The Honolulu Galaxy FC was founded with the belief that we could not only train players to be highly competitive in soccer, but that we could also help them learn how to be industrious and contributing members of their communities. This belief serves as one of the core values of our organization.
Over the years, our Club has pursued our commitment to community service in many ways. Some of those efforts have included: donating items to youth soccer players and families in Fukushima, Japan who suffered from the great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami in 2011; adopting parks where we train; a clothing drive for the Waimanalo homeless community; book drives in the Halawa housing project and for our public libraries; recycling drives; restoring an ancient Hawaiian fishpond at Waikalua Loko in Kaneohe, Hawaii; a Christmas toy drive for the Lokahi Project and the trash cleanup days at various beaches on Oahu.
Through these and other projects, we hope to develop and nurture a culture of service and giving for our players and their families.
The United Nations has described Sudan's western Darfur region as one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. More than 2.3 million people have been displaced, most of them living in squalid camps in Darfur and neighbouring Chad. Peacekeepers and aid workers have restricted access to those in need. The conflict flared in 2003 when rebels in Darfur took up arms, accusing the government of neglecting the region. The government responded with a counter-insurgency campaign.
Since then, civilians have come under attack from government troops, pro-government militia and rebel groups. Arab militias are also fighting each other, and there are frequent clashes between tribes. Levels of violence fell after 2005, but have risen since the start of 2013. Nearly 400,000 people were displaced in the first half of 2014 alone.
There are approximately 280,000 refugees living in twelve camps that dot the border between Chad and Sudan. The camps are in a remote, isolated region that is, for the most part, lawless. Many of the programs deemed “nonessential” were stopped in the camps because of the dangers associated with the area, such as rebel activity and banditry that targeted aid workers. There is little in the way of sustained, organized, and comprehensive sports programs. Malnutrition is pervasive throughout the camps due to a decade’s worth of refugees receiving the same limited food rations. It is a population that has experienced extreme
trauma which has been largely unaddressed.
Through the good work of i-ACT(a California-based nonprofit), the Darfur Soccer Academy (DUSA) was launched. DUSA offers a safe place for children and youth to gather and participate in a healthy and enriching activity that teaches lessons that apply on and off the field. Play is recognized as one of the best forms of therapy. Offering the opportunity and means to participate in a positive, organized, and sustained activity can have a huge impact on individuals and the entire community.Volunteer professional coaches from the United States and England travel regularly to the camps and train refugee coaches and managers to implement programs that promote growth for players and the teams. DUSA will also serve as the training ground from where Darfur
United players will rise to then compete in tournaments anywhere in the
Recently, HGFC took its first, small step towards providing support and assistance to refugees in Camp Touloum by supplying them with a number of our customized training vests. Oftentimes, we make donations and never really know whether or not those donations ever reach the intended beneficiaries. However, in this case, we recently received breathtaking photos of young Darfurian children playing soccer in the vests we donated. It was a heartwarming sight; so much so that it inspired to seek a more lasting and impactful partnership with DUSA. Stay tuned for more that we, as a Club, will be doing to support this humanitarian effort.
As part of US Soccer Foundation's Passback Program, our Galaxy 01B and 01G teams recently collected and donated their gently-used Galaxy gear to young men and women associated with New Generations, NG in Long Beach, California. Among the items our Galaxy families donated were: game jerseys, socks, shorts, shinguards, goalie gloves and coaches shirts.
New Generations, NG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides welfare and education to the youth of the City of Long Beach through leadership, mentoring, and sports for youth in low-income families while providing opportunities for bettering their quality of life.
US Soccer's Passback Program has collected and redistributed over 900,000 pieces of soccer equipment to children in underserved communities. With this program, US Soccer is able to bring soccer to children who love the sport, but who do not have the resources to play.
Our Galaxy 01B and 01G teams are proud to have supported this service effort. A big "MAHALO" goes out to Rachel Cramond (01B - Harrison) for coordinating this effort and for delivering our donated items to our friends at New Generations, NG.