The Darfur United Soccer Academy in camp Goz Amer is scheduled to begin at 2pm each day. However, everyday, starting as early as 11am, boys and girls come to the Little Ripples School where DUSA is held, and ask if they can register to join. Come 1pm, and dozens of boys and girls start to trickle in, waiting eagerly for the DUSA coaches to arrive. When the coaches finally do arrive, they are swarmed by children worried they won’t get their chance to sign-up.
The coaches take their time, signing up each child, collecting their information and completing forms that will give us more insight into their lives. Then, DUSA begins and children are led through a mindfulness exercise in small groups. The children are calmly sitting on the ground. Their eyes are closed. One hand placed lightly on their stomach. The coaches guide them in being present and tuning out the rest of the world. The children are told there is no right or wrong way. They simply just need to close their eyes and focus on their breath. They do this for several minutes.
Women passing by carrying water stop and watch, curious about what is taking place. I walked out of a Little Ripples classroom in a hurry to do something and I too stopped at the sight. It was remarkable to see. Amongst an environment that is filled with daily distractions, stresses and uncertainties, here are these kids, sitting quietly, in a safe space designed to support their healing, growth, and happiness.
Thank to each of you who has made the Darfur United Soccer Academy in Goz Amer possible. Your contributions are making real impact today.
This blog was originally posted on iactivism.org as part of iACT’s 22nd expedition to eastern Chad.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 is a global day of giving.
Join iACT in starting a ripple of hope. Our Giving Tuesday goal is to build a new Little Ripples Pond, provide education for 45 refugee girls and boys, and train and employ two refugee women teachers. Your gift of $25 towards a $5,000 goal will allow us to do so.