Today is National Family Day and L.A.C.E.S. wants to celebrate the wonderful women who are integral parts of our ever growing L.A.C.E.S. family. In our camps and soccer leagues, the Women and Mothers of L.A.C.E.S. take care of our youth, bringing into their hearts every child they meet. Our work would not be possible without their drive and dedication to serve our communities, nourishing a sense of family at every camp. Words cannot fully describe how grateful we are to have such an amazing group by our side, supporting us and impacting the lives of so many.
Today, we would like to highlight two women in particular: Sylvia and Rej.
Silvia and Rej first heard about our L.A.C.E.S. family several years ago. Silvia attended an event where a L.A.C.E.S. Liberian staff member spoke about our international programs and Rej learned of L.A.C.E.S. through her church. Both women made their volunteering with our refugee program a family affair, bringing along their own children to volunteer and even participate in our cross-culture sharing programs.
We are so lucky and thankful to have these amazing women inspire us in their commitment and generosity and we are excited to share their experiences with you. This summer we interviewed them to learn more about their specific experiences with L.A.C.E.S. and here are some of their answers:
What drew you into L.A.C.E.S.?
Sylvia: The opportunity to help people in need.
Rej: I love what they are doing with refugees locally.
How has L.A.C.E.S. impacted you and your family?
Sylvia: By listening to some of the stories, my kids have been able to see the reality of other parts of the world.
Rej: We (Rej, her husband and children) enjoyed serving together, and they (Rej’s children) even brought some friends to help out.
Rej’s daughters and their friends volunteering together at L.A.C.E.S. Refugee Youth Soccer Camp 2019
What is it about L.A.C.E.S. that makes you and your family want to come back?
Sylvia: I identify with the kids arriving from a new country/culture. I also came from another country, not knowing the language or the culture. It feels very lonely at the beginning.
Rej: We enjoyed working and playing with so many new immigrants. My children really got to meet and befriend kids from all over the world.
What is your favorite thing about L.A.C.E.S.?
Sylvia: The smiley faces of the kids during soccer camp or Adventure camp.
Rej: That kids enjoy playing and can bounce back from difficult life experiences.
What developments do you want L.A.C.E.S. to see in the next couple of years?
Sylvia: I would like to see growth in the soccer/adventure camps where more refugees can be helped, and/or similar programs can be created. I would like to see other countries, besides Liberia, involved in this great program where street children can have the opportunity to have hope and to look forward to a brighter future.
Rej: I hope we can continue to participate in the summer soccer camp when this pandemic is under control.
Looking to the future, we are excited for the day when we will get to see our L.A.C.E.S family back out on the soccer pitch and at our camps, cheering each other on and supporting the youth in our programs from around the world.
The last day of L.A.C.E.S. Refugee Youth Soccer Camp 2019
Thank you, Silvia and Rej, for bringing our youth into your hearts and working with us to bring smiles to the faces of so many throughout the years. We cannot wait to see you all again soon, creating new memories with you and our ever growing L.A.C.E.S. community.
See you all soon!