Soccer

Play Proud

As part of our vision we strive to provide a safe space for all to thrive and inclusion is an important piece of that. Recently Jean Kendy our Operations Manager attended a workshop organized by Street football World in Collaboration with Laureus, Sport for Good and the Sacred Sports Foundation. Here is his post on his trip:

During the training in St Lucia, I had the chance to gain new knowledge about human rights, inclusion and gender equality. Present at the workshop were a multitude of NGOs that use soccer for development as a tool for people in order they can create a better life.

Streetfootballworld in North America and the Caribbean introduced “Play Proud” which is a project designed to implement an innovative inclusive gender sensitive program. This project has created a model approach of inclusion and gender justice, encompassing the development of safe spaces and critical implementation tools encouraging greater diversity in the North America and the Caribbean (NOCA) regions and eventually worldwide. The “Play Proud” project represents a great opportunity to put human rights and gender equality at the heart of what we do as key organizations working with adolescents and youth.

All the participants highlighted some key ideas on how people understand gender in their country of origin or where they are working, the stereotypes and barriers they are facing and the strategies they are using to communicate to children and youth about these issues. Behaviors and attitudes in patriarchal societies, stereotypes and misunderstanding of personal choices influence the social perceptions and representations of each other. It is now clear for me that regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, everyone deserves respect and has to be considered with values and dignity.

This workshop is very relevant to us and helped me to understand better the concepts of human rights and gender sensitivity, and overall, allowed me to create new networking with the other agencies using sports for development approach as we are doing at GOALS Haiti. It is essential that we mention that we take seriously gender equality within our programs into which boys and girls participate equally with zero tolerance against harm and discrimination based on their sex and gender.

I am now feeling more open about talking on these topics and will be able to deliver key messages related to them to ensure that our participants can see the importance of human rights, inclusion and gender equality. I will use our Sexual Education Classes to work with children and adolescents participating in our program and will extend this to the parents via community meetings. At GOALS, we are always promoting “no one left behind” and because of the skills I have acquired from this workshop, I will be able to help GOALS achieve this objective. We will be more effective by taking into consideration the most vulnerable people within our communities.   

Community Garden

Little things can emerge from shared ideas and the community gardens in Destra, Carrefour-Croix and Bossan are proof of that. Caring for the environment and learning the importance of gardening has always been a priority of GOALS. Yet behind these miniature gardens are inspiring stories that feed us literally and figuratively.

Peppers, eggplant, okra, tomatoes and other vegetables maturing in parcels of land granted by community members, grow in an organized manner. It is a combined effort by kids in our programs and their coaches who manage them. This know-how was taught to them by a local agronomist who works with us. The gardens serve multiple purposes which includes providing a more balanced diet which promotes better health, the possibility to sell produce, and finally to inspire community members to raise in them the entrepreneurial spirit.

One of our coaches, Jersen, got so inspired by the kids’ garden that he took it upon himself to plant his own. At a recent visit to his home, he declared: "My sister drew my attention on the fact that the price of peppers is constantly increasing and thanks to the knowledge I acquired through the community garden program I know that I can work with the soil fertile to plant and keep it fertile .” Jersen visits his garden daily, taking great care of it, watering it with water from a well located near the space. "This garden idea has inspired me and today I am conducting other activities to fulfill a dream of becoming an entrepreneur that others can follow.

He explained the innovative methods he will continue to use through the use of compost and the insertion of water containers (ti gallon in Haitian Creole) in the ground to fertilize a part which he judges is too exposed to the sun and makes it difficult to germinate part of the seedlings. This promising garden is the result of an investment of an estimated $50 USD. He is encouraged by the progress made and that in a short time his business will grow. He hopes that this initiative will inspire other coaches to undertake similar activities to create a source of food and possible revenue.

We recently had a visitor to our sites and Daniel Fleury, a Haitian-American, himself, was amazed and fell in love with one of our gardens discovered at Carrefour-Croix. After talking with the kids and the coaches, giving them advice based on his coaching experience in Boston, he toured our programs. "It was great to see with my own eyes what I observed in your site. It's amazing what you're doing.” He handed over a bundle of seedlings to our Program Manager to encourage them. A big thank you to Daniel for his visit and generosity.

We love seeing the gardens grow and see them inspire the communities we serve.

Annual Report

We achieve more by coming together and the Haitian saying “Ansanm Nou Rive Pi Lwen” – “Together We Reach Further” is a message that we live by. Check out our new annual report -http://bit.ly/2OCKwkt 

Dear Team GOALS,

As I looked out at our community, with their joyful celebration during our recent 8-year anniversary, it was with a sense of pride and accomplishment for the progress we have made together.

Our work is community driven and motivated by the needs of each community. Soccer is the spark that brings our kids to the field to learn, play and grow. Each child is a force yearning for change and opportunity. They look for ways that they can engage and contribute to the wellbeing of their families and communities. Our programs provide that outlet.

We are fortunate to have a dedicated staff of program managers, coaches and teachers that all contribute to the education and mentorship of our participants.

Our Board of Directors gives of their time and resources to ensure that we are making an impact and being accountable stewards of the organization. We always keep our vision in mind and use it as a compass as we forge ahead.

It is our caring community of donors who our work’s momentum going. That support goes a long way in rural Haiti. It is making a difference in lives daily and ultimately driving generational change.

I have been working in Haiti for over 16 years, ever since I went there as a Peace Corps volunteer and I have worked with many organizations over the years. I can say for certain that Team GOALS is special. It is with honor that I continue the vision of our founder and lead our path forward.

Kathy McAllister

Executive Director



Literacy Class 2.0

The new class for level 1 literacy in Destra

We are pleased to announce the start of our new season of literacy classes in Destra, bringing important literary skills to 53 kids who otherwise would be left behind.

This year we are continuing with our level 1 literacy class which welcomed 23 new students coming to school for the first time. Plus, thanks to a generous grant from the Common Goal initiative we have added a level 2 course for 30 graduates from our level 1 program. An important step for these kids to continue their education.

GOALS staff distributed books and school materials to the boys and girls who now can learn to read, write and count without the stigma of having never attended school.

Education is key and we are proud of our supporters who have taken the initiative to support our children to have access to it.

In Destra, a marginalized area outside the town of Leogane, schools do not exist. The illiteracy rate is high, and we are working to change that. Our Beyond Sport award winning Leveling the Playing Field Literacy program takes into consideration children who are cut off from attending traditional schools.  With a focus on directed learning that is taught in their native language (Haitian Creole), it's our hope to enhance their knowledge and help them feel proud of the new skills they are acquiring.

The new class was welcomed by Jean Kendy, our Operations Director and Carl-Henry, our new Program Director. Each shared some thoughts about these classes, encouraging them to engage fully in the process. Carl-Henry spoke of the need for children and adolescents to have dreams and he highlighted that the way to success starts with education. Through education they can realize their potential.

The class includes two girls with disabilities integrated in our programs. Inclusion is an important part of our work and we want to ensure that we do not have anyone left behind.

Through these angelic faces and charming smiles, we see hope and a bright future where each child can learn and achieve.  Learning is the foundation for them to go after their dreams and create a stronger healthier community.  This in turn will alleviate the cycle of generational poverty. It is what we are working for by implementing programs in these rural areas.  Ketia, a 17-year-old girl summed it up  well: “With this program I will have the chance to learn. Without it I would be involved in other activities, and possibly negative things instead of learning. Now I can fill my time by doing good for myself.” 


Welcome Carl Henry!

We are excited to share the news that Carl Henry Petit-Frere has joined Team GOALS as our new Program Director. Carl Henry will be managing our programs, working with local staff on the day to day operations plus focus on monitoring and evaluation. He brings a lot of valuable experience and we are thrilled to be working together.

Carl-Henry is a Haitian citizen who has worked for more than 13 years in community development and humanitarian work. Most recently with Plan International Haiti where he spent 7 years as a Child Rights/Protection and Gender equality Advisor. He has significant experience in grants, strategies, advocacy, program management plus procedures and policies. He is a professional who has worked for other international agencies such as Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, Oxfam Qébec and HelpAge International. Human rights are a focus of his work with an emphasis on children, youth and women.

He has extensive experience working with vulnerable communities to be mobilized for impact change. In that work he has collaborated with key stakeholders and state directorates in Haiti and in international human rights platforms to facilitate advocacy work. He defines himself as a feminist activist who believes in women's leadership and the empowerment of girls and women as a key component in the development of societies and the establishment of social justice.

Carl-Henry has consulted organizations in their procedures and process with USAID-led projects and initiatives, Keeping Children Safe, CAD Haiti and the Canada Revenue Agency. As a trainer of trainers, he had the opportunity to travel to West Africa where he supported his colleagues through a training on gender issues and participatory approaches. A focus of his has been in establishing internal procedures and policies for the protection of children.

Adequate Care

After many months of talking and planning a medical team from International Medical Response (IMR) travelled to the Destra community in mis January for a training seminar for local healthcare agents, followed by a two-day free medical clinic.  The IMR team was comprised of physicians, nurses and EMS techs, with this venture representing the inauguration of what will likely be an on-going collaboration between GOALS and IMR.  Check out images from the trip here.

This initial trip was highly successful. Twelve trainees were tapped from the local community (many GOALS alumni) to engage in a day-long training seminar where basic medical principals were shared. They then assisted with patient care in the following days during the clinic.  Nearly two hundred patients were seen, ranging from eight days old to 97 years, many of whom had rarely seen a physician prior.  IMR also identified one of the trainees to serve as the local healthcare agent in Destra for follow up care, with remote support from IMR until the planned return in July 2019.   

In addition to the large number of patients who were cared for at the clinic that were diagnosed and treated for a range of maladies from small infections to high blood pressure. There was a huge save for a 7-month pregnant mother who was identified as being at high risk and immediately was transported to the hospital. Her and her baby were saved due to emergency surgery. Without that diagnosis they both would have lost their lives.

Remote rural communities in Haiti are especially vulnerable as lacking infrastructure and economies keep people isolated without access to care. We are working to improve that.  

As IMR and GOALS continue to work in partnership, we hope to establish an ongoing presence in the rural community of Destra.  IMR's primary goals are to build a network of local healthcare agents on the ground to address the concerns of the community, and to create a triage system by which we can direct patients to the appropriate care they require. 

This would not be possible without the support IMR has received from GOALS; they have been instrumental in providing the guidance required to addressing community needs directly.  We look forward to building on this trip and creating a reliable service to the people of Destra. 

 Jonathan Kaplan MD

Joshua Schiller MD

 

With Love

“Many of the things we do in life are because we have to. Go to school. Do our homework. Take the garbage out. Clean our rooms, etc.  

This year I will try to do a better job at doing the things I want to do as well. Create a better bond with friends. Make the high school soccer team. Visit with some of the children within GOALS Haiti. 

Sometimes I wonder what these kids want in their lives. Not necessarily material things like phones and fancy clothes, but do we share common interests like to be better soccer players or to compete on the field and win, or simply talk about who is better... Messi or Ronaldo? 

I hope to visit Haiti soon, across the ocean and see what they dream for. What they have to do. What they want to do. With my visit, I hope to donate many more items to kids that could really use them.  With love, LilyMany of the things we do in life are because we have to. Go to school. Do our homework. Take the garbage out. Clean our rooms, etc.  

This year I will try to do a better job at doing the things I want to do as well. Create a better bond with friends. Make the high school soccer team. Visit with some of the children within GOALS Haiti. 

Sometimes I wonder what these kids want in their lives. Not necessarily material things like phones and fancy clothes, but do we share common interests like to be better soccer players or to compete on the field and win, or simply talk about who is better... Messi or Ronaldo? 

I hope to visit Haiti soon, across the ocean and see what they dream for. What they have to do. What they want to do. With my visit, I hope to donate many more items to kids that could really use them.  With love, Lily”

To see more about Lily’s work check out her website.

Community Tournament

Recently our year end soccer tournament wrapped up and was a great community event! We invited teams from the area to participate with GOALS teams and the theme was Protecting the Environment.

 The purpose of the tournament was to not only provide the kids with a meaningful soccer competition beyond playing each other, but to also promote our programs to the greater Léogâne community by inviting other soccer teams to participate. 

 23 teams took part in the tournament with 16 teams from GOALS and 7 invited local teams.   You can check out images from the tournament here.

 This was the first time that GOALS Haiti organized a such a big tournament with invited teams outside of our programs.  The emphasis of the championship wasn’t just about competition but it was an opportunity for teams to join together for a bigger cause. After each match, the kids were encouraged to pick up trash to show their commitment to the environment, which was the main message of the championship. The hope is that by modeling this simple behavior, other kids who are not a part of the GOALS family would also give the environment the importance it deserves.

 Here is the tournament breakdown:

 With great fanfare and an almost carnival-like atmosphere filled with music, GOALS Academy and GOALS Destra were the two teams that made it to the finals on December 7th at CFC.  After a hard-fought battle, GOALS Academy came out victorious 2-0, with two goals scored in the last few minutes of play.  When the final whistle sounded, the girls were happy to receive their first-place medals.

 U13 Girls:

GOALS CFC

GOALS Destra

GOALS Bossan

GOALS Academy
Respire

 U13 Boys:
GOALS CFC

GOALS Destra

GOALS Bossan

GOALS Academy

Do-Kre-I-S
Respire

Exafoot

Following the girls’ final earlier that day of the 7th of December, it was the turn for the boys and Respire and GOALS Academy were the two teams to reach the final match.  Respire easily won the final 3-0 and they were declared champion for that category.

 U18 Girls:

GOALS CFC

GOALS Destra

GOALS Bossan

Respire

USD

 On December 8th, the final game was held on the turf field in Gressier between GOALS Bossan and Respire.  It was another festive environment with lots of supporters, the two teams were almost equal as they played to a scoreless draw for most of the game.  It took a few minutes before the end of the game for GOALS Bossan to score and to hold on for the victory.  Each player received a medal and the team received a trophy, which they were thrilled to show off.

 U18 Boys:

GOALS CFC

GOALS Destra

GOALS Bossan

Mania Foot

Respire

USD

Exafoot

Do-Kre-I-S

 The older boys’ final was held on the same field following the older girls’ final earlier in the day. Two teams, Do-Kre-I-S and Respire, emerged from a crowded field of competitive teams to make it to the final match. Once again, it was a great match filled many opportunities to score.  In the end, it was Respire that came out victorious and they went home with the trophy.

 We would like to thank water distributor Culligan, Caribbean Bottling Company, for sponsoring the championship by donating gallons of purified water for our kids, coaches and referees.

 The championship was a huge success and we hope to have it again next year.

Happy New Year!

Let's build the future of football together

We were fortunate to have a great intern in Marie Elise Obas who spent the last 3 months working with us and she had this to say about her time with GOALS:

“Soccer is the favorite sport even in the back corners of Haiti. GOALS works in areas where the population does not really have access to education, clean water, and healthcare. When a child joins the Goals program, he or she participates in education programs such as the literacy program. The child also has access to clean drinking water, receives a meal after each program, and participates in community projects: tree nursery, recycling, volunteerism which all lead to them becoming leaders in their communities.

The passion for soccer is used to engage young people and to mentor positive messages on different areas such as conflict resolution, gender equity, good health and sex education. The coaches are considered leaders and they are called to participate in the change of their community.

Through the activities carried out by GOALS, children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can play football in a safe environment and also participate in changing their community.

I took the option that nobody expected. To choose to go to Haiti sounded a little bit crazy even for some close friends. However, when I arrived at GOALS, I felt my heart throb when I saw so many children living in challenging conditions and yet they keep their passion for this game. Lacking new equipment and showing up with what they have the kids play with a lot of passion. I felt a desire to take action and to lend my strength. I feel much more useful in Haiti  than if I were in Barcelona, with my favorite and one of the richest clubs in the world. I feel, deep within me, that these children need help and I feel ready to go as far as possible to encourage people to support these children/youths in need. I am attracted by their happiness, their positivity, their enthusiasm, their innocence and above all their pride and resilience.

I also fell in love with the staff. They are passionate about their work. In listening to them, it is easy to feel their involvement, their passion, and their love for their work. Without the latest equipment and tools, they contribute to the training of these young people. The most interesting part is that many of them are former beneficiaries of the project and are so proud to be a part of the team. When kids are asked what is their dream, the most common answer is to become a coach at GOALS. What a passion, what a pride for them to give back to the program that helped them to be who they are today.

My passion for soccer and my experiences in community development is a successful marriage with my studies at the Football Business Academy. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such a great team.

I would like to give a world of thanks and I am proud to say: Let's build the future of football together.

Seeking Program Director

Be a part of Team GOALS - We are seeking a Program Director

We currently have the following job opening available.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR HAITI

We are seeking a Haiti based Program Director to support our community development programs in Leogane, Haiti. The primary function of the Program Director will be to lead organizational efforts along with our Executive Director and Program staff that sustain and grow our programs through strong program development, monitoring and evaluation, community relations, fundraising and administrative support. The Director will play a significant role in GOALS’ growth as the organization increases its impact on the lives of children and families in rural Haiti.

To see full job description please check out the listing here.

Join Team GOALS

Join us in providing access to sport & education to kids in rural Haiti

It has been a fantastic year for the kids in our programs. Most recently we celebrated 27 new graduates from our literacy program, which is a huge accomplishment by kids in rural Haiti who do not have access to any other schooling.

What does it mean to be a member of Team GOALS? It means that you believe in giving the opportunity of good health, education and leadership to disadvantaged youth. It is an investment into the future of these bright young stars.

They say it takes a village to raise a child and that is true, but what does it take to raise a village? It takes committed citizens and the next generation to carry on that torch. Since our inception in 2010 we have seen the impact of our programs. This includes a shift in attitudes towards what is possible and a willingness to strive towards a more inclusive, safe and sustainable way of life.

We see that impact in multiple ways including the reduction of teen pregnancy from 7% to under 1%, healthier average weight in our kids, reduction in easily preventable diseases, higher test scores and engaged community members.

 One of our donors put it best by saying “I give to GOALS, so kids have the opportunity to make life long friendships, create memories and be proud of their achievements. I give to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives. To be gracious in defeat and humble in success. They are not only learning soccer but also important life skills. From what I have seen so far I think it is a great investment.” – Laura, GOALS supporter

By making a gift you are changing a life today and entire communities tomorrow. We currently need to raise 18K in team sponsorship funds by the end of the year. Through a generous opportunity we can match each gift dollar to dollar for any gifts given between now and December 28th. Making your gift go even farther. Gifts may be made online or by check.  

From all of us at Team GOALS we appreciate your continued support!

Happy Anniversary GOALS!

Anniversary celebration at the community center in Destra

We came together with the community in Destra to celebrate 8 years of GOALS programs! We sang, we danced, told stories and ate cake. The kids were excited to participate and it was great to see the older kids share stories and songs with the younger ones.

Our program coordinator Emilio (who has been with GOALS from the start) told of how the program came to be in Destra. As he talked of how our founder, Kona, was inspired by witnessing kids playing soccer in the sugar cane fields around the community you could see the elders in the community nodding their heads in remembrance and agreement.

It was lovely to see the oral traditions that are so strong, especially in rural communities, within Haiti carry on the founding story of GOALS.

I founded GOALS as a true grassroots effort. The fact that we are now celebrating our 8th year is testament to the hard work of our coaches and staff, the remarkable support from our donors and volunteers, and the power of sport to make serious development work fun.” - Kona Shen

To see more pics from the celebration check out the album on Facebook.

We look forward to more years to come as we strive to improve conditions and foster young leaders in rural Haiti who will advance opportunities not only for themselves but for their whole communities.

Proud Graduates

Graduation ceremony for the literacy students in Destra

Meet our most recent graduates from our literacy program. We are so proud of them for their accomplishment. The whole community came together to celebrate with us. You can see images from the ceremony here.

It is especially important for us to host literacy classes in the rural areas that we work such as Destra. Destra was our very first GOALS Haiti location and it remains our strongest site. It is a remote community that can easily be overlooked due to its location.  It is situated about 45 minutes’ drive outside of Léogâne through sugar plantations on a long dirt and rocky road.  This small coastal village of approximately 700 people is without running water and electricity. There is no traditional school and the remoteness makes it difficult for the kids to attend schools elsewhere. In fact, many of the schools are about an hour’s walk from Destra and there is no public transportation in the area.

27 kids graduated giving them a foundation in reading, writing and counting. It also gives them a love of learning. Fostering increased participation, improved self confidence and community engagement.    

This removes barriers to further education and ultimately improves their future along with their earning potential.   

Claudia Exilhomme is a resident of Destra and helps to take care of her nephew Rod. Rod was in the literacy program. He had faced many difficulties in learning. But since being in the literacy program she is seeing his progress. She would like to see the program continue as it is a benefit for the community.

Georgetown & GOALS work on Leadership Program

Georgetown students Rebecca and Sabrina leading a workshop in Destra

Hello! We are Rebecca and Sabrina, two undergraduate students at Georgetown University, and we worked with GOALS Haiti to develop an introductory leadership development workshop. Our interest and understanding of the importance of cultivating community leaders stems from our experience studying international development, education, and social justice in Washington, DC. This partnership supplemented one of GOALS’ initiatives to identify youth leaders and recognize their potential to make change in their communities.

 Our program was funded by the Davis Foundation through the 100 Projects for Peace Program. The foundation works with one hundred universities across the United States to fund one student-designed and implemented peacebuilding program per school. Our idea was selected by a panel of Georgetown deans, professors, and professionals, and then put forth to the Foundation for approval. With the close guidance of an advisor from Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice, we began designing the project and collaborating with GOALS to tailor the curriculum to their needs and local context.

 In the months prior to travelling to Haiti, we began collaborating with GOALS in setting our mission for the program.  In this time, we additionally began drafting lessons that would fit that mission. Once in country, our initial goals were to acclimate to life in Haiti, begin to build relationships in the GOALS communities, and work together to finalize our leadership development program based on the local context. During this time, we visited Bossan, CFC, and Destra, sites where GOALS runs its programming.  We also met with James, the country director, throughout the week to modify our program based on his advice and feedback.  By the end of the week, we were prepared to effectively finalize and implement the workshop.

 For the pilot, our participants were GOALS’ team captains, between the ages of eleven and seventeen, from each of the three communities.  From speaking with the different community members, we began to see the potential impact of youth leaders as agents of change in their communities. Youth leaders can create change by exhibiting perseverance in the face of challenges and by inspiring other young people to contribute toward improving their communities. This enforced our understanding of the relevance of leadership training for GOALS’ youth leaders.

 Additionally, in order to make the pilot as sustainable as possible, we turned over the teaching of the program to local teachers and GOALS staff. We believe that this helped to bridge the gap between teacher and student, and helped the teachers develop as leaders themselves.

 By the end of our pilot, we already began to witness the growth that our students were achieving. Students began exhibiting greater self-confidence and collaboration skills, as evidenced in their final presentations and in our collective reflection lesson. GOALS staff also noted students taking a more significant leading role on the soccer field, showing that the lessons learned transcended the classroom. Our greatest hope is that over time the students continue to internalize these lessons, and grow into greater agents for change and role models in their communities.

 We appreciate all our friends and colleagues at GOALS for their support throughout the program and are extremely excited to hear about the future of their leadership development programming!

Same Team - Beyond Sport

GOALS E.D. Kathy McAllister pictured with other past winners at Beyond Sport

We were thrilled to take part in Beyond Sport United 2018 recently in New York. Hundreds of people came together to celebrate the power of sport to create sustainable change on some of the worlds most pressing issues. Attended by sports celebrities, business leaders and development visionaries it was an inspiring event. As part of it the Global Awards celebrate, support, raise awareness and provide funding through the Beyond Sport Foundation.

As a shortlisted organization in the category for Sport for Health and Well Being we were among great company. Selected from over 400 applications, from 100+ countries and covering 53 sports, the shortlist recognizes the standout work of organizations who are creating positive social impact in communities around the world through sport.

The 10th annual Beyond Sport Global Awards ceremony was held at One World Observatory at One World Trade, where the winners were announced. Although we were not the winner in our category we were proud to have made it to that stage and as Dikembe Mutombo put it that night in his remarks “Even if you did not win tonight you are still a winner.”

Check out the inspiring video that we were a part of to introduce the projects from around the globe.

As a past winner of the Beyond Sport Award we were called on stage to help celebrate ten years of Beyond Sport awards and that impact. The continued support from Beyond Sport and all our partners is transformative in our efforts to create sustainable change through the power of sport for communities in rural Haiti.

The tagline of Beyond Sport is #sameteam and we are proud to be an active part of that team. Many of our partners won that night, including Coaches Across Continents and Futbol Mas and we look forward to working together to advance our work. Congratulations to all of the winners!

“On behalf of the Beyond Sport Foundation and our judges, congratulations to our 10th anniversary Beyond Sport Global Awards Official Shortlist. This year’s group was especially competitive, so the organizations and individuals should be very proud of their achievement. We are grateful to be able to provide the opportunity to not only promote sport through our Global Awards, but also to continue to bring like-minded people together as resources for each other and to share ways that sport is and can be used to make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality,” said Nick Keller, Founder and President, Beyond Sport.

First Pair of Cleats

GOALS Ambassador Chloe Spingler

I had a soccer ball at my feet as soon as I could walk, and my first pair of cleats are still framed in a small shadow box in my bedroom. My love of the game came in preschool, and only intensified the more that I played. My kids size 9 Velcro cleats quickly turned into size 12’s, and the Velcro was replaced with laces and a pair of goalie gloves. My backyard pop-up goals became white nets in stadiums, and I grew taller and more tactical on the field. At age 13 my fingers could just touch the crossbar if I jumped at the right angle, but just barely still. Before I knew it, I was a senior in high school outgrowing my final pair of cleats, preparing to take the field for my final season. What I have come to learn, though seemingly trivial, is that the confidence and security provided by the perfect pair of cleats is nearly unparalleled.

Perhaps, I have learned the most on the soccer field. Certainly, that soccer is much more than a game, instead becoming part of me. In essence, it has taught me the most significant lessons in my life. To always be a courageous leader. To be relentlessly humble and supportive of others. The love of the game and of my teammates. The appreciation of the bountiful comradery that beams from each athlete. The excitement of winning a well-deserved championship. The bitter taste of defeat and the beauty in perseverance. Throughout the years in my life, my most cherished moments took place on the soccer field, muddy cleats and all.

I am forever bound to support GOALS Haiti. This organization has given me an outlet to share my passion with athletes across the world. To provide them with uniforms and cleats, and to empower each athlete to engage in their community. Though it is much more than that. The close bonds shared between a soccer team can never be severed. The determination, leadership, respect, and trust fostered while on the field never seem to fade. I hope that soccer takes over their life as it did mine, and that each student becomes a bold leader, and a soccer enthusiast.

As obscure as it may seem, a pair of cleats can change a life, and they surely will. Through my experiences, I have found that there is something so special about a pair of cleats that fit just right. As I hang up mine for good at the end of this season, I will not be left with a void in my heart. Through my support of GOALS Haiti, I am filling it with a much greater joy: the ability to share my love of soccer, ultimately, changing lives. Though I cannot put cleats on the feet of every child in Haiti, I will certainly give it my best effort, as its effects are clearly long lasting. -Chloe Spingler, 17

 

Summer Camp in Arcahaie

We believe in sharing our knowledge and curriculum through outreach programs. Recently we partnered with StreetFootballWorld (SFW) and America Scores through a project with SUNY and the Kellogg Foundation to put on a summer soccer camp in Arcahaie, Haiti. Four of our coaches Emilio, Dyna, Jean Kendy and Rovenson took part. Other coaches from SFW’s network from Futbol Mas and Haiti Initiative also took part in the camp.

The coaches met for a planning session and then met with the mayor and his staff to introduce the program for the week. There was an opening ceremony to launch of the program that included speakers and dancing.  It was clearly the biggest event in town.

We were expecting 100 kids to attend this event, and 3,000 kids showed up.  At the start of the event, the national anthem of Haiti was played, which for everyone in attendance had a lot of significance because Arcahaie is the birthplace of the flag of Haiti.  Representatives from SUNY, along with many professors spoke of their vision for a learning village to be  built in Arcahaie with the summer camp being just one piece of their larger vision. The hope is to provide the kids with access to higher education, so they can make a difference in their communities going forward have Arcahaie be a model for the whole country. 

At the end of the opening ceremony 400 kids were selected at random to take part in the activities we had programmed. Each coach worked with 35 kids and started off by doing a circle of friends to have everyone introduce themselves. Animation exercises along with dancing was used to get the kids excited about the activities coming up.   

Every day covered a topic to discuss with the kids. The first day’s topic was gender equality.  Games related to this topic were used to show the importance of inclusion of girls. After each set of games, a discussion was held to hear their viewpoints and to make sure the message was understood. 

The second day the topic was how to resolve conflict in their community.  The coaches and kids discussed examples of conflict they encounter at home or at school and then they introduced the games which demonstrate how to resolve issues. Through these activities they now have the tools they need to resolve their own conflict peacefully. The days finished with friendly soccer matches between the teams. 

For the third and final day, we assembled all the kids to review the topics that were discussed. This camp was well received and came together through the great partnership with SFW and from the support of SUNY and their partners. We had a great experience, and we welcomed the opportunity to showcase the great work our coaches are doing in their communities in Haiti. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership and exploring ways to expand on the summer soccer camp. The kids not only had a great time playing soccer but loved learning valuable lessons as well.

Beyond Sport Awards

GOALS Haiti is proud to be a finalist for the 2018 Sport for Health and Well-Being Award.

Beyond Sport, announced the 35 projects that have been officially shortlisted for its prestigious Global Awards. Selected from over 400 applications, from 100+ countries and covering 53 sports, the shortlist recognizes the standout work of organizations who are creating positive social impact in communities around the world through sport.

On September 12, we will be present as representatives of each of the organizations will attend the 10th annual Beyond Sport Global Awards ceremony at One World Observatory at One World Trade, where the winners of each category will be announced. Attended by sports celebrities, business leaders and development visionaries, the Global Awards celebrate, support, raise awareness and provide funding through the Beyond Sport Foundation.

This year, the Foundation will award more than $350,000 to organizations that are using sport to help make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality. All shortlisted organizations will also receive a custom business support package from experts in the business, sport and development sectors to help strengthen their organizations through mentoring and fundraising tools.

“On behalf of the Beyond Sport Foundation and our judges, congratulations to our 10th anniversary Beyond Sport Global Awards Official Shortlist. This year’s group was especially competitive, so the organizations and individuals should be very proud of their achievement. We are grateful to be able to provide the opportunity to not only promote sport through our Global Awards, but also to continue to bring like-minded people together as resources for each other and to share ways that sport is and can be used to make the UN Sustainable Development Goals a reality,” said Nick Keller, Founder and President, Beyond Sport.

As a past winner of the Beyond Sport Award we are extremely honored to be shortlisted and recognized for our work. The continued support from Beyond Sport and all our partners is transformative in our efforts to create sustainable change through the power of sport for communities in rural Haiti.

Alumni Tournament

Recently we organized a tournament for GOALS alumni.  Since our inception in 2010, we have had hundreds of kids that have gone through our programs and have had 100 graduates. We organized this tournament as a way to connect with past participants and to get an idea of what some of our former players are up to since they graduated. 

For weeks leading up to the tournament we had our community leaders/coaches get the word across their communities that we were organizing a tournament for alumni players.  Many were eager to play soccer, while others were more interested in catching up with their friends and former teammates.

The first day of the tournament was focused on female alumni. 20 young women showed up from our communities.  The second day of the tournament was for male alumni and 56 showed up.  We explained to all of them that we wanted to hear from them and learn more about their lives now.

Before the games started, they were asked to fill out a general questionnaire. In that they were asked to pick 1 of 4 choices of professions in order to gauge their interest in them.  The professions listed were trade school, coaching and leadership, health agent training, or other.  With a high unemployment rate throughout the country, we are looking for possible ways we can help alumni pursue career paths.  The alumni interested in our coaching and leadership program will have the opportunity to take part in our new program starting in September.

After collecting results from our survey, we held the matches. It was great to see our alumni back on the field playing and everyone had a great time.  All our alumni were happy to know that GOALS Haiti is still very much interested in their lives. Click here to see results from the survey. 

Showing Up - A Campaign

Dear Friends of GOALS,      

When I am on the field one of my favorite things to see is our kids running from all directions showing up for daily practice. They are full of excitement and comradery. Having somewhere to be, something to do and focus on, is important for their personal growth.  

Showing up is half the game. The effort to do so and put oneself out there is an important life lesson. There are no other organizations working in these areas and a little support goes a long way. The community buys in in many ways including donating land for our soccer fields, volunteering as needed and participating in community meetings and strategic planning. All of us showing up to make a difference. 

 We are kicking off our fundraising campaign with the goal of raising 18K that will support daily programming for one of our teams for one year. By showing up our kids go after their dreams. Together we can provide them the opportunity to reach their potential. Join us by donating online, sending a check and sharing our campaign. 

From all of us at GOALS Haiti thank you for being a part of our caring community!

Kathy McAllister
Executive Director