Journey with GOALS

James Kendy talking with kids in Destra

An incredible journey with GOALS Haiti

As a student in Haiti looking for an internship opportunity, I was attracted by what I saw with GOALS. , I had an amazing journey with GOALS. This program brings hope and the kids and young people that are a part of it have been able to develop their potential and show significant progress. Because of GOALS’ action, I see that these young people in Destra, Carrefour Croix and Baussan will become the leaders in their respective communities and will lead bright futures.

My name is James Kendy and I am an undergraduate student from in Geography at the State University and I started my internship with GOALS three months ago. I have learnt a lot and at the same time I tried to give back what I received during my studies to young people participating in the program. After designing my Plan with the local Director, I started my journey. My main task consisted in working with the kids on education about good hygiene and child protection. I had the chance to work with 360 kids from 3 rural communities.  

Through my observations, I saw that hygiene promotion was really needed. We discussed and shared the following topics which they in turn then shared with their peers and families:

•        Body and dress hygiene: how to take care of every part of your body and clothing

•        Handwashing: illnesses transmitted by hand and the importance and how to

•        Food hygiene: how to eat, what foods are good for the body and what we should take or avoid

•        Water: how water can cause disease, the importance of clean water, and the methods used to treat the water

•        Sanitation: how to handle waste, how to manage wastewater and how to manage bathroom in remote areas without causing health problems, etc.

During the sessions, I ensured that all the kids can speak up and participate. At the beginning of each session, we made a recap of last topics discussed and at the end we had a contest Question-Answer with the winners receiving soap and toothbrushes for their efforts made. We held the classes in an informal setting that made everyone comfortable to ask questions. These friendly ways to discuss hygiene gave me the opportunity to highlight how important it is to share with their friends and families. Accordingly, many of them, day by day, became less shy and could talk openly about what they know related to hygiene. It means a lot to me that I was able to contribute to some learnings when I consider how people in these communities are less aware of these facts. This experience was awesome, and I hope that these sessions will be kept and will impact their lives in a positive manner.  

In the end, I consider this experience was very impactful where I learned a lot from the whole staff. Emilio has an enthusiastic way to work with kids and young people, Francesca possesses a very great way to learn from others and she does it very quickly. Jean Kendy is supportive in many ways, especially when I had to do something linked to the Operations. Carl-Henry, as the Local Director is a mentor, happy to accompany and advise the youngest; and his charisma in the way he supported and coached me has inspired me a lot, and it will be for sure a positive influence for my career in the future. It was an amazing experience that I would be happy to renew in the future because of the love of working with children, and the possibility to have a positive imprint in their lives makes me feel very happy.