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  • Soccer Without Borders

Refugees on the Playing Fields of America

Temperatures soared above 90 degrees at the Vanguard Collegiate Middle School soccer field in East Baltimore, but the heat did little to dampen the energetic pace of the young players.

Reema Al Faheed, an ebullient 18-year-old, races down the pitch with obvious joy. She had spent most of her life in a displacement camp on the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Born and raised in a refugee camp in Nepal, Kailash Rai, 13, is equally quick on his feet and just as enthusiastic.

Stories like these are the norm here. The players on the field have escaped everything from poverty and discrimination to war and famine. For them, soccer has become a shared passion, a sport that builds community as well as character.

These teenagers are participating in Soccer Without Borders (SWB), an international program that uses the sport to help resettled refugees and immigrants adapt and thrive in their new homes. The International Rescue Committee has resettled most of the players who take part in the Baltimore program.

Read the full article by Kulsoom Rizvi on the International Rescue Committee website>>

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