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“Now I feel a new responsibility. I feel like a leader…”

Editors Note: This was originally posted on by Sara-Christine Dallain. I had the pleasure of spending the day with Leila and Habiba, our two women Darfur United Soccer Academy coaches. They took me to their homes, introduced me to their families, and we just hung out and talked while eating dried dates. Well, mostly I asked a lot of questions, and they graciously answered them.


Habiba responded that she now felt responsible for informing her community about the Academy and the importance of football for the children. Habiba excitedly added that she has learned new football skills, and now for the first time, she plays football with the boys! This may not seem like a novelty for you and me, but before the creation of DUSA, girls were not given the opportunity or choice to play football in the camps.

Leila and Habiba were 8 and 7 years old when they escaped their village of Kabar in Darfur during an attack by the Janjaweed. They walked for 3 da