This blog was originally posted on as part of iACT’s 22nd expedition to eastern Chad.

IMG_1707_DUSAGAWe have quite literally hit the ground running in camp Goz Amer. On our first morning, we met at the Little Ripples school and began clearing our field to prep for the Academy and coaches training. Shovels, rakes, and wheelbarrows arrived, and the team, along with teachers and community members, began raking rocks, pulling shrubs, and clearing trash. In just under two hours, we had a different space in front of us, and we were well on our way to having a great pitch for DUSA.

After, I met with Ramadan and Habiba, the DU coaches from camp Djabal who traveled to Goz Amer to help launch the new Academy. We sat with Adam, who translated for us, and went over some new drills and talked all things DUSA.

Ramadan told me they begin each practice by asking the kids how they are feeling and how their day has been. They have a conversation amongst the group. After that, they practice mindfulness exercises before taking to the field. Habiba was excited to share that everybody’s soccer skills have improved so much over the two years since DUSA launched in camp Djabal. During our conversation, I was struck by how much these two truly love what they do. By the time we wrapped our first training session later that afternoon, it was clear — not only do they love what they do, but they are phenomenal at it, too.

We have a great group of candidates in Goz Amer, and spirits are high. The sense of community here is palpable, and I love it! Everybody is having fun, cheering each other on and working extremely hard. The decision will be tough, but I’m certain we have four more wonderful DU coaches in the making!
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