February was a busy month for GOALS, to say the least. Our mid-month update covered our progress in the first two weeks: news coverage, great additions to our crew of interns, a public health seminar, and a generous donation of brand-new equipment. Even better, our participants continue to grow as young leaders on and off the field.
So what exactly do 5-Star, Full Technique and the Kona Athletique Club have in common? These are some of the creative names that our youth teams have come up with for themselves in competitions in the last month. In February, we pushed to improve our soccer training program and our teams played in more matches than ever before as we organized games and our first local tournament.
Meanwhile, we are making sure all kids get a chance to play. Last week, our youth girls and boys teams went head to head, with the girls making their competitive debut. This week, the Dream Team organized short matches for our youngest participants – starting at age 7 – to make sure they also had the opportunity to play competitively. There was nothing better than seeing these youngest groups gleefully playing their hearts out to understand that love of the game is at the root of all our ongoing initiatives to improve quality of life in rural Haiti.
Having fun doesn’t exclude making serious progress, as any athlete can tell you. While our participants are growing as players, we are committed to supporting their educations and their futures. Through The School Fund, we have added three more students from our Dream Team youth group who are now receiving high school scholarships. These students are remarkable leaders, and we believe that supporting their education is one of the best ways to thank them for their volunteer service for their community. This month alone, they created a new community space out of recycled materials, helped lead a public health seminar, and assisted Senior Program Manager Nadège in planting a big new demonstration vegetable garden.
GOALS’ successes this month are thanks to the commitment of the local community in Destra and to the help of our supporters around the world. To date, we have built over 140 storm shelters donated by Samaritan’s Purse in our program area entirely with a local volunteer build crew. While Destra residents are busy making change in their community, your ongoing support of GOALS is helping to improve the quality of life in this part of rural Haiti on a daily basis. At Brown University (brown.edu) in Rhode Island, an engineering class is working with GOALS to address water and energy problems in Destra, and the student-led Sustainability Consulting Partnership has joined with Heather Turney, intern extraordinaire, to create a dynamic new environmental curriculum.
We’re thrilled that GOALS is getting more global every day! Thank you to our newest supporters in Haiti, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Britain, Brazil and the United States. Léogane colleague Ben Wiselogle and GOALS board member Kenneth Sommers are our most recent donors, and on behalf of all the kids and families here in Destra, thank you for your outstanding support of GOALS’ work in Haiti.
Want to stay updated on GOALS’ progress throughout the month, plus see our newest photos? Join us on facebook for our highlights every week. Thank you!