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.”