We hope this finds you well!
It’s hard to believe that it’s mid-June already! Just a few short months ago, we were meeting with league leaders and simply trying to understand how those leagues would be organised. Today, we’re making final preparations for the start of the football season.
Thanks to donors like you, we already have more than two dozen pairs of shoes, several sets of uniforms, and more than 20 footballs. While the teams still need more materials, we’re off to a great start!
As more volunteers come down to work with us, and the football programme, they continue to be impressed with the joy that football brings to these young people. Rachel, a new volunteer, recently shared her experience of the first football game she witnessed.
Last week, I arrived in Haiti for a two month stay as a volunteer. Like any new arrival in Haiti, I have been incessantly bombarded by the harsh realities of life here: barely navigable streets; undrinkable water (even for the locals); constant fear of disease and illness; and sky-high unemployment. Finding joy and excitement, where struggle and poverty are a way of life seemed unlikely. But in a recent walk through the mud-filled streets of a neighboring “kan”, or Internally Displace Persons (IDP) Camp, just blocks from my boarding house, joy is just what I found!
Among the long faces that typically accompany camp life, sounds of happiness were emanating from a muddy field full of smiling and laughing football players (football in Haiti is soccer to Americans). Young people of all ages were gathered to play and watch.
A brief conversation with an English-speaking spectator informed me that this game was an informal one, but that the boys are ramping up for what they hope will be a successful and competitive summer of league play. Standing on the sidelines of a game where the boys, many of them too poor to even attend school, are playing without shin guards, shoes, or uniforms on a muddy and uneven field, the concept of an organized and successful league seemed very hard to imagine.
So, I decided to find out more about these leagues and why they are so important to a community that is barely managing to meet its basic needs…
Rachel will be managing a weekly blog this summer about the football league, so she’ll have plenty of time to learn all she wants!
These kids would not be playing without your generous support, and we’re hoping that you’ll continue to support soccer in Port au Prince by taking advantage of Global Giving’s Matching day on June 15th. Global Giving will be matching all donations of up to $1,000 by 30%, and the organsiation which raises the most will win an extra bonus! Please continue supporting those who need it most by giving what you can on June 15th or spreading the word about our project.
One last time, thanks so much for your generous donation, and warm regards from Haiti.