Sometimes, it has seemed that GOALS‘ programs in Haiti will never succeed. Sometimes, it has been hard to remember why we do what we do. I’ve never felt the zealous conviction that we have The Only Right Answer for our kids and communities in Haiti that so many other founders possess. The communities where we work are complicated, our programs are nuanced, and the returns on our efforts will likely take decades to manifest.
Coming home from the Beyond Sport Summit, though, I’m reminded that we’re in good company. Legends such as Loretta Claiborne and Brian Dawkins spoke candidly about their struggles alongside their historical successes. Not even the most famous and accomplished among us have it all figured out, and that hasn’t stopped anyone from charging ahead anyway. As one panelist put it, “Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.”
GOALS won Beyond Sport’s Best New Project Award last year, and it opened up doors to us that never would have been possible otherwise. I was blown away by this year’s nominees in every category, including the Rumah Cemara Football Programme in Indonesia, which integrates drug users, HIV/AIDS patients, and other marginalized individuals into their communities through sport. These groups made a huge impact on me in Philadelphia this week. If GOALS has been able to likewise inspire any others around the world, I’m grateful for it.