GOALS staff partnering with and learning from the best in the field

This post is written by GOALS Program Manager, Jean Kendy Estimphil about his experience at the streetfootballworld Youth Leader forum:

First I would like to thank all GOALS and streetfootballworld staff and supporters, in Haiti and abroad for their hard work which helped me get a visa to go to Brazil. That was tough but worth it, and I was proud to represent GOALS during the streetfootballworld international forum!
I traveled on a Wednesday, and arrived in Brazil on Thursday in the morning, as almost everybody else that was invited to the forum. We spent that first day to meet and get to know each other.
In the morning, all the participants met together and each of us made a short presentation of ourselves and our work using soccer for social development. Then we were divided up by groups to work separately on issues important to us. In my group, we talked about gender equality. Each member of the group gave details about how this issue exists within their communities, explained how they are trying to fight for equality between men and women and how they resolve conflicts based on it, and how they use sport to address these problems.
The next day, we had a workshop based on leadership. After we finished working on this, we all played  different sports: soccer, tennis and volleyball. Then, we attended a community soccer match and then watched the Brazil match all together.
We kept working in groups, but this time about change and group challenges. As we (my team) were working on gender equality, we agreed that soccer can eliminate inequality existing between boys and girls. The interesting part of the work was when we discussed the power of soccer and explained how this can happen. At GOALS, for example, we have boys and girls playing together in training and in matches, and the boys support the girls by cheering for them, and volunteering to be a referee at their matches. We play some games to show that boys and girls are equal both in football and in life.
On the morning of the last day, we went to the beach and met Football For Hope, which is a GOALS sponsor and a part of FIFA. In the afternoon, each group had to present their results and conclusions of the two days of workshops. 
For the last night, we had a big party with music at a restaurant. It was nice to spend the last hours with all the participants of the forum and we talked about social issues in our home countries.
Streetfootballworld asked every group to keep talking and to address the subjects we worked on during the Forum when we come back to our countries. The point is to deliver all messages we learnt during those days and share them with our organizations. Now back to GOALS and Haiti, I am supposed to, as the other members of my group, to keep working on gender equality.
The experience in Brasil with Street Football World was a great time. Not only because that was my first time abroad or because it was during the World Cup 2014, but also because I got to meet and know young leaders from different countries.
Many thanks again for your support!
Jean Kendy Estimphil
GOALS Program Manager

Note: Jean Kendy was selected to participate in the Youth Leader Forum based upon his proven dedication to improving his own life and that of his community and his country to create a better future. Learn more about Jean Kendy