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

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It’s been just over a year since Gabriel, Rachael and I were in refugee camp Djabal, implementing the first Darfur United Soccer Academy, and I’m so grateful that we are able to collaborate with Rachael again for i-ACT20. Her role as a Darfur United Coach Ambassador has been critical for the development of DUSA, and this time around she will be leading the implementation of two more academies!

Today Rachael and I spent many hours fine tuning the DUSA Kicks and Hope Curriculum #1, and preparing a simple questionnaire to assess the children and the academy at baseline. Curriculum #1 is the training guide that will always be used for the initial training of refugee men and women coach candidates, and for the implementation of the DUSA in any refugee camp. This curriculum provides coaches with an overview of DUSA, the objectives, philosophy, coaching methodology and tools to implement the academy for the children, including lots of diagrams and instructions of engaging, skill-based drills and games for the children. Each warm-up activity, drill and game is rooted in teaching and developing the soccer skills of the children, but also meant to build and support the social-emotional development of the children.

A simple baseline questionnaire will allow us to measure the impact of DUSA for the coaches, children and their family environment. It will also allow us more insight in to the daily lives and needs of children in camps Touloum and Iridimi.

Before I go, I’m sending the first of many Thank You’s to those individuals, communities and companies who have made it possible for us to open the Darfur United Soccer Academy in camps Touloum and Iridimi. We’ll be sharing with you all lots of photos, stories and videos. Many of you will see the equipment you’ve donated being directly used for the training of the men and women coaches and for the opening of the academy with the children. We can never say it enough, every donation helps and contributes to providing a safe place for Darfuri refugee children to play, heal and be empowered through soccer.

Thank you for following our journey!!

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