Refugees Find Hostility and Hope on Soccer Field

This story shows the struggles facing many immigrants. It also shows how supportive most Americans can be when they discover others in need.  This is what the United States of America is all about. This story represents the country whose citizens donate billions of dollars per year to charity.

This is the older story from The New York Times.

Refugees Find Hostility and Hope on Soccer Field – Full Story from The New York Times.
Published: January 21, 2007
But to many longtime residents, soccer is a sign of unwanted change, as unfamiliar and threatening as the hijabs worn by the Muslim women in town. It’s not football. It’s not baseball. The fields weren’t made for it. Mayor Swaney even has a name for the sort of folks who play the game: the soccer people.

The Fugees are indeed all refugees, from the most troubled corners — Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burundi, Congo, Gambia, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Somalia and Sudan. Some have endured unimaginable hardship to get here: squalor in refugee camps, separation from siblings and parents. One saw his father killed in their home.

This is what’s happening now:

Fugees’ soccer team starts new season with uniform, support
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 09/14/07

Time was, the Fugees shared cleats. They made soccer uniforms out of old cotton T-shirts. They had trouble getting transportation to practice and for a while didn’t even have a regular place to play.

But when a new season starts today, the Fugees (a play on the word refugees) will grace the fields in new green and yellow threads and with the support of a growing fan base.

Their story — about a scrappy, determined group of refugee kids in Clarkston who wanted to play soccer — received national attention earlier this year. People everywhere pitched in to help.

The Paideia private school held a fund-raiser. Kids in New York sold beaded bracelets. A boy in Texas donated his birthday money. And dozens of local Atlantans have signed up to volunteer.


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