Los Angeles, California, USA / Refugee Camp Djabal, Goz Beida, Chad – This coming fall in eastern Chad, iACT will organize the first-ever Darfur United Women’s Team (DUWT), an all-refugee soccer team representing Darfur, Sudan, and the women who tirelessly hold the community and their future together. Building on the success of the Darfur United Men’s Team, the Women’s Team will give the women of Darfur the opportunity to train, compete, and represent their people on the field and bring new possibilities for women and girls in their community, where few exist today.
The first-ever Women’s Team Training Camp in October 2018 will launch the formation of the team. Female players from eight refugee camps in eastern Chad who currently serve as coaches for the Refugees United Soccer Academy, and young women with some experience who are interested in joining the team, will come together to participate in a week-long soccer training camp with expert iACT soccer coaches and trainers.
Darfur United originally began in 2012 in refugee camp Djabal, located in Goz Beida, eastern Chad. Sixty Darfuri men traveled to Djabal from all twelve Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad to try out for the men’s soccer team. In a joint effort with the Darfuri refugee community, the UN Refugee Agency, and soccer fans, iACT formed the Darfur United Men’s Team (DUMT). That same year, iACT took the team from the camps to Iraqi-Kurdistan to participate in the Viva World Cup, in which DUMT competed and scored the Darfuri community’s first international goal. Two years later, iACT facilitated the team’s participation in the 2014 CONIFA World Football Cup in Östersund, Sweden. During this tournament, DUMT players shared their stories with the world and iACT began forming partnerships with Swedish communities. The Darfur United Men’s Team currently has players living in eastern Chad, Sweden, and the United States.