DU’s Soccer Academy kids and coaches. Photo: Gabriel Stauring/i-ACT
Today I feel like we made small steps toward… the next step that will then lead to another step… toward getting out to the camps. The complexities of working in Chad never cease to amaze me – Good times.
But while waiting in N’Djamena, I’ve been looking back at photos from previous trips, reminiscing about times spent with the Darfur United Soccer Academy coaches and Little Ripples teachers. This helps me stay focused and provides good reminders as we prepare to carry out more work for the Academy and Little Ripples this month. For the Academy, we’ll be doing more training with the coaches and providing them with more curriculum. They’ll be helping Margo with the Darfur United tryouts, which will be a great way for them to learn new skills and drills. We’ll also spend time evaluating the impacts of the Academy on the coaches and the children.
Now excuse the tangent, but speaking of evaluations and what they should entail is a never-ending debate in the humanitarian world (probably for the better). But sometimes I think we don’t place enough value on the intangibles, things that can’t necessarily be measured directly through quantitative methods, values or dollar signs. For example, when I was speaking with children who have participated in the Academy, they told me that they’ve made new friends and changed their ideas of what they want to be when they grow up. They now feel like they have something to look forward to each day. To me, that’s a huge success among such an unstable and isolating environment. And its these types of results and feedback that drive me to continue doing what we’re doing, to be OK with the barriers and uncertainty that Chad presents, and to even be OK with spending just a little more time than we had planned to in the capital.
All right, enough reminiscing for the day.