Wishing all of you a Happy New Year! January 1st in Haiti is also their Independence Day. This year marks the 214th anniversary of Haiti’s independence from France when she became the first black republic.
The picture above is of a statue located in the capital city of Port- Au- Prince and is called “Neg Mawon”. It commemorates the landmark slave revolt that took place in 1804 when Haiti broke free from the French. It remains an icon of Haiti.
The sculpture is a powerful piece – the left leg extended with a broken shackle at the ankle denoting the hard-fought freedom, a machete in the right hand showing the strength to fight, and the conch shell at the lips harkening to the calling of the masses.
This statue stands strong and unbreakable. As we celebrate the new year we also celebrate the strength and beauty of the Haitian people.
We look forward to the new year and look to carry the momentum of a great 2017 into our efforts for 2018. Thank you to all who gave to our matching campaign! We reached our goal and raised 24K which will sponsor one whole team for the year. We still have teams that need sponsorship. You can join us in supporting them by checking out our ways to help.
Our 12 teams will be getting daily soccer practice, playing in tournaments, pursuing education opportunities and giving back to their communities through volunteer service projects. We will be partnering with Coaches Across Continents and The Third Half this year.
Our award winning literacy program will be brought to two new communities and our tree nursery will continue to not only produce much needed vegetation but also teach out kids the importance for caring for our environment.
Our Impact Director Kathy McAllister has been promoted to serve as our Executive Director. Kathy along with Country Director James Louis-Charles will work with our Board as our leadership team guiding GOALS. Also playing a critical role will be our community members that have shaped our programs from our inception. It is the Haitian people that know best what their communities need and the road to get there. We are facilitators along that path.
If interested here is a great article op-ed from Haiti’s U.S. ambassador which appeared recently in the New York Times. It emphasizes the importance for treating our Haitian neighbors with dignity and respect.