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Bringing the Future Back to Life

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“For thirteen years, we lost hope. We lost generations, and we lost part of our future. Preschool education is very important because it will give life to the future of our community,” the Sheik of Sheiks of refugee camp Kounoungou, Yahya Adam, told us today. Then, we walked for hours visiting families around the camp.

We are starting the process of launching Little Ripples in camps Mile and Kounoungou, but we’re not starting from zero. We’ve been to these camps multiple times. We first came with cameras and computers to capture and share their stories with the world. We later came with soccer balls to share the joy of the beautiful game.

Walking around the camps with the coaches of the Refugees United Soccer Academy is like walking around with celebrities; children love them! They rush towards them and want high-fives and hugs. The adults also love them and tell us how important the Academy has been, as it created a safe space for their children to play and learn how to be better people. The Sheiks of Sheiks of both Mile and Kounoungou have told us how proud they are of the coaches. They’ve also admitted that they did not know that girls could and should play, but now they’ve learned that it’s good for the girls and their community.

Preschool, soccer, and friendship are amazing tools for peace. Even in the most extreme situations, they can help a community experience hope and a true connection to a better future.

Peace, Gabriel

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