Players from the women’s football team in the Minawao refugee camp attend an Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) game.Players from the women’s football team in the Minawao refugee camp attend an Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) game.
Young Nigerian refugees, who received tickets for the Nigeria-Sudan match, took a bus to Garoua in northern Cameroon to support the Super Eagles at the African Cup of Nations.
It has been years since they fled Nigeria and the abuses of the jihadists of Boko Haram, for years they have lived in a refugee camp in Minawao, in the far north of Cameroon. Nigeria beat Sudan 3 goals to 1, it is with a smile that Lucy recounts this adventure.
“Since the time that they informed us that we were going to support our team, Nigeria, we were very happy, Lucy recalls. As soon as we entered the car and started moving, we were smiling. And then they (Nigeria) won, and we were very happy with them. We are wishing they bring the cup to Nigeria.”
In their camp in Minawao, these young girls play football. They have set up a team and train when they can, with the means at hand. Opened in July 2013, the camp has 70,000 refugees, and the soccer field occupies part of this camp. Recently, a donation from German cooperation enabled the boys to obtain a few jerseys and balls, but nothing for the women’s team. To pursue their passion, these young people are waiting for equipment.
“Sometimes when we are playing, we don’t have shoes for playing. That is a problem. Sometimes we have pain in our legs, sometimes we don’t have jerseys, we just go and play with our clothes like that, so if it is possible, we need shoes and jerseys.” explains Christine David, a player from the Minawao camp.
Over time, situations like that of the Nigerians begin to be forgotten by the big donors. Camp officials are pleading for more resources because needs are changing and the conditions for development must now be created.