Location: Mtendeli Refugee Camp, Tanzania
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. That that time Chantal was in grade 11, but has not continued schooling since arriving in Tanzania. Chantal is not planning to go back to school due to the fact that she feels she has forgotten too much and also has issues with reading challenges that need specialized support.
Chantal is grateful to be a RUSA coach because her own knowledge and skills have been strengthened through the training she received. She feels she received and education through RUSA training and is now able to educate her players. She has seen positive changes in her players and has helped them develop dreams for their futures. Chantal is now known in her community as a leader and her family is happy and proud of her position as a RUSA coach. There are many members of her community that do not approve of her being a soccer coach, but she tells them that everyone should have the opportunity to coach and play and that everyone is equal. Chantal feels that being a RUSA coach is an honor and she hopes that she and her community are not forgotten by the international community. She hopes to receive more training in the future and to keep developing herself professionally as a coach.
Etienne loves soccer and has played since childhood. He plays on multiple teams in the Mtendeli camp and has a reputation for being one of the star players in the camps. Even growing up Etienne was always picked first by team captains. Etienne likes being a RUSA coach because he wants to help children love soccer as much as he does. When he is coaching his players, he sees them smile and have fun, which gives him joy and purpose. When he passes through his community, children run up to him calling him ‘coach’ and he is proud to be known as a RUSA coach. He enjoys working with his fellow coaches and sees that parents enjoy watching their children participate in the program.
While Etienne plans to continue coaching soccer everywhere he does, he dreams of attending university to study history and to eventually become a history professor. He hopes to relocate to Canada or Australia someday where he wants to write books and teach others.