With Love

“Many of the things we do in life are because we have to. Go to school. Do our homework. Take the garbage out. Clean our rooms, etc.  

This year I will try to do a better job at doing the things I want to do as well. Create a better bond with friends. Make the high school soccer team. Visit with some of the children within GOALS Haiti. 

Sometimes I wonder what these kids want in their lives. Not necessarily material things like phones and fancy clothes, but do we share common interests like to be better soccer players or to compete on the field and win, or simply talk about who is better... Messi or Ronaldo? 

I hope to visit Haiti soon, across the ocean and see what they dream for. What they have to do. What they want to do. With my visit, I hope to donate many more items to kids that could really use them.  With love, LilyMany of the things we do in life are because we have to. Go to school. Do our homework. Take the garbage out. Clean our rooms, etc.  

This year I will try to do a better job at doing the things I want to do as well. Create a better bond with friends. Make the high school soccer team. Visit with some of the children within GOALS Haiti. 

Sometimes I wonder what these kids want in their lives. Not necessarily material things like phones and fancy clothes, but do we share common interests like to be better soccer players or to compete on the field and win, or simply talk about who is better... Messi or Ronaldo? 

I hope to visit Haiti soon, across the ocean and see what they dream for. What they have to do. What they want to do. With my visit, I hope to donate many more items to kids that could really use them.  With love, Lily”

To see more about Lily’s work check out her website.

Community Tournament

Recently our year end soccer tournament wrapped up and was a great community event! We invited teams from the area to participate with GOALS teams and the theme was Protecting the Environment.

 The purpose of the tournament was to not only provide the kids with a meaningful soccer competition beyond playing each other, but to also promote our programs to the greater Léogâne community by inviting other soccer teams to participate. 

 23 teams took part in the tournament with 16 teams from GOALS and 7 invited local teams.   You can check out images from the tournament here.

 This was the first time that GOALS Haiti organized a such a big tournament with invited teams outside of our programs.  The emphasis of the championship wasn’t just about competition but it was an opportunity for teams to join together for a bigger cause. After each match, the kids were encouraged to pick up trash to show their commitment to the environment, which was the main message of the championship. The hope is that by modeling this simple behavior, other kids who are not a part of the GOALS family would also give the environment the importance it deserves.

 Here is the tournament breakdown:

 With great fanfare and an almost carnival-like atmosphere filled with music, GOALS Academy and GOALS Destra were the two teams that made it to the finals on December 7th at CFC.  After a hard-fought battle, GOALS Academy came out victorious 2-0, with two goals scored in the last few minutes of play.  When the final whistle sounded, the girls were happy to receive their first-place medals.

 U13 Girls:

GOALS CFC

GOALS Destra

GOALS Bossan

GOALS Academy
Respire

 U13 Boys:
GOALS CFC

GOALS Destra

GOALS Bossan

GOALS Academy

Do-Kre-I-S
Respire

Exafoot

Following the girls’ final earlier that day of the 7th of December, it was the turn for the boys and Respire and GOALS Academy were the two teams to reach the final match.  Respire easily won the final 3-0 and they were declared champion for that category.

 U18 Girls:

GOALS CFC

GOALS Destra

GOALS Bossan

Respire

USD

 On December 8th, the final game was held on the turf field in Gressier between GOALS Bossan and Respire.  It was another festive environment with lots of supporters, the two teams were almost equal as they played to a scoreless draw for most of the game.  It took a few minutes before the end of the game for GOALS Bossan to score and to hold on for the victory.  Each player received a medal and the team received a trophy, which they were thrilled to show off.

 U18 Boys:

GOALS CFC

GOALS Destra

GOALS Bossan

Mania Foot

Respire

USD

Exafoot

Do-Kre-I-S

 The older boys’ final was held on the same field following the older girls’ final earlier in the day. Two teams, Do-Kre-I-S and Respire, emerged from a crowded field of competitive teams to make it to the final match. Once again, it was a great match filled many opportunities to score.  In the end, it was Respire that came out victorious and they went home with the trophy.

 We would like to thank water distributor Culligan, Caribbean Bottling Company, for sponsoring the championship by donating gallons of purified water for our kids, coaches and referees.

 The championship was a huge success and we hope to have it again next year.

Happy New Year!

Let's build the future of football together

We were fortunate to have a great intern in Marie Elise Obas who spent the last 3 months working with us and she had this to say about her time with GOALS:

“Soccer is the favorite sport even in the back corners of Haiti. GOALS works in areas where the population does not really have access to education, clean water, and healthcare. When a child joins the Goals program, he or she participates in education programs such as the literacy program. The child also has access to clean drinking water, receives a meal after each program, and participates in community projects: tree nursery, recycling, volunteerism which all lead to them becoming leaders in their communities.

The passion for soccer is used to engage young people and to mentor positive messages on different areas such as conflict resolution, gender equity, good health and sex education. The coaches are considered leaders and they are called to participate in the change of their community.

Through the activities carried out by GOALS, children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can play football in a safe environment and also participate in changing their community.

I took the option that nobody expected. To choose to go to Haiti sounded a little bit crazy even for some close friends. However, when I arrived at GOALS, I felt my heart throb when I saw so many children living in challenging conditions and yet they keep their passion for this game. Lacking new equipment and showing up with what they have the kids play with a lot of passion. I felt a desire to take action and to lend my strength. I feel much more useful in Haiti  than if I were in Barcelona, with my favorite and one of the richest clubs in the world. I feel, deep within me, that these children need help and I feel ready to go as far as possible to encourage people to support these children/youths in need. I am attracted by their happiness, their positivity, their enthusiasm, their innocence and above all their pride and resilience.

I also fell in love with the staff. They are passionate about their work. In listening to them, it is easy to feel their involvement, their passion, and their love for their work. Without the latest equipment and tools, they contribute to the training of these young people. The most interesting part is that many of them are former beneficiaries of the project and are so proud to be a part of the team. When kids are asked what is their dream, the most common answer is to become a coach at GOALS. What a passion, what a pride for them to give back to the program that helped them to be who they are today.

My passion for soccer and my experiences in community development is a successful marriage with my studies at the Football Business Academy. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such a great team.

I would like to give a world of thanks and I am proud to say: Let's build the future of football together.

Seeking Program Director

Be a part of Team GOALS - We are seeking a Program Director

We currently have the following job opening available.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR HAITI

We are seeking a Haiti based Program Director to support our community development programs in Leogane, Haiti. The primary function of the Program Director will be to lead organizational efforts along with our Executive Director and Program staff that sustain and grow our programs through strong program development, monitoring and evaluation, community relations, fundraising and administrative support. The Director will play a significant role in GOALS’ growth as the organization increases its impact on the lives of children and families in rural Haiti.

To see full job description please check out the listing here.

Join Team GOALS

Join us in providing access to sport & education to kids in rural Haiti

It has been a fantastic year for the kids in our programs. Most recently we celebrated 27 new graduates from our literacy program, which is a huge accomplishment by kids in rural Haiti who do not have access to any other schooling.

What does it mean to be a member of Team GOALS? It means that you believe in giving the opportunity of good health, education and leadership to disadvantaged youth. It is an investment into the future of these bright young stars.

They say it takes a village to raise a child and that is true, but what does it take to raise a village? It takes committed citizens and the next generation to carry on that torch. Since our inception in 2010 we have seen the impact of our programs. This includes a shift in attitudes towards what is possible and a willingness to strive towards a more inclusive, safe and sustainable way of life.

We see that impact in multiple ways including the reduction of teen pregnancy from 7% to under 1%, healthier average weight in our kids, reduction in easily preventable diseases, higher test scores and engaged community members.

 One of our donors put it best by saying “I give to GOALS, so kids have the opportunity to make life long friendships, create memories and be proud of their achievements. I give to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives. To be gracious in defeat and humble in success. They are not only learning soccer but also important life skills. From what I have seen so far I think it is a great investment.” – Laura, GOALS supporter

By making a gift you are changing a life today and entire communities tomorrow. We currently need to raise 18K in team sponsorship funds by the end of the year. Through a generous opportunity we can match each gift dollar to dollar for any gifts given between now and December 28th. Making your gift go even farther. Gifts may be made online or by check.  

From all of us at Team GOALS we appreciate your continued support!

Happy Anniversary GOALS!

Anniversary celebration at the community center in Destra

We came together with the community in Destra to celebrate 8 years of GOALS programs! We sang, we danced, told stories and ate cake. The kids were excited to participate and it was great to see the older kids share stories and songs with the younger ones.

Our program coordinator Emilio (who has been with GOALS from the start) told of how the program came to be in Destra. As he talked of how our founder, Kona, was inspired by witnessing kids playing soccer in the sugar cane fields around the community you could see the elders in the community nodding their heads in remembrance and agreement.

It was lovely to see the oral traditions that are so strong, especially in rural communities, within Haiti carry on the founding story of GOALS.

I founded GOALS as a true grassroots effort. The fact that we are now celebrating our 8th year is testament to the hard work of our coaches and staff, the remarkable support from our donors and volunteers, and the power of sport to make serious development work fun.” - Kona Shen

To see more pics from the celebration check out the album on Facebook.

We look forward to more years to come as we strive to improve conditions and foster young leaders in rural Haiti who will advance opportunities not only for themselves but for their whole communities.

Proud Graduates

Graduation ceremony for the literacy students in Destra

Meet our most recent graduates from our literacy program. We are so proud of them for their accomplishment. The whole community came together to celebrate with us. You can see images from the ceremony here.

It is especially important for us to host literacy classes in the rural areas that we work such as Destra. Destra was our very first GOALS Haiti location and it remains our strongest site. It is a remote community that can easily be overlooked due to its location.  It is situated about 45 minutes’ drive outside of Léogâne through sugar plantations on a long dirt and rocky road.  This small coastal village of approximately 700 people is without running water and electricity. There is no traditional school and the remoteness makes it difficult for the kids to attend schools elsewhere. In fact, many of the schools are about an hour’s walk from Destra and there is no public transportation in the area.

27 kids graduated giving them a foundation in reading, writing and counting. It also gives them a love of learning. Fostering increased participation, improved self confidence and community engagement.    

This removes barriers to further education and ultimately improves their future along with their earning potential.   

Claudia Exilhomme is a resident of Destra and helps to take care of her nephew Rod. Rod was in the literacy program. He had faced many difficulties in learning. But since being in the literacy program she is seeing his progress. She would like to see the program continue as it is a benefit for the community.

Georgetown & GOALS work on Leadership Program

Georgetown students Rebecca and Sabrina leading a workshop in Destra

Hello! We are Rebecca and Sabrina, two undergraduate students at Georgetown University, and we worked with GOALS Haiti to develop an introductory leadership development workshop. Our interest and understanding of the importance of cultivating community leaders stems from our experience studying international development, education, and social justice in Washington, DC. This partnership supplemented one of GOALS’ initiatives to identify youth leaders and recognize their potential to make change in their communities.

 Our program was funded by the Davis Foundation through the 100 Projects for Peace Program. The foundation works with one hundred universities across the United States to fund one student-designed and implemented peacebuilding program per school. Our idea was selected by a panel of Georgetown deans, professors, and professionals, and then put forth to the Foundation for approval. With the close guidance of an advisor from Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice, we began designing the project and collaborating with GOALS to tailor the curriculum to their needs and local context.

 In the months prior to travelling to Haiti, we began collaborating with GOALS in setting our mission for the program.  In this time, we additionally began drafting lessons that would fit that mission. Once in country, our initial goals were to acclimate to life in Haiti, begin to build relationships in the GOALS communities, and work together to finalize our leadership development program based on the local context. During this time, we visited Bossan, CFC, and Destra, sites where GOALS runs its programming.  We also met with James, the country director, throughout the week to modify our program based on his advice and feedback.  By the end of the week, we were prepared to effectively finalize and implement the workshop.

 For the pilot, our participants were GOALS’ team captains, between the ages of eleven and seventeen, from each of the three communities.  From speaking with the different community members, we began to see the potential impact of youth leaders as agents of change in their communities. Youth leaders can create change by exhibiting perseverance in the face of challenges and by inspiring other young people to contribute toward improving their communities. This enforced our understanding of the relevance of leadership training for GOALS’ youth leaders.

 Additionally, in order to make the pilot as sustainable as possible, we turned over the teaching of the program to local teachers and GOALS staff. We believe that this helped to bridge the gap between teacher and student, and helped the teachers develop as leaders themselves.

 By the end of our pilot, we already began to witness the growth that our students were achieving. Students began exhibiting greater self-confidence and collaboration skills, as evidenced in their final presentations and in our collective reflection lesson. GOALS staff also noted students taking a more significant leading role on the soccer field, showing that the lessons learned transcended the classroom. Our greatest hope is that over time the students continue to internalize these lessons, and grow into greater agents for change and role models in their communities.

 We appreciate all our friends and colleagues at GOALS for their support throughout the program and are extremely excited to hear about the future of their leadership development programming!

Same Team - Beyond Sport

GOALS E.D. Kathy McAllister pictured with other past winners at Beyond Sport

We were thrilled to take part in Beyond Sport United 2018 recently in New York. Hundreds of people came together to celebrate the power of sport to create sustainable change on some of the worlds most pressing issues. Attended by sports celebrities, business leaders and development visionaries it was an inspiring event. As part of it the Global Awards celebrate, support, raise awareness and provide funding through the Beyond Sport Foundation.

As a shortlisted organization in the category for Sport for Health and Well Being we were among great company. Selected from over 400 applications, from 100+ countries and covering 53 sports, the shortlist recognizes the standout work of organizations who are creating positive social impact in communities around the world through sport.

The 10th annual Beyond Sport Global Awards ceremony was held at One World Observatory at One World Trade, where the winners were announced. Although we were not the winner in our category we were proud to have made it to that stage and as Dikembe Mutombo put it that night in his remarks “Even if you did not win tonight you are still a winner.”

Check out the inspiring video that we were a part of to introduce the projects from around the globe.

As a past winner of the Beyond Sport Award we were called on stage to help celebrate ten years of Beyond Sport awards and that impact. The continued support from Beyond Sport and all our partners is transformative in our efforts to create sustainable change through the power of sport for communities in rural Haiti.

The tagline of Beyond Sport is #sameteam and we are proud to be an active part of that team. Many of our partners won that night, including Coaches Across Continents and Futbol Mas and we look forward to working together to advance our work. Congratulations to all of the winners!

“On behalf of the Beyond Sport Foundation and our judges, congratulations to our 10th anniversary Beyond Sport Global Awards Official Shortlist. This year’s group was especially competitive, so the organizations and individuals should be very proud of their achievement. We are grateful to be able to provide the opportunity to not only promote sport through our Global Awards, but also to continue to bring like-minded people together as resources for each other and to share ways that sport is and can be used to make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality,” said Nick Keller, Founder and President, Beyond Sport.

First Pair of Cleats

GOALS Ambassador Chloe Spingler

I had a soccer ball at my feet as soon as I could walk, and my first pair of cleats are still framed in a small shadow box in my bedroom. My love of the game came in preschool, and only intensified the more that I played. My kids size 9 Velcro cleats quickly turned into size 12’s, and the Velcro was replaced with laces and a pair of goalie gloves. My backyard pop-up goals became white nets in stadiums, and I grew taller and more tactical on the field. At age 13 my fingers could just touch the crossbar if I jumped at the right angle, but just barely still. Before I knew it, I was a senior in high school outgrowing my final pair of cleats, preparing to take the field for my final season. What I have come to learn, though seemingly trivial, is that the confidence and security provided by the perfect pair of cleats is nearly unparalleled.

Perhaps, I have learned the most on the soccer field. Certainly, that soccer is much more than a game, instead becoming part of me. In essence, it has taught me the most significant lessons in my life. To always be a courageous leader. To be relentlessly humble and supportive of others. The love of the game and of my teammates. The appreciation of the bountiful comradery that beams from each athlete. The excitement of winning a well-deserved championship. The bitter taste of defeat and the beauty in perseverance. Throughout the years in my life, my most cherished moments took place on the soccer field, muddy cleats and all.

I am forever bound to support GOALS Haiti. This organization has given me an outlet to share my passion with athletes across the world. To provide them with uniforms and cleats, and to empower each athlete to engage in their community. Though it is much more than that. The close bonds shared between a soccer team can never be severed. The determination, leadership, respect, and trust fostered while on the field never seem to fade. I hope that soccer takes over their life as it did mine, and that each student becomes a bold leader, and a soccer enthusiast.

As obscure as it may seem, a pair of cleats can change a life, and they surely will. Through my experiences, I have found that there is something so special about a pair of cleats that fit just right. As I hang up mine for good at the end of this season, I will not be left with a void in my heart. Through my support of GOALS Haiti, I am filling it with a much greater joy: the ability to share my love of soccer, ultimately, changing lives. Though I cannot put cleats on the feet of every child in Haiti, I will certainly give it my best effort, as its effects are clearly long lasting. -Chloe Spingler, 17

 

Summer Camp in Arcahaie

We believe in sharing our knowledge and curriculum through outreach programs. Recently we partnered with StreetFootballWorld (SFW) and America Scores through a project with SUNY and the Kellogg Foundation to put on a summer soccer camp in Arcahaie, Haiti. Four of our coaches Emilio, Dyna, Jean Kendy and Rovenson took part. Other coaches from SFW’s network from Futbol Mas and Haiti Initiative also took part in the camp.

The coaches met for a planning session and then met with the mayor and his staff to introduce the program for the week. There was an opening ceremony to launch of the program that included speakers and dancing.  It was clearly the biggest event in town.

We were expecting 100 kids to attend this event, and 3,000 kids showed up.  At the start of the event, the national anthem of Haiti was played, which for everyone in attendance had a lot of significance because Arcahaie is the birthplace of the flag of Haiti.  Representatives from SUNY, along with many professors spoke of their vision for a learning village to be  built in Arcahaie with the summer camp being just one piece of their larger vision. The hope is to provide the kids with access to higher education, so they can make a difference in their communities going forward have Arcahaie be a model for the whole country. 

At the end of the opening ceremony 400 kids were selected at random to take part in the activities we had programmed. Each coach worked with 35 kids and started off by doing a circle of friends to have everyone introduce themselves. Animation exercises along with dancing was used to get the kids excited about the activities coming up.   

Every day covered a topic to discuss with the kids. The first day’s topic was gender equality.  Games related to this topic were used to show the importance of inclusion of girls. After each set of games, a discussion was held to hear their viewpoints and to make sure the message was understood. 

The second day the topic was how to resolve conflict in their community.  The coaches and kids discussed examples of conflict they encounter at home or at school and then they introduced the games which demonstrate how to resolve issues. Through these activities they now have the tools they need to resolve their own conflict peacefully. The days finished with friendly soccer matches between the teams. 

For the third and final day, we assembled all the kids to review the topics that were discussed. This camp was well received and came together through the great partnership with SFW and from the support of SUNY and their partners. We had a great experience, and we welcomed the opportunity to showcase the great work our coaches are doing in their communities in Haiti. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership and exploring ways to expand on the summer soccer camp. The kids not only had a great time playing soccer but loved learning valuable lessons as well.

Beyond Sport Awards

GOALS Haiti is proud to be a finalist for the 2018 Sport for Health and Well-Being Award.

Beyond Sport, announced the 35 projects that have been officially shortlisted for its prestigious Global Awards. Selected from over 400 applications, from 100+ countries and covering 53 sports, the shortlist recognizes the standout work of organizations who are creating positive social impact in communities around the world through sport.

On September 12, we will be present as representatives of each of the organizations will attend the 10th annual Beyond Sport Global Awards ceremony at One World Observatory at One World Trade, where the winners of each category will be announced. Attended by sports celebrities, business leaders and development visionaries, the Global Awards celebrate, support, raise awareness and provide funding through the Beyond Sport Foundation.

This year, the Foundation will award more than $350,000 to organizations that are using sport to help make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality. All shortlisted organizations will also receive a custom business support package from experts in the business, sport and development sectors to help strengthen their organizations through mentoring and fundraising tools.

“On behalf of the Beyond Sport Foundation and our judges, congratulations to our 10th anniversary Beyond Sport Global Awards Official Shortlist. This year’s group was especially competitive, so the organizations and individuals should be very proud of their achievement. We are grateful to be able to provide the opportunity to not only promote sport through our Global Awards, but also to continue to bring like-minded people together as resources for each other and to share ways that sport is and can be used to make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality,” said Nick Keller, Founder and President, Beyond Sport.

As a past winner of the Beyond Sport Award we are extremely honored to be shortlisted and recognized for our work. The continued support from Beyond Sport and all our partners is transformative in our efforts to create sustainable change through the power of sport for communities in rural Haiti.

Alumni Tournament

Recently we organized a tournament for GOALS alumni.  Since our inception in 2010, we have had hundreds of kids that have gone through our programs and have had 100 graduates. We organized this tournament as a way to connect with past participants and to get an idea of what some of our former players are up to since they graduated. 

For weeks leading up to the tournament we had our community leaders/coaches get the word across their communities that we were organizing a tournament for alumni players.  Many were eager to play soccer, while others were more interested in catching up with their friends and former teammates.

The first day of the tournament was focused on female alumni. 20 young women showed up from our communities.  The second day of the tournament was for male alumni and 56 showed up.  We explained to all of them that we wanted to hear from them and learn more about their lives now.

Before the games started, they were asked to fill out a general questionnaire. In that they were asked to pick 1 of 4 choices of professions in order to gauge their interest in them.  The professions listed were trade school, coaching and leadership, health agent training, or other.  With a high unemployment rate throughout the country, we are looking for possible ways we can help alumni pursue career paths.  The alumni interested in our coaching and leadership program will have the opportunity to take part in our new program starting in September.

After collecting results from our survey, we held the matches. It was great to see our alumni back on the field playing and everyone had a great time.  All our alumni were happy to know that GOALS Haiti is still very much interested in their lives. Click here to see results from the survey. 

Showing Up - A Campaign

Dear Friends of GOALS,      

When I am on the field one of my favorite things to see is our kids running from all directions showing up for daily practice. They are full of excitement and comradery. Having somewhere to be, something to do and focus on, is important for their personal growth.  

Showing up is half the game. The effort to do so and put oneself out there is an important life lesson. There are no other organizations working in these areas and a little support goes a long way. The community buys in in many ways including donating land for our soccer fields, volunteering as needed and participating in community meetings and strategic planning. All of us showing up to make a difference. 

 We are kicking off our fundraising campaign with the goal of raising 18K that will support daily programming for one of our teams for one year. By showing up our kids go after their dreams. Together we can provide them the opportunity to reach their potential. Join us by donating online, sending a check and sharing our campaign. 

From all of us at GOALS Haiti thank you for being a part of our caring community!

Kathy McAllister
Executive Director 

Annual Report

We are pleased to share our annual report with you.

When Kona Shen launched GOALS Haiti in 2010, she created a set of core values that continue to guide our work to this day. One of those—EMPOWERMENT & EQUALITY—remains a crucial and vital component. GOALS Haiti promotes equity and gender equality through education, sports curriculum and our community-led initiatives that empower citizens to drive forward local development. Our vision is a simple one: a future in which every child in rural Haiti can realize their potential and follow their dreams. This is what drives our work—the need to provide equal opportunities for children who might otherwise be left behind.

You can see the full report here.  

Global Energy Award

We are thrilled to announce that we have won the 2018 Energy Globe National Award for our work in Haiti. Our programs on recycling, tree planting and community gardens were submitted as the project titled "A Clean Field ". 

We were chosen out of 2000 submissions from over 180 countries. High-profile experts from the Energy Globe evaluation committee evaluated the submissions and selected the national winners. Our submission was chosen as the best project in Haiti and we were honored with the National Energy Globe Award Haiti. 

The winners including were presented on June 5th celebrating the World Environment Day. According to Energy Globe "Our main objective in cooperation with UNEP, is to point out that there are a lot of creative people on our world, including GOALS Haiti, who have implemented great projects with solutions to many problems." You can learn more here

Our submission is automatically evaluated on the international level too and we will be contacted later this year in case we are nominated for the Energy Globe World Award.

Young Leaders Program

Meet members of our Team Captains program that we just relaunched as our Captain and Youth Leadership Program.  The candidates were from a group of team leaders recommended by their teammates. Our coaches then chose the finalists based on their track records. 31 candidates went through an interview process with our Country Director James Louis-Charles and with our Program Coordinator Emilio Jean Paul.

The interview consisted of questions asking them to describe GOALS, the qualities of a leader, and questions on integrity.  A point system was used based on their answers and the ones with the highest points moved on to the final round of the selection process.  The final determining factor was their presence percentage in GOALS related programs.

A total of 20 participants were chosen from all 3 of our sites to participate in the program. These young leaders will assist in the Coaches Across Continent (CAC) program that uses soccer related games to discuss important issues in our communities. The curriculum deals with conflict resolution, gender equality and health risk awareness.  Our Program Coordinator, Emilio, who oversees the CAC program, will also manage the Captain and Young Leaders program. He will assess their performance by letting them take charge of the discussion process that usually follows the CAC games.  The leaders of the older teams will take down notes so that the CAC games serve as their apprenticeship. 

After spending a year into the Captain and Youth Leadership program, the older kids will be certified by GOALS as young leaders in their communities.  We will then invite them to take part in our outreach program in the summer of 2019 where they will be able to showcase their new skills as leaders to other communities.  We are giving our kids the tools they need to be empowered. We are excited for them to play an active role in deciding their own future and the future of their communities.

Annual Report

We are pleased to share our annual report with you.

When Kona Shen launched GOALS Haiti in 2010, she created a set of core values that continue to guide our work to this day. One of those—EMPOWERMENT & EQUALITY—remains a crucial and vital component. GOALS Haiti promotes equity and gender equality through education, sports curriculum and our community-led initiatives that empower citizens to drive forward local development. Our vision is a simple one: a future in which every child in rural Haiti can realize their potential and follow their dreams. This is what drives our work—the need to provide equal opportunities for children who might otherwise be left behind.

You can see the full report here.  

Fanm Se Poto Mitan

There is a saying in Haitian Creole that "fanm se poto mitan, meaning that women are the pillars of society. They run the household and on a daily basis, provide a way to support their families' needs despite severe odds.

As a way to gauge interest and need in our communities around work and vocational opportunities our Executive Director Kathy McAllister and our Board Chair Toby Simon met with a group of women and then a group of men for a series of focus groups. We wanted to know what current opportunities exist for community members to earn a living in our founding site of Destra. We also asked about if they had the opportunity what type of training would they be interested in. Destra is a remote fishing village so much of our discussions centered around fishing. 

The groups were led by local staff while Kathy and Toby observed, took notes and occasionally asked for further clarification. There were many opinions and a few surprises which is what we were looking for. It is so crucial for us to stay in touch with our communities needs and desires. They know best what can be successful in their area and we can help foster their plans to come to fruition. 

Here is some of what we heard in response to the questions what opportunities exist for work in the area and gender role perceptions. 

The women agreed that they would like more effort and activity for commerce like a small boutique or store. They do think that women can do the same work as men. There is more development and more opportunity for women to work than in the past. But with rising inflation things are harder. One comment we heard was "before you could make money by investing 200gd now you cannot."  When asked how people in the village would react if they did a non traditional job we got this response, "people do not live for other people so other people cannot prevent other people from doing what they want." And I loved hearing one young woman say "With a goal you can reach farther." 

The men consisted of 90% fisherman. They admitted that they would welcome other opportunities to learn a trade such as plumbing, carpentry and auto mechanic. Women take an active role in selling the fish caught at the market. If they had a freezer than they could make more money because they could sell anytime. Other ideas that they had for women to make money were setting up food stalls to sell to people who would come to the village to buy fish. 

The consensus was that women would like more opportunities to invest in commerce and start small businesses. Although some currently sell the fish their husbands catch, they are also interested in learning how to fish. They thought that the men in the village would not be supportive of their wish to learn to fish but that was not what we heard from the men, who said they would be proud for them to learn. There were mutual concerns over the safety of women fishing as it can be difficult and dangerous work. 

As an organization we will take what we have learned and use it to shape our next round of program design.  The includes addressing our alumni population and how they can increase their earning potential. 

Literacy Class in Session

Meet the new class of our Beyond Sport for education award winning literacy program in the community of Destra.  Our six months “Leveling the Playing Field” literacy program is meant to provide the members of our communities with the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy. This removes barriers to further education and ultimately improves their future. 

Destra was our very first GOALS Haiti site. It is a remote community that can easily be overlooked due to its location.  It is situated about 40 minutes’ drive outside of Léogâne through sugar plantations on a long dirt and rocky road. This small coastal village of approximately 700 people is without running water and electricity. There is no traditional school and the remoteness makes it difficult for the kids to attend schools elsewhere. In fact, many of the schools are about an hour’s walk from Destra.

32 kids enrolled in our newest literacy class program which started March 5th. Our program is divided into two groups. 20 younger kids form one group and 12 form the older kids group. This alleviates the embarrassment, that some kids shared with us, at having to be in class with their younger sibling.   

The classes are held at the centrally-located Destra community center that was built in our partnership with the Building Goodness Foundation. The opportunity to learn in their own community is a huge step in the right direction.

For the kids in our literacy program, it brings a sense of normalcy to them to be able to attend class. When asked, many kids in this year’s literacy program would like to be teachers.  We hope this program will put them on a path to achieve their dreams.