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  • on 31.07.2012
  • at 08:05 AM
  • by Randa Ghazy

Darfur United: the best 2012 soccer story 0

Darfur United is an all-refugee soccer team made up of Darfuri refugees living in camps in Eastern Chad. Not only is Darfur United a team, it is also a movement – a movement to bring hope, inspiration, and joy to the displaced people of Darfur.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/42227362[/vimeo]

This team represented Darfur, the embattled region of Sudan, in the last 2012 Viva World Cup, a soccer tournament for nationless people and other groups not represented by FIFA, the international soccer federation. Coach Mark Hodson said, “The level of talent was impressive, especially considering the facilities and resources available to the players. Everyone came ready to play, and they didn’t need asking twice to produce their best level of effort.”

i-ACT, the non-profit behind the creation of Darfur United, has been using community engagement, on and off-line, to find support for the team. “This has been all about community,” i-ACT Founder and Director Gabriel Stauring said. “People from around the U.S. have joined in making it happen by fundraising, buying t-shirts, donating gear, sponsoring a player, and spreading the word.

i-ACT, based in Redondo Beach, California, is the leading organization working on the ground in refugee camps in Eastern Chad, with established relationships and partners since 2005.  An expedition team visits the camps twice a year, and maintains internet connectivity and communication year-round.  Darfur United is coached by Mark Hodson and Dean Ward of Evolution Soccer and Manhattan Beach Sand & Surf Soccer Club, and Paul Revill of Little Rascalz Soccer and San Diego Surf’s men’s team.

By Staff – Afronline.org

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