Do you believe in the power of sports?
At Reclaim Childhood, we do. To prove it, 20 teammates from around the world will run the 150 miles from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea. This race will be a grueling challenge. But we believe that, with power of sports, we can persevere as a team, inspire each other and make new friendships.
We ask that you support our team in taking on this challenge so that Reclaim Childhood can bring the power of sports to those who need it most - refugee and marginalized girls in the Middle East.
Why We Run
Last year, Reclaim Childhood worked with over 400 refugee and Jordanian girls, each one with a unique story. We are continually inspired by the passion, resilience, and commitment of every girl - and coach - who is a part of RC. Here are just a few of their stories:
Nafahat is a longtime RC participant from Sudan. Nafahat explained that when she first joined RC, she didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone. After a few days, she’d meet one new girl and memorize one new name. After a few weeks, she soon realized that she knew all the names of the girls in her group - and they knew her name, too. Better yet, they asked her where she was when she missed practice. What an amazing feeling to be known, seen, and missed. After years in our program, Nafahat is a leader, a relationship builder, and a source of fierce positivity.
On any given day that RC runs practice in Zarqa, you can find at least one of the three Owaimer sisters: Yasmine, Marwa, and Ayat, some of RC’s first participants in Zarqa. When Marwa was a young girl, she was playing inside her house when she heard girls yelling in the distance. She looked out the window and saw that in the field next to her house, girls were playing soccer. “I had never seen that before,” Marwa told us. She ran out of her house, dragging her sisters with her, and asked the women on the field what they were doing. The coaches at RC explained to Marwa that they were a group of women who regularly played sports. Marwa had found her place. Today, Marwa is a member of the RC Teen Leadership Council and volunteers on weekends to run soccer for kids in her neighborhood. When she reflects on her time with RC, Marwa said, “ I’ve learned everything from RC. You can’t just ask me ‘what have I learned from RC?’ because I won’t stop talking.” Not to be outdone, her sister Yasmine was one of the first RC participants to join the coaching staff, while youngest sister Ayat is a committed member of the oldest group!
Aya is a refugee who was born in Yemen after her parents fled Somalia. Aya is at the top of her class and is always the first to engage with new participants and foreign volunteers, welcoming them to the program with open arms. Being the middle child of seven kids in a single-parent household, Aya has had to create her own opportunities. In March 2019, Aya submitted a successful application for a summer program at King’s Academy, a local private school that hosts low income students in the summer to develop their English language capacity and overall academics. Realizing the weight of this application, Aya immersed herself in studying and enlisted the support of her RC Coach, Fathia, for each step of the process. When Aya submitted her application, Coach Fathia submitted a letter of recommendation on her behalf. When asked why she’s invested so much in Aya, Fathia said, “I would do this for any of the girls at RC. We’re here to support, too.”