Trudy Goodman

From Trudy

Darfur United Soccer Club

Yesterday I taught at the Embodiment Conference, wearing my “I VOTED” sticker. In the chat thread, I saw ‘thanks for voting’ and ‘prayers for America’ from some of the international participants. At this time in our world, maybe you, too, are longing for connection and cooperation, for economic, racial and planetary justice. Some of us InsightLA teachers have been working with a small but mighty anti-genocide NPO called iACT. With the support of their South Bay community and a far-flung network of friends, Gabriel Stauring and Katie-Jay Scott brought high quality mindfulness, soccer, and pre-school education to the Darfuri refugee camps in Eastern Chad. The iACT team has woven human rights leadership and mindfulness training into each program, working side by side with the refugees to create solutions to the needs prioritized by the refugee leaders for their own communities. Today I want to share an article in South Bay Magazine that brought tears to my eyes. It made me miss being with friends I met in the Goz Amer camp almost four years ago now.

While the news of the world unspools in unsettling ways, take a few minutes to read this unlikely, uplifting story of how the Darfur United Football (soccer) Club was born – and competed in a World Cup for international non-FIFA teams! Talk about underdogs… None of the players had ever the opportunity to play on grass, wear cleats, or eat food that wasn’t severely rationed. “For the refugees, this experience meant so much more than the act of playing. It created a sense of belonging and hope. With all the death, destruction, rape and genocide in Darfur, this gave the community something positive to rally around. The overwhelming sentiment: Now we belong to the world.” See full story.

In this unsettled and divisive time, remember that there is another possibility. I am inspired by people working together for peace, happiness and protection for all beings. May your heart, too, be nourished by this true story of triumph over unimaginable adversity.