"We were surprised the soccer field is still there – so we checked it over carefully and then the children started coming back to play," Adnan said in Rafah, Gaza. He took our call, stepping out of a soccer game. "Most of the no-man's-zone along the border has new mountains made from bombing but because we struggled so hard to be sure there would be no tunnels through our field, our soccer field is still here -- and it saved the row of homes nearby."
"You have to understand why this is so important right here, right now. The kids are running, playing soccer with friends and neighbors, adults are even joining in. Yes, there is destruction everywhere. A third of the children returning to school have lost family members. Homes in nearby Ybna Refugee Camp (and throughout Rafah and all Gaza) are missing doors, windows are blown out, and many neighborhoods are entirely destroyed. But you have to understand that there is also damage you cannot see, the damage that comes from the panic and fear we all experienced."
"The most important thing is to provide an immediate response to the loss and damage that people have experienced. Our soccer field is bringing us together here, now in a way that touches everyone, responds to everyone, builds our community and makes our connection with one another."
Right now, we ask your help to fund lights for what is now known as the "Unity Club Soccer Field." That will help us bring everyone together for a tournament as soon as possible.