DARFUR UNITED MEN’S TEAM
The Darfur United Men’s Team (DUMT) is a men’s soccer team of resettled refugees from Darfur, Sudan, based in Östersund, Sweden. In a joint effort with the Darfuri refugee community, the UN Refugee Agency, and soccer fans, iACT formed DU in 2012. That year, iACT took the team from refugee camps in eastern Chad to Iraqi-Kurdistan to participate in the Viva World Cup, where the team competed and scored the Darfuri community’s first international goal. Two years later, iACT facilitated the team’s participation in the 2014 ConIFA World Football Cup in Östersund, Sweden. During this tournament, DU players shared their stories with the world and iACT began forming partnerships with Swedish communities.
Today, DU team members reside throughout Sweden and the United States. The team competes regularly and hosts annual team training camps in Östersund. Darfur United is a member of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA). Not only is Darfur United an opportunity for the refugees to represent their people while playing the “beautiful game,” it is also a movement—a movement to bring hope, inspiration, and joy to the people of Darfur.
DARFUR UNITED WOMEN’S TEAM
This coming fall in eastern Chad, iACT will organize the first-ever Darfur United Women’s Team (DUWT), an all-refugee soccer team representing Darfur, Sudan, and the women who tirelessly hold the community and their future together. Building on the success of the Darfur United Men’s Team, the Women’s Team will give the women of Darfur the opportunity to train, compete, and represent their people on the field and bring new possibilities for women and girls in their community, where few exist today.
The first-ever Women’s Team Training Camp in October 2018 will launch the formation of the team. Female players from eight refugee camps in eastern Chad who currently serve as coaches for the Refugees United Soccer Academy, and young women with some experience who are interested in joining the team, will come together to participate in a week-long soccer training camp with expert iACT soccer coaches and trainers.
Refugees United Soccer Academy
Refugees United Soccer Academy (RUSA) is a place for refugee children to learn about teamwork, leadership, and peacebuilding, all while improving soccer skills. It offers these children, whose families have experienced extreme violence, a safe space to play, heal, and be empowered. The Academy also serves as a way to connect refugee children and youth with soccer players and clubs across the U.S. and globally. iACT supports eight Academies serving Sudanese refugee children in eastern Chad and refugee children from the Central African Republic in Cameroon.