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.