At the age of six, Charmante had to flee her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo after militia groups attacked her village. She fled across the border to Rwanda and has lived in a refugee camp for the past 22 years. Working and playing football with children really helps her relieve stress and forget all the harm the past has brought to her and her family.


Charmante is a volunteer with PLAN International which works on the protection of children in the camp. She has a team of children which she coaches with the help of the new techniques she has learned during the Young Coach Education. She sees talent in some of her players and has high hopes for them. Most of all, she enjoys working with them because it helps her to feel like a child again: stress-free and happy.


Project: Rwanda, November 2017 – October 2018

Parent Organization: UNHCR Rwanda

Born: 1990

Nationality: Democratic Republic of Congo

Project Rwanda | Facts
Peer Young Coaches
Benefiting Children


“I came to Rwanda from Congo in 1996 when I was six years old and have now lived in the camp for 22 years already. I don’t really remember understanding the reason why we had to flee at the time because I was still so young, but I always hear about it. There was a threat on our lives and that was the reason why we had to leave Congo. I can’t remember well, but what I can remember is that people came to our village and they started to take away our cows and to burn our houses. After that, I saw people running in a group. That is what I can remember. At the time we were fleeing, my mother was working on the farm and my dad was looking after the cows, so I went with my grandfather who took us across the border. We met our parents again in a transit camp in Rwanda. Since then I am living in a camp.

I have never played football myself, but I do love it. I love it because I see it is a very nice game. I didn’t start as a child, but now whenever I see people playing, I am just there because I enjoy the game. That is also why I joined this education. I already have a team of children I always work with. When I am working with children, I find myself feeling like a kid again, which is very, very cool.

Through this programme, I can work with children – there are three groups and I work with them three days a week. Working with them has helped me a lot. I have been in this camp for 22 years now, so when I am playing I can forget some things which have harmed me. I forget the stress around me and even my body functions well again.”


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.