Innovative Soccer and Education Programs Reach Darfuri Refugee Camps

Via Press Release

Contact: Katie-Jay Scott ktj@iactivism.org, 310.738.0285

Hermosa Beach, CA USA – February 10, 2014
iacti-ACT is continuing its mission of empowering those affected by mass atrocities through its 18th trip to refugee camps in Eastern Chad. The team, comprised of members of the California based nonprofit, will use the trip to assess its preschool programs; as well as, hold tryouts for Darfur United, an all-refugee soccer team.

The trip comes at a time when violence in Sudan’s Darfur region has been on the rise, causing recent influxes of refugees into Chad. Approximately 300,000 Darfuris have spent years living in these refugee camps, displaced from their homes. i-ACT has traveled to the refugee sites 17 times to help build strong communities, and to promote personal growth for the youth in these camps.

On this trip, i-ACT staff will focus on two key initiatives: preparing the Darfur United soccer team for their second international tournament this coming June, and checking the progress of its “Little Ripples” preschool program. Darfur United is comprised of men who currently live in the 12 refugee camps in the region and who represent several tribes from Darfur. The team plays for the 300,000 refugees who live in these camps and the millions who have been displaced inside of Darfur. Most immediately they are working towards playing in the 2014 ConIFA World Cup in Sweden, which will kick-off in June.

The i-ACT Expedition team will be helping facilitate the preliminary tryouts for players from Camp Djabal for the Darfur United team. Each camp conducts their own tryouts, selecting the top five players, who will then be invited to another tryout when i-ACT returns in March to select the square of 20 players.

The second focus of the trip will be for Little Ripples, a preschool program tailored to a population exposed to severe trauma. With the input of preschool and early childhood development experts as well as the refugees themselves, the Little Ripples curriculum encompasses Darfuri culture and values. Additionally, the program focuses on the foundations of learning, peace-building, and trauma recovery. i-ACT team members will be conducting the third Little Ripples teacher training this year and include preschool monitors from Jesuit Refugee Service’s programs as well.

The team is available for interviews from the refugee camps.

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i-ACT empowers individuals within communities, institutions, and governments to take personal responsibility to act on behalf of those affected by genocide, mass atrocities, and crimes against humanity. i-ACT is a global team dedicated to putting a face on the numbers of dead, dying, and displaced while creating mutually enriching relationships between those in danger and those willing and able to act, fostering a new culture of participation. www.iactivism.org

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