Location: Mtendeli Refugee Camp, Tanzania
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. In 2011, due to inter-tribal conflict over land disputes and the fact that many of Anaclet’s family members were part of a government opposition party, Anaclet and his family were threatened with severe violence. Anaclet fled to Malawi where he lived in a refugee camp and the rest of his family remaining in Burundi were put in prison. While in Malawi, Anaclet sold medicine, rice, clothes, and other goods on the black market to survive. During this time, he also traveled to Mozambique and South Africa in search of better opportunities to help support his family. Eventually he returned to Burundi in 2014 and used all most of his savings to get his family out of prison.
Over the next three years, Anaclet studied, earning a bachelor’s degree in leadership and beginning a second bachelor’s degree in theology. During this time, Anaclet also noticed a large group of orphans in his community and so he worked with his local church to rent a house where these orphans could live and be cared for. In caring for these children, Anaclet routinely did community outreach through his church to encourage parents to take better care of their children and ensure they attended school and were loved at home. However, this incited unwanted attention from the police and government and Analcet was jailed for 3 weeks before church leaders paid for his release. When conflict broke out again in Burundi in 2015, Anaclet’s aunt and uncle were killed, and Anaclet convinced his family to flee. Once they arrived in Tanzania, they were split between the Mtendeli and Nduta camps.
Anaclet played soccer since his childhood and takes great pride in being a RUSA coach; he is also the RUSA coordinator in Mtendli. Anaclet lives his life to love and support children. He feels that what he has learned in RUSA trainings has helped him become a good leader and he likes working with his fellow coaches. The parents of his players regularly tell him that their children are now attending school more regularly and performing better, they are developing their talents in soccer, and are known throughout the community as RUSA players. Anaclet has also seen the RUSA program have a positive effect on his players by helping them create positive relationships with each other, improving their psychosocial wellbeing, and teaching them how to identify solutions to their own problems themselves. When he sees his players playing soccer, he sees them on a path to making their own dreams come true.
Anaclet dreams of changing the world through play and making a positive impact on children everywhere. He wants to continue improving his own skills and knowledge in soccer and wants to know more about psychosocial support and global communication. Anaclet dreams of a world without conflict and suffering. He hopes to complete a master’s degree some day and plans to continue coaching soccer wherever he goes. He hopes to live one day in a peaceful place where he and his family can live freely and he hopes to one day write a book about his life experiences to inspire others.
“The RUSA program has touched my heart. I was working with the Plan youth team who were paying me more, but I chose to take a cut in salary because I wanted to be a RUSA coach. With RUSA I am grown and learning and enjoying to be a coach. I want to share this program and my experience with the world. There are many challenges here and around the world in general, but RUSA can help children and communities overcome these challenges. If we run out of balls, we keep playing….we find a way. Through RUSA and my connection with my players, I am able to reach my own dreams of helping others.”