Spotlight On: Fugees Family
June 21, 2010 Leave a comment
I am starting a new series of posts where I will be highlighting organizations you may or may not know that are making a positive impact in the world and that I think are worthy of support. So, who gets the honor of being the first organization highlighted on such an illustrious blog (please note the sarcasm)? The Fugees Family. Fugees Family is a soccer team near Atlanta, GA made up entirely of boys who are refugees. Here is their mission statement:
Fugees Family, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to working with child survivors of war. We build upon the power of soccer to galvanize these kids by giving them the support and structure they need to realize their vast potential. Five years ago, Coach Luma Mufleh started a Fugees team to provide refugee boys with free access to organized soccer. Since then, our programming has grown to include year-round soccer for 86 boys aged 10-18, after-school tutoring, a private academy, and an academic enrichment camp.
The Fugees Family provides a space for the kids to heal and meet others like them, from different countries, who have been through similar experiences. The players might begin by regarding one another with distrust or even hostility. By conducting drills with various players grouped together and enforcing an English-only policy at all times, the kids learn to cooperate. Africans and Asians, Northern and Southern Sudanese, Muslims and Christians, Sunni and Shia Muslims – they all play on the same team, finding their commonalities instead of focusing on their differences. Their bonds make them more secure in their own identity and more capable of acclimating to the mainstream.
The Fugees Family works to afford our kids equal access to the educational opportunities others in their age group have, helping them to acquire the social and academic skills necessary to succeed. Our goal is for the players to work hard and graduate from high school with a plan for college, technical school, or job training. We are committed to an approach that takes the whole individual into account: we are consistently involved in all areas of the kids’ lives, we set high expectations on and off the field, we foster a familial atmosphere, and we have fun.
You can learn more about them here, and can learn how to get involved here. Also, you can find a recent report by CNN on the organization during the World Cup here. If you are at all moved by the work this organization is doing please find some way to support them.