iACT has implemented the third Darfur United Soccer Academy in refugee camp Goz Amer, eastern Chad. In Goz Amer, DUSA is currently reaching 500 boy and girls ages 6-13 each week. All boys and girls interviewed by iACT during the opening week reported that DUSA is the only organized sports program currently offered for boys and girls in their camp. The opening of this DUSA was unique because it was the first time we conducted a peer-to-peer training. DUSA coaches Ramadan and Habiba traveled from refugee camp Djamal to Goz Amer, to assist iACT in training and selecting the Goz Amer coaches. One of the program’s goals is to build leadership and peer-to-peer training is one approach iACT is utilizing to achieve that goal.
Camp Goz Amer
Meet the Leaders
DUSA Goz Amer is led by trained and employed refugees coaches Souliman, Isaakh, Thouhilia, and Sadiya. Six days a week, these four coaches lead refugee children in mindfulness exercises, warm-ups, skills and drills activities, scrimmages, and team-building exercises. This opportunity is life-changing for all coaches. Coach Souliman, while registering kids and filling out player cards, looked up with a huge smile and said, “I feel so good, and know that I will become a leader in Goz Amer. I hope to travel to other camps one day and help train new coaches.” Souliman was a player and the captain of the first Darfur United Men’s Team. He is a natural leader and iACT is proud to have him leading the program. Thouhilia, one of the female coaches, said she never imagined she’d be a soccer coach or that she’d have this opportunity to work.
Meet DUSA Goz Amer participant Fortos.
Fortos is 12 years old and had never played soccer before joining DUSA! She said, “I feel happy because it’s my first time playing.”
Fortos is just one of hundreds of girls in Goz Amer who now get the equal opportunity to play soccer and learn with their peers.
Insights from DU Coach Ambassador
DUSA Goz Amer was implemented by Darfur United Ambassador Bridget Grant. Bridget has been playing soccer her whole life. She played on a Division 3 Lindfield College team and, while she put a bow on her formal soccer career after completing university, soccer holds a special place in her life. For Bridget, soccer created a space for her to push herself and learn about herself, as a player and also as a teammate and friend. It brought constant structure to her life: a safe space where she could play, laugh, and grow. The impact of soccer on her life is why Bridget is so committed to iACT and bringing DUSA to Darfuri refugee children.