During our recent trip to camp Goz Amer in November 2014, iACT opened the third-ever Darfur United Soccer Academy for refugee girls and boys ages 6-13 in the eastern Chad camps. Over the span of a couple days, Darfur United Coach Ambassador Bridget Grant led a group of young male and female coaching applicants through a series of intense drills and exercises with which they learned soccer and leadership skills, health and hygiene practices, and mindfulness activities. At the end of tryouts, two young men and two young women were chosen to become the coaches and leaders of Darfur United Soccer Academy (DUSA) Goz Amer. 

What was unique to the implementation of this DUSA was the presence of DUSA Djabal coaches Ramadan and Habiba (link). One goal of DUSA is to facilitate and encourage peer-to-peer training, and the close proximity of camp Goz Amer to camp Djamal allowed for the achievement of this. Coaches Ramadan and Habiba traveled the short distance to Goz Amer and stayed throughout the entire training period of their new counterparts, as well as into the first few days of the Academy’s actual operation. Their expertise and mentorship for the new coaches and help to Grant were invaluable during training. 

Coming up at the end of February, iACT is traveling to refugee camps Mile and Kounoungou, both in eastern Chad, to implement TWO more DUSAs! DU Coach Ambassador Bridget Grant will again be joining the iACT team to open the Academies. DUSA Touloum coaches will also join the team to assist with recruiting, training, and selecting the new coaches and leadership. In just a few weeks,IMG_2635 we’ll be reporting daily from eastern Chad and sharing lots of behind-the-scenes info and photos of implementing two new DUSAs in isolated refugee camps; and bringing much needed play, peace, and hope to hundreds of young children affected by displacement. 

Meet one of our newest Darfur United Academy Goz Amer coaches, Sadiya! Sadiya is 18 years old and as a DUSA coach she is now able to  support her entire family. When you support iACT and the Darfur United Soccer Academy, you’re providing life-changing opportunities for young refugee women like Sadiya.

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