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Top Ten List of Things I learned on my 17th Trip to Refugee Camps

(In no particular order)

1. When a group of women come together with a mission, a unique and wonderful space is created — where progress is powered by love.


2. Sometimes two words can convey immeasurable pain. When talking about the recent violence in his land, Abdulrahman — a soulful, soft-spoken, “new arrival” refugee — started a sentence with “My mother…” He then broke down and could not continue speaking.


3. Soccer is Zen. Give a kid a ball, and they are wholly present and aware — in the moment.


4. Peace is not taught. It’s already within each and everyone of us. We must create the space where it’s allowed to flow and ripple out.


5. When someone is confronted with unthinkable horrors, and it all can seem so overwhelming and incomprehensible — and then she says, “What are we going to do about it?” with a sense of purpose and determination — You want her on your team.


6. Compassion. Empathy. Knowledge. Power. It is so cool to see someone give so much, in a place she probably never thought she would be, for nothing in return but the glow that shines back when giving from the heart.


7. Some said, “No, it’s not for them.” The girls and women said, “Yes, we will play, and we will lead.”


8. Sorrow can transform itself into a deep rooted sense of peaceful purpose. Umda — 45 family members killed in a period of one week. Umda carries this with him. He also expresses joy and friendship better than most people I know.


9. Fun provides more energy than food. (But you’ll still be hungry and lose weight, if you go on fun and little food for a couple of weeks, as we have.)


10. I love to see Guisma laugh.



Help iACT continue to do what it does best:

Support refugees in the forgotten corners of the world through soccer and preschool.

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