Cecile fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo with her mother and siblings when she was only one year old. All she knows is life in a refugee camp. She hears only stories about her home and life in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Playing football, however, helps her to integrate herself into the community and live in harmony with others.


Cecile is working as a volunteer in the camp and is part of the children’s recreational activities team. Through the Young Coach Education programme, she can now use football to teach the children not only sport techniques, but also social messages like how to respect their parents, how to be clean and how to live together in a peaceful way.


Project: Rwanda, November 2017 – October 2018

Parent Organization: UNHCR Rwanda

Born: 1997

Nationality: Democratic Republic of Congo

Project Rwanda | Facts
Peer Young Coaches
Benefiting Children


“I left Congo with my mother and siblings 21 years ago, when I was only one year old. I don’t remember much about my childhood in Congo, I only hear about it. But in Rwanda, from what I can remember, when we arrived we were taken to a refugee camp. What we soon came to understand is that life in the camp is challenging, it is not what people had expected it to be like. Even though we receive support in the camp, we sometimes experience a lack of food, clothes and education. I don’t know if I want to go back to Congo. I don’t know anything about the country. Once it is safe enough there, I might go back. But as long as it is not safe, I cannot go back.

I loved playing football as a kid because it helped me get to know so many people and it taught me how to integrate into society. I’ve always played with my fellow girls in our free time. I now work as a volunteer in the camp and I am part of the children’s recreational activities team. I do various activities with kids, recreational activities, and I inform them about their rights, too. Because of my involvement I was chosen for the Young Coach Education programme. From this education I learned a lot on how I can integrate myself and live with the children, as well as techniques on how to train the kids in football.

Football to me is something that can make your body fit, something that can help you not get old as quickly and something that can increase your lifespan. To me, football is something that can make you be with other people and live in a peaceful way, it helps you to live together without entering any conflict. For the children, I find that those who play football have the right spirit, they listen to other people and respect their parents – most of all, they are neat, clean!”

Young Coaches

Our Young Coaches are community leaders and role models in less privileged societies. They commit themselves to support the children of their communities by conveying important social topics (conflict resolution, inclusion, HIV prevention, etc.) through football. Each of the Young Coaches represents a unique personal story.