Darfur Athlete Profile: Shephadine

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Shephadine

Refugee in Camp Oure Cassoni
Nationality: Sudanese

Shephadine came wheeling around the corner when we spotted him. He plays the preferred sport in refugee camps – wheel frames that can be turned with sticks, plastic bottles, or whatever they can find. Like all kids, refugees love to play games. They want to laugh and sing, and jump around as free spirits. Children don’t need much as their imagination is still larger than life, but Shephandine and his friends hardly have anything.They play with rags bunched together like balls. And bags filled with sand are thrown back and forth like baseballs. A few lucky ones have a bicycle or a futbol that they are able to hold on to before it gets stolen. Many times Shephandine and his friends will race with their metal wheels down the sandy paths between their homes. For them, this is their only way to retain their childhood innocence.

Home in Darfur

Shephadine’s parent’s were farmer’s like many of the Darfur people living in his refugee camp. Since he is so young, he has spent most of his life in a refugee camp, struggling to survive. There village was surrounded by mud walls and the people lived in beautiful mud huts with grass roofs. Many of his fellow villagers had herds of animals, such as goats, cattle or sheep. When peace returns to Darfur, Shephandine and his family will most certainly want to return. But they will not be returning to all that they left. They will have to rebuild their entire lives.

Share the stories of those left behind — Bring the Dream to Darfur

Katie-Jay keeps i-ACT running on several levels. Much of her work entails coordinating partnerships with other grassroots organizations and implementing the campaigns developed by Gabriel and seeing through the details. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. She has previously worked as a community organizer in Thailand, Guatemala, and with grassroots organizations across the United States.

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