How We Work
iACT shifts power and ownership, grounding its work in a trauma-informed process of listening to, honoring the experiences of, and centering the voices of the refugee and conflict-affected communities we serve.
Our approach is built on trust and mutuality, and demonstrates a new model of humanitarian action.
Listening We always start with listening, learning from refugee and conflict-affected communities about their experiences, needs, and aspirations.
Training Knowledge and skills are mutually shared and gained by iACT and members of the community, through participatory and experience-based training.
Co-Creating We offer curriculum frameworks and health, wellness, and leadership tools while co-creating programs with members of the community.
Shifting Ownership Once training and program co-creation is complete, programs are implemented and completely community-led.
Community-Led Scaling Over time, community members expand programs within their own community and to others in the region.
Ongoing Support iACT continues to work in partnership with the community, providing ongoing support and resources while at the same time learning from the community’s leadership.
Through our community- and refugee-led approach, hundreds of refugee and conflict-affected men and women have been trained and employed to adapt and lead education, sports, and human rights programs in their communities.
MEET OUR COMMUNITY
JRS Project Director, Goz Beida
"I really appreciate the collaboration between JRS and iACT. The iACT training was aimed at providing community leaders and educators with the skills to practice mindfulness, cultivate compassion, and support their students’ social, emotional, and educational needs; at helping community leaders and educators create peaceful, safe, and respectful classroom spaces."
Learn about the partners iACT is currently working with across different contexts and countries to facilitate a refugee- and community-led model of humanitarian action.
Aurora Humanitarian Initiative
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative was launched in honor of the survivors of the Armenian genocide and is committed to “action-based philanthropy.” As a part of the Aurora for Artsakh program, iACT received a grant to launch Lead with Empathy and the Refugees United Soccer Academy in Armenia. Through the grant, iACT is working alongside Girls of Armenia Leadership Soccer (GOALS). Seven coaches have now been hired to run Academies across the country.
Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute is world renowned for their comprehensive orthopedic care. They are the official sports medicine specialists for Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Sparks, as well as national and international cycling, golf, and triathlon events. iACT is proud to have the support of Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe for our Darfur United teams. The institute is a long-time sponsor, and has offered athletic training at our US-based events.
Girls of Armenia Soccer (GOALS)
Girls of Armenia Leadership Soccer (GOALS) aims to bring soccer and leadership programs to young women. They offer girls across Armenia the opportunity to participate in soccer leagues, summer camps, trainings, and more. As a part of the grant from the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, iACT is working alongside GOALS to launch Academies for both boys and girls affected by the conflict in Artsakh.
Jesuit Refugee Service
iACT works directly with Jesuit Refugee Service in refugee camps and sites in Central Africa. Specifically, we partner to support and expand Little Ripples and the Refugees United Soccer Academy. The mission of Jesuit Refugee Service is to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.
Östersund FK (ÖFK), a professional Swedish football club located in Östersund, Sweden, has officially partnered with Darfur United (DU). ÖFK players and staff members have promised to donate a percentage of their salaries to iACT through the Zero Point One Campaign, in order to promote and support humanitarian work and youth football clinics in the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad.
Plan International started its operations in Tanzania in 1991, supporting vulnerable children and their families with access to health care, education, safe sanitation and water, productive livelihoods, and protection of their wellbeing. In early 2016, Plan expanded its programming to Education in Emergencies (EiE) and Youth Economic Empowerment (YEE) in order to promote access to quality education and strengthen youth resilience through livelihoods, life-skills, psychosocial support, provision of teaching and learning materials, teacher trainings, and the establishment of child-friendly spaces. In 2016, Plan and iACT partnered to bring Little Ripples and Refugees United Soccer Academy to refugee communities in Nduta and Mtendeli.
Second Tree is a community-led organization focused on shifting perceptions of the refugee community and strengthening the agency of those experiencing displacement. iACT collaborated with Second Tree in the launching of our first Little Ripples pond in Katsikas refugee camp in Greece, and continues to work alongside the organization as we foster a community-led and refugee-led approach to early childhood education.
UEFA Foundation for Children
The UEFA Foundation for Children was established with the aim of using soccer to support humanitarian causes that directly affect children across the globe. With the support of UEFA, iACT worked in partnership with Darfuri refugee team members to scale its early childhood education and sports programs to more refugee camps in eastern Chad.
For more than 70 years, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has been committed to working with communities who have been displaced or otherwise forced to flee their homes, focused on their safety and protecting their rights. iACT and UNHCR have worked together over the years on campaigns building awareness of the Darfuri genocide, and UNHCR has continued to support on-the-ground logistics in countries where iACT works. UNHCR’s Human Education Accelerator has also contributed in the development of new interview and data collection tools that aim to continue improving iACT’s refugee- and community-led programs.