Human Rights Club Soccer Equipment Drive

Soccer Drive Flier

Soccer Drive Flier

Editor’s Note: The following is an opinion piece.

Human Rights Club (known as Youth for Human Rights in Woodcliff Middle School) is looking for donations for the Darfur Dream Team. The club will be donating soccer gear to refugees in Darfur, a region within the Sudan, Africa. Items like jerseys, shorts, socks, cleats, shin guards, soccer balls, and more will be collected in the lobby, and in Mr. Haveron’s room, 247.

The Darfur Dream Team is partnered with the Enough Project, which works to eradicate genocide. Conflict in Darfur began when two rebel groups began to fight the Sudanese government, who they accused of oppressing the non-Arab population of Sudan. The Sudanese government responded with an ethnic cleansing of Darfur’s non-Arab population. Many non-Arabs then began to flee the region, resulting in many refugee camps.

NBA star Tracy McGrady traveled to the refugee camps in Darfur years ago, bringing attention to the crisis there. With the help of humanitarians like John Prendergast, McGrady toured the camps, learning that what the refugees wanted most was education, and soccer equipment.

Our community is extremely fortunate to have access to anything and everything we want. Something so simple as soccer gear never fazes us, but to those like the Darfur refugees, it means so much. We all have gently used sports equipment in our homes. Children grow so quickly that they frequently outgrow their uniforms, cleats, and shin guards. Instead of throwing those away, they could bring a lot of joy to the Darfur Refugees. I haven’t played soccer since kindergarden, and even I have unused soccer balls, socks, and pumps just lying around, waiting to be used by someone.

I started the Human Rights Club in coalition with my Girl Scout Gold Award, as a promise to drive conversations about world issues and human rights in a community that doesn’t always allow the means to do so. It’s extremely important to be an informed citizen in our world, especially in an election year. The more discussions are held involving injustices like the Flint Water Crisis, Donald Trump’s refusal to allow certain media outlets at his speeches, or the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the more we can learn how to solve these problems, and the more we can ensure that they never happen again.

For more information on the Darfur Dream Team, click here.