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Refugees should lead

Trusting refugees to lead and be in charge of their own lives is not a radical idea. It is common sense. They are the experts in and about their communities. Even when implementing programs that are completely new to them, refugees already possess the skills and abilities to learn, adapt, and lead programs. This should be the fuel that powers refugees’ return to a life that is full of dignity and hope.

I make mistakes every day. We all do. Some of the best learning comes from our mistakes. Refugees should be allowed the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them too. They will also make brilliant decisions, come up with innovative solutions, and ultimately better the programs.

Below is a conversation between two refugee leaders in two different countries. One is a new coach for the Refugees United Soccer Academy in a Burundian camp in Tanzania, and the other is a longtime iACT Programs’ Coordinator and Academy coach in a Darfuri camp in eastern Chad. It’s a simple example of how refugees can lead and make programs thrive. We connected them through WhatsApp: