Sometimes one wrong turn can be the catalyst in finding your purpose... At least that was the case for Luma Mufleh.
One day, Mufleh was on her way to visit a Middle Eastern grocery store when she missed her turn and had to turn around in a nearby apartment complex. She saw a group of kids running around playing soccer in the streets with bare feet, blocks set up as goals, and a raggedy old soccer ball. It reminded her of how she grew up playing soccer in the streets of Jordan. She always felt like an outsider as a Jordanian in the US, and she could relate to the refugee children who were doing their best to survive and fit in despite often horrible situations.
Mufleh showed up again a few days later with a soccer ball, and the experience led her to organize her first soccer team for refugee boys. The first day, she had 30 kids show up to play. With basic supplies that Mufleh obtained at a discount, the kids played soccer in t-shirts with the names and numbers scrawled in permanent marker.
However, her calling didn't stop there. Mufleh began helping the refugee children with their homework after school. She quickly realized that the need for her help was more than just on the soccer field and in tutoring groups.
Since, Mufleh has created the Fugees Family, a nonprofit organization, and then opened a privately funded school for refugees called the Fugees Academy in 2007. The academy has small class sizes so the students can get more individualized attention and learn the fundamentals of reading, writing, and math.
"We have kids that come here who can't read when they enter school. And in four years, they are handing in five-page essays that are very well written," Mufleh said.
"On paper they should be failing. They have every excuse to fail. They come from a foreign country, they've had no formal education, they live in poverty and their parents are illiterate. That is a statistic for a kid who will never complete high school. And these kids are going to complete high school." – Luma Mufleh