousands of refugees who is eager to build sustainable programs to better his community. All they need are resources and training to do it.

In less than two days we kick-off Day 1 of DUSA Coaches Training in Camp Touloum. With much work ahead, I am doing my best to contain the eagerness of building future Darfuri leaders in the young boys and girls who are impacted by the Academies.

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