GOALS Loves Jolinda! Ode to a #1 Volunteer

Dynamic duo! Jolinda and Emilio doing evaluations at Destra

An important landmark for GOALS passed quietly a couple of weeks ago. Jolinda, who is a full-time in-country volunteer, celebrated her one year “GOALS-iversary.” Jolinda has been a one-of-a-kind addition to our team in Leogane and has made an enormous impact over the past year. She leads on-the-ground activities in Haiti in addition to public outreach efforts, and in a recent staff “visioning session” led by PwC consultants from the UK, she was often cited as one of GOALS’ key assets.

Jolinda is a powerhouse. In the past 6 weeks alone she has:

  • Organized a mobile clinic with United Nations doctors to provide care for over 100 people in Destra
  • Created evaluations to measure literacy, progress in English class, and how GOALS has affected players’ self-confidence and well-being

In addition, Jolinda has coordinated volunteer projects, taught her regular English classes, and is now working closely with Klinik Kominotè to organize a special health clinic for adolescent girls on March 7!

Visiting the Citadelle in Cap Haitien!

Highlight's from Jolinda's first year with GOALS! The real timeline is much longer, but here are some of my favorites:

  • January: Jolinda joins GOALS and promptly makes an impact on the ground as Chatuley’s primary English teacher, GOALS’ designated PR guru, and a much-needed extra pair of hands. In addition to all her special projects and responsibilities, she has continued to work closely with Chatuley’s coaches and players, leading English classes there twice weekly.
  • April: Jolinda helps mastermind and coordinate GOALS’ second-annual Vin Jwe – Come Play! tournament in Cité Soleil, taking on the particularly challenging task of making sure all 300+ participants get fed. Her PR efforts for the event result in a wave of new attention from the general public and in online magazines.
  • July: GOALS is awarded Beyond Sport’s Best New Project Award in London, a grant that Jolinda developed, wrote, and submitted. Jolinda represents GOALS in London and accepts the award on behalf of our team in Haiti, which leads to invaluable partnerships with Coaches Across Continents and PwC.
  • August: After GOALS’ communities are battered by Hurricane Isaac, Jolinda serves as a key leader in Leogane, rolling up her sleeves to help clean up family homes in Bossan.
  • October: For our third annual Global Hand Washing Day tournament, Jolinda forms a new partnership with the local United Nations mission (Sri Lankan battalion) to promote hygiene and public health through soccer. Later that month, Sri Bat and GOALS team up again as first responders to assist badly flooded communities affected by Hurricane Sandy

In short, GOALS loves Jolinda! She truly is incredible and has elevated our programs in Léogane to a higher level. She has helped magnify our impact, empower our staff, and increase the difference we can make in kids’ lives. On behalf of our staff, our kids, and Team GOALS – mèsi pou gran sevis ou, Jolinda!