Teen helps refugee kids find community on the soccer field

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CHICAGO — Children from all over the world are finding community on a soccer field. 

Coming from refugee families from Burma, Ukraine, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic, 24 kids from all over the world came together to run in the sun. 

An accomplished high school soccer player himself, Matthew Hansen came up with a plan to get as many kids from refugee families together on one team.

“I’ve been brainstorming it and trying to put it in reality for about two months now,” Hansen said. 

Hansen worked with the organization Refugee One to put the team together. Organizers say they had lots of kids excited about the camp, including a fair number of girls. 

In the end they found new skills and new friends, while the young coach learned a lesson himself: that joy and laughter is a universal language.

”It just brings me great joy everyday when I see the kids. You can’t help but feed off that,” Hansen said.

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