GOALS goes to Brazil!

Special announcement! GOALS manager Jean Kendy has been selected to represent Haiti at the Sony/streetfootballworld Future Goals Youth Leaders Forum to take place amongst the excitement of the World Cup in Brazil next week! Jean Kendy's success at overcoming his own personal challenges and his dedication to bettering Haiti earned him a coveted spot at the Forum where he will join with youth leaders from 22 different countries convening to share how they use football to create change around the world. We're already incredibly proud of each member of our local team who serve as role models and leaders in their communities. Having international players such as streetfotballworld and Sony formally acknowledge excellence in our staff just confirms what we already know!

After the devastating earthquake of 2010, Jean Kendy volunteered for several different disaster response organizations, serving as a translator, language instructor, and helping out with whatever needed to be done, all while strengthening his own English and taking the opportunity to develop a variety of job skills that he'd later put to use at GOALS.

Here's an excerpt from Jean Kendy's award-winning application to participate in the Youth Leader Forum:

"I have a lot of experience in my life. I grew up with my grandmother without having mother and father: both passed away. So I had an objective to reach: I wanted to go to school so I could help my country in the future. I wanted to help the youth in my community in order to make them be their own actors of the development of their country. Now I can say my dream came true." 

When asked about how football can be used to create change, Jean Kendy replied that gender equality is one way football can have an impact both locally and globally:

"Gender equality is a big problem in poor countries... Many things are difficult to change because they are cultural habits that take time to evolve. We could achieve a lot but we need to educate people to change their mind and spirits through the generations. I would like to see the next generation have a better comprehension of gender equality. In fact, boys and girls should know better what are their role and responsibilities, and how they can work together to improve the present. For example, washing dishes or taking care of our health is for everyone, girls AND boys.

Football is a bridge that we can use to unite girls and boys, rich and poor people together. In my country, everyone plays or loves soccer...in soccer there is no difference between girls and boys so everyone can play!"

Along with gender equality, Jean Kendy hopes to come back with new ideas about using football to increase food security and decrease hunger as well as gain insight into how young people around the world are using football to change the world. GOALS is incredibly proud of Jean Kendy!

Be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more updates and photos from our sport-for-development programs on the soccer fields of Leogane, Haiti.