A MOVEMENT FOR HOPE
Darfur United, an all-refugee soccer team, is one of iACT’s most successful programs. Within the chaotic refugee environment, sports have been an essential element of normalcy. The program began in 2012 and is a joint effort between the refugee community, iACT, and soccer fans. The team serves as a vehicle for awareness and support for a refugee community that has lived through unspeakable horrors and that has been forced to live a less-than-complete life in remote camps.
1. Raise global awareness and educate people about the situation in Darfur and about the refugee experience.
2. Amplify the voices for an often voiceless and powerless refugee community.
3. Facilitate ongoing support for education, sports, nutrition through relationships between refugees and the global community.
What’s Happening Now: Food Crisis
DARFUR UNITED IN TRAINING (VIDEO)
- NBC News: The Other World Cup Final – Unrecognized Nations Compete for Glory
- Huffington Post: World Cup Soccer, In The Land Of The Hungry
- The New York Times: An Alternative World Cup
- BBC News: Darfur United and the Alternative World Cup
Quotes from Darfur United
Abdelbassid Oumar, a veteran from the 2012 team, said, “We come from many different camps and tribes. But now we are all Darfur United.”
Ismail Abdraman, selected for the first time, said: “This is a golden chance for us and for all of Darfur. I am so proud to be a part of Darfur United. We are together. We are united.”
Iggy, said, “For me, Darfur United is not just a soccer team, but it’s our soul, it’s freedom, it’s peace, it’s united, it’s leadership, self-confidence, friendship, culture, and love.” Read more from Iggy here.
Coach Mark Hodson says of the ConIFA World Football Cup, “I am truly looking forward to working with the team in Ostersund for the conIFA World Cup. This tournament provides our player’s and their people with the incredible opportunity to be seen on a global platform, and to experience the joy of life outside of the refugee camps. We cannot wait to arrive and interact with all of the teams involved. The Kurdistan experience provided the team with the passion and tools they needed to take the game back to the camps and provide joy and hope for thousands. We want to keep this momentum going!”