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    A tournament all their own

    Day 122

    Slam Dunk

    Since 2015, tens of thousands of Yemeni refugees have made a home in Mogadishu, Somalia, seeking refuge from the civil war. Many are school aged children with their families, hoping to pick up where their education left off. Our team works with these Yemeni students to place them successfully in Somali schools, and we offer after-school programs to help them build community and ease their transition to Somalia.

    Sports are such a unifying thing – no matter who you are or where you’re from, love of the game brings everyone together.

    Playtime is important for both boys and girls. But some parents tend to encourage only their sons to play. So many of these kids love basketball. So, we thought, why not host a tournament, just for Yemeni girls?

    Playing basketball and staying active has so many benefits, especially for girls. It can be a boost in confidence and self-esteem, playing on a team and finding something that you’re good at. It’s a great way to socialize, to stay fit, and to keep the mind moving.

    “As a married school girl, play makes me feel happy,” says Sumaya, who will graduate from high school in just a year and a half. She attends Nasir school, one of over 40 schools where Yemeni refugee children and other asylum seekers are integrated across Mogadishu districts.

    Smiling, Sumaya said, “With such activities as sporting, I find school a place to find joy and at the same time interact and identify myself with other girls of my age who are not married.”

    Jamila from the ARC Team was thrilled to see the results of the tournament. “We could feel the energy that was sparked by the fast-paced games,” he said. “Anything that brings these kids happiness makes us happy.”


    This change made possible by the Margaret and Jennifer Kress Foundation, Inc.

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