Refugees United Soccer Academy
The Refugees United Soccer Academy (Academy) is a place for refugee girls and boys ages 6 to 18 to learn about teamwork, leadership, and peacebuilding, all while improving soccer skills.
The Academy was co-created with refugee communities and offers children, whose families have been displaced by extreme violence, a safe space to play, heal, and be empowered. iACT trains and employs two male and two female refugees to serve as the leaders and coaches of each Academy. Each week, the coaches lead children in mindfulness exercises, warm-ups, skills and drills activities, scrimmages, and team-building exercises. Ultimately, their goal is to provide a safe place for refugee children to learn soccer, lead, play, grow, and be children. The Academy also serves as a way to connect refugee children and youth with soccer players and clubs across the U.S. and globally.
Learn more about the training and the certification of completion here.
CHAD (DARFUR CRISIS)
RUSA-Darfur Academies currently operating in Chad
Darfuri refugee coaches trained
TANZANIA (BURUNDI CRISIS)
Burundian refugee children out-of-school in Tanzania (Camp enrollment figures)
RUSA-CAR Academy currently operating in Cameroon
Central African coaches trained
Central African refugee children reached so far
CAMEROON (CAR CRISIS)
NEWS & RESOURCES
BBC Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman outlines the background to the CAR crisis in two minutes
CAR Refugees Sing for Peace at Camp in Cameroon
When violence broke out in Burundi in 2015, Daniel’s father was killed due to his involvement in a government opposition party.Read More
Violette spent 15 years living in the Kanembwa refugee camp in Tanzania due to violence in Burundi in 1993, which is where she met her husband.Read More
When Innocent was younger, youth military groups regularly tried to recruit him. When things got so bad, his family encouraged him to flee.Read More
Delphine and her family fled Burundi due to threats of violence from militia groups and the zone leader where her family lived.Read More
Esther loves being a RUSA coach and was proud to see one of her girls’ teams win a camp tournament last year. She shares her love of football with her husband who is very supportive of her work.Read More
When Jannette married her husband, they both dropped out of school at grade 9 to run a small business together.Read More
Eliana was born a refugee in the Kanembwa refugee camp in Tanzania. She dropped out of school in grade 7 because the the Tanzanian government shut down the schools in her camp.Read More
Jean-Marie loved playing football since childhood. Growing up, he realized that he wanted to share his football skills with children to help them grow up into good football players.Read More
While Anaclet was born in Burundi, when he was 7-months old, his family sought asylum in the Mtabila refugee camp in Tanzania. Eventually the family repatriated back to Burundi.Read More
Due to political violence in Burundi in 2015, Irene’s father and grandfather were killed. At this time, youth militias also tried to recruit Irene and her sister due to their athletic nature.Read More
When conflict broke out in Burundi in 2015, some of Chantal’s family members were killed. When her family received further threats of more violence, they decided to flee to Tanzania.Read More
Etienne was born a refugee in the Mutabili refugee camp in Tanzania in 1993. He completed primary school there and eventually repatriated to Burundi with his family in 2008.Read More
When violence broke out in Burundi in 2015, Claudin’s father was killed due to his ethnicity and her mother eventually re-married.Read More
Emery was born a refugee in the Myuovozi refugee camp in Tanzania. He and his family were eventually transferred to the Mutabili refugee camp in Tanzania in 2007, but were force to return to Burundi in 2012.Read More
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals “are a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.” iACT’s programs may not have been borne out of an intentional response to any of the “UN SDGs,” as...
Abdullah. Nouha. Idriss. Fatna. Photo: Gabriel Stuaring/iACT I'd like to introduce the newest coaches of the Refugees United Soccer Academy! These four women and men hail from Darfuri camp Iridimi, and will be training boys and girls there in soccer skills,...
When I woke up about an hour before my alarm went off today, I can’t say I was particularly surprised. It happens every time I am more excited than usual for my soccer games, a special practice, or in this case, my first time helping to train and select new coaches...