GOALS began with a dream that children living in poverty in Haiti would grow up healthy and strong, with new opportunities to play, and plenty of reasons to hope for a better future. It's a dream that the love of soccer can be used to create a better life - not just for a week or a month or even a year - the dream has always been about transforming entire communities for generations.
In 2013, after a series of public forums and meetings with community leaders, we announced our biggest dream yet: a safe, public and dignified space to house all of GOALS' programs in the village of Destra. A place for learning and the exchanging of ideas; a place to receive visiting medical staff; a place for commerce; a place for local elections and public debates; a place that will withstand earthquakes, hurricanes and storm surges to last generations; a place built with local labor to increase future employability for unskilled youth just as much as to create jobs.
In partnership with our friends at Building Goodness Foundation who shared our vision, and with the support of our friends and supporters around the world, and with land donated by the community itself, we broke ground on the new GOALS center in late 2015. The project has had an even bigger impact than we had hoped for, creating an increase in economic activity in the village, leading new vendors to create new micro-enterprise businesses, and leading to full-time jobs for two of the previously unskilled GOALS youth who worked alongside Building Goodness Foundation teams to learn about construction.
We couldn't possibly be prouder of the new GOALS center. Check out the photos below (click for a larger version) to share in our excitement and be sure to check out the video of the party we held to celebrate!
Welcome to the new GOALS center
in the village of Destra!
GOALS staff often receive thanks and praise from parents, students and community members who are grateful for our accomplishments. But that gratitude is not ours alone to keep: it belongs to everyone who helped to make this project happen.
So, on behalf of all of GOALS' children and their families, our local coaches, the entire community of Destra, and future generations, I hope you'll take a couple minutes to share in that gratitude as a GOALS donor and supporter, by watching this video, to see just a bit of the joy that you helped to create, and allow us to say, simply, thank you.