Fugees Family came to my attention because it's founder, Luma Mufleh is receiving an award from Search For Common Ground, another non-profit engaged in making the world a better place. Coach Mufleh and her story - and the story of the Fugees Family can be found on the websites listed below. But here briefly is a short statement from the Fugees Family website that explains what it is doing.
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.
SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND'S STORY ABOUT COACH MUFLEH
SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND