Celebrating Jolinda

Leadership transitions are always tough for young organizations—and especially so when the outgoing leaders are as strong, caring, and irreplaceable as Jolinda Hackett. Jolinda joined GOALS back in January 2012, and two years later, she became our second-ever Executive Director. Three years later, Jolinda's term as Executive Director has ended, and we owe her an enormous thank you for her hard work. As I wrote in 2012:

"Jolinda has been making a difference on the ground in Haiti for over three years now. Since joining GOALS in January 2012, she has proven to be an exceptional asset. She is fluent in Haitian Creole, extraordinarily impactful, and takes on oversized challenges with a smile. Not only has she weathered hurricanes with us (two, in fact!), but she worked alongside our coaches and players to lead clean-up efforts afterwards as well. As a program manager and then Country Director, Jolinda has been responsible for many of our proudest moments, including winning the Beyond Sport award in London, partnering with Coaches Across Continents ... and the Klinik Lasante for health services, and sending some of our most talented girls to the national youth football training academy."

I have heard time and time again from partners, donors, and volunteers about Jolinda's extraordinary abilities leading GOALS' programs in Haiti. I have personally appreciated our adventures hiking up and down Haiti's beautiful mountains and trekking around the country in pursuit of Kanaval, R&R, and Barbancourt. If you visit our programs, you'll hear one thing from our kids over and over again: "kòt Jolinda? Where's Jolinda?"

Kona and Jolinda

We benefited from having Jolinda as our organization's leader for far longer than we had hoped to expect back in 2012. As Executive Director, her accomplishments are impossible to summarize in just one blog post, but the highlights include:

  • The construction of GOALS' very own community center in Destra, which recently weathered Hurricane Matthew 
  • Winning our second-ever international Beyond Sport Award for a truly incredibly youth literacy program 
  • Helping our first-ever Jovan Julien Dream Team Scholarship students graduate from high school!

There are many more accomplishments that we could share. In addition, Jolinda has helped increase GOALS' capacity internally, which is less glamorous, but just as critical to our organization as we near our seventh year. This work would be difficult anywhere, and Jolinda has led GOALS under extremely difficult conditions in rural Haiti. Under Jolinda's leadership, GOALS weathered multiple hurricanes, grieved the losses of players who have passed away, and kept things running smoothly amidst tumultuous political upheavals in Haiti.

It is impossible to share what Jolinda has meant to GOALS over the past five years. From our youngest players—whom Jolinda called our "ti pwason," or "little fishes"—to our founding Board members, we thank Jolinda for her hard work and her big heart. GOALS, along with all of our far-flung members of "Team GOALS," is better as a result.

Thank you,
Founder & Board Chair

PS - We are excited to introduce our newest Director who is helping GOALS with this transition, and beyond - more news coming soon!


Soccer x Health = an Amazing Month at GOALS!

Kids and families participated in a community-wide clean up to prepare for the tournament

June was a happening month for GOALS! First, we kicked things off with a signature Hand Washing Tournament in the Leogane community of Belloc. Just like at our annual October event for Global Hand Washing Day, the tournament combined health, hygiene and soccer to create fun ways to learn and play. This tournament was generously sponsored by the Latter Glory Church from Paterson, NJ. For pictures of the three-day co-ed tournament, check out our album!

Destra clinic

Next, our team hit the ground running for another mobile clinic in our most rural daily site, Destra. Destra is a fishing village without electricity, running water, paved roads, schools, or clinics. Access to healthcare is extremely low, and we are lucky to have an incredible partnership with the Klinik Lasante Leogane, funded by the Delaney Bay Fund, that allows us to address this community's needs through mobile health clinics, training seminars, supplies, and more. Thanks to the volunteer medical team staffed by InterVol, the clinic treated 157 people! To see more photos of our mobile health clinic at Destra, check out our album.

Nadege's son, "Tonton," agrees - it was a great month!

Last, but not least, InterVol and the Klinik Lasante Leogane created a first-ever three-day first aid training for our staff members and team captains. This unique opportunity was an invaluable investment in our team to increase their impact as community leaders to help even more kids in need.

Stay in touch all summer long!

As always, we love hearing from you! Check out our Facebook page and Twitter feed for fresh updates, new photos, and fun videos on a daily basis.

Thank you for your support!

GOALS is now on Catchafire!

GOALS Haiti is now partnered with Catchafire! Catchafire's mission is to provide talented individuals with meaningful pro bono experiences in order to build capacity for social good organizations. 

Learn how to get involved

GOALS' first Catchafire partnership was a Bookkeeping Project. This project is now closed - a huge thank you to James for volunteering and making this partnership possible!

Our second opportunity is a Salesforce Database Customization project. To learn more, please check out the project details here.

Words to Live By: GOALS' New Staff Credo

Here at GOALS, we like to say that we are not a traditional aid agency. We don't believe in top-down charity, but we do believe that all of our programs should be driven forward by community engagement, strong local leaders, and players' enthusiasm. 

Last month, our Board of Directors met in Leogane to visit our sites, discuss activities, and review our progress to date. One of the results of this meeting was a new Staff Handbook developed by our talented in-country team. The Handbook is an important new resource for our site coordinators to be the strongest leaders they can be, and for the first time, we formalized our Staff Credo, the beliefs that we believe each of our incredible leaders should embody. 

We wanted to share our Credo here with the wider network of Team GOALS, and as always, we hope you'll  stay in touch with us by visiting our Facebook page for photos and news, following us on Twitter @goalshaiti, and dropping us a line at contact@goalshaiti.org!

Our Board visits Destra

The GOALS Staff Credo

  1. I am passionate about GOALS’ mission to engage youth in football to improve their quality of life and develop their leadership.
  2. I believe in the “GOALS Principle”: we don’t do handouts, we do exchanges based on merit to create a new, different kind of development that is powered by community engagement, unity, and hard work.
  3. I am a role model for kids, parents, and community members and I will represent GOALS and be the strongest leader I can be every day.
  4. I develop myself as a community leader, set goals for myself and my community, and work hard to meet these goals.
  5. I communicate truthfully and transparently, and I always act with integrity.
  6. I protect, help and empower girls and boys equally.
  7. I am always on time, responsible, and professional.
  8. I am creative and effective, and make the most of whatever resources or materials are available to me.
  9. If there is a problem, I know even if it is not my fault, it may be my responsibility.
  10. I go above and beyond to excel at my job and be the best I can be. I will always try to strengthen myself, my community, and GOALS so that we can do better!

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!