A soccer ball to a Darfuri refugee is old rags and plastic, tied with string in to a round bundle. A field is a flat, sandy space cleared of rocks that might injure their bare feet. A pre-game meal...a meal is not always there.
In twelve refugee camps—dotting the border between Darfur, Sudan and Chad—there are hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women and children, who have fled the destruction of their villages, seen family members and friends killed, and endured horrors nobody would ever want to even imagine. The children survivors, and the many more that have now been born in the camps, lack even the basic support in dealing with the deep trauma associated with the conflicts they live in. Being in a conflict zone and due to limited resources, the heroic efforts of the United Nations Refugee Agency and international aid organizations are focused mainly on providing the basic survival services and education.
The children are still children, and they have the right and need to play.