Who We Are
Fugees Family, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to working with child survivors of war. The organization empowers refugees to integrate successfully into their new country by providing them the support and structure they need to realize their vast potential.
In 2004, Coach Luma Mufleh started a Fugees team to provide refugee boys with free access to organized soccer. Her devotion to the boys extended beyond the soccer field and she found ways to support their lives in their new country through schooling and soccer. The Fugees Academy is the nation’s only school dedicated to refugee education. Our flagship campus in Atlanta has received SAIS and SACS accreditation, blending creative teaching with academic fundamentals, interwoven with leadership and character building.
Sports remains a key to the success of the children, and the organization’s programming includes year-round soccer for students at campuses in both Atlanta, Georgia and Columbus, Ohio.
The Fugees Academy has a unique goal, to educate refugee children in an environment that understands their unique challenges. These children are left behind in a traditional public school system. They come to the United States after being forced to flee their home countries. Most have lived through traumatic experiences and have spent time in refugee camps, where education is neither a priority nor an option.
Once settled in the US, these children are behind their peers, both academically and socio-economically. Many have never had any formal schooling, and their parents are often unable to read or write in their native language or English. Lacking the support and guidance they need to succeed in traditional public schools, these refugee children drop out of school and never learn English, develop fundamental academic skills, or identify themselves as a valuable part of American society.
The Fugees Academy attends to the needs of these children, who, at 14 might read at a kindergarten level, if at all. It offers children a bridge from isolation to socialization and learning. The school strives to give its students the support, guidance, and direct instruction necessary to put them on a path to better adjustment, high school graduation, and further successes. Our programming has demonstrated that in a highly structured environment where rules and expectations are clear, and creativity and individuality are nurtured, refugee children don’t just catch up – they become stellar performers who can meet rigorous academic standards.