Refugees should lead
Trusting refugees to lead and be in charge of their own lives is not a radical idea. It is common sense. They are the experts in and about their communities. Even when implementing programs that are completely new to them, refugees already possess the skills and abilities to learn, adapt, and lead programs. This should be the fuel that powers refugees’ return to a life that is full of dignity and hope.
I make mistakes every day. We all do. Some of the best learning comes from our mistakes. Refugees should be allowed the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them too. They will also make brilliant decisions, come up with innovative solutions, and ultimately better the programs.
Below is a conversation between two refugee leaders in two different countries. One is a new coach for the Refugees United Soccer Academy in a Burundian camp in Tanzania, and the other is a longtime iACT Programs’ Coordinator and Academy coach in a Darfuri camp in eastern Chad. It’s a simple example of how refugees can lead and make programs thrive. We connected them through Whatsapp:
Hello all. I’m getting a small number of girls. How about you?
Hello everyone. How are you? Anaclet here is some direction that might help you:
1. At the registration, you have to get all information about the player: name, age, gender, block or center, ID card number, and parents’ names.
2. About the girls, you have to talk with the parents about the importance of girls participation in RUSA then try to make the field a place of peace and of more interest than the house activities.
3. On the field, do the mindfulness time at welcoming circle with lovely song and mindfulness.
4. Give a chance to your players to lead activities like warmup and encourage them in every step like, “Yahoo! You’re good! And if you do by this way, you will be the best.”
5. The important thing for the coaches is smiling and laughing and telling stories and funny jokes.
Refugees should sit at the table from day one and be the ones with the most power when making decisions that will have an impact on their lives. It’s what is right, and it makes sense.
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