Note: It’s been hard to keep this exciting news a secret for so long, so I’m very glad to finally share! GOALS works hard to develop our local staff into strong leaders, and, keeping bellies full is an important part our work. After all, kids can’t play or learn when they’re hungry. That being said, I’ll let our program coordinator, Jean Kendy, speak for himself, and tell you the exciting news of what he’s been working on.
“Bossan is a poor and vulnerable area close to the beach where most of the people live from fishing and agriculture. There is a lack of money and resources and it is hard to take care of a family when sometimes you don’t catch enough fish to sell. GOALS has been working at Bossan since after the 2010 earthquake. Its programs are really appreciated there since football is a Haitian passion.
Food security is one of their most important needs. After the earthquake and during hurricanes,many people could not get to the city because the roads were flooded, and there was no foodfor the kids to eat. After one hurricane in 2012, GOALS helped the UN bring people food to eat butif there was a bakery, people would be able to solve this problem on their own. A bakery will be helpful for both this community and GOALS. As families don’t have enough money, it is a chance for GOALS to hire some parents to work in the bakery, and, people won’t spend as much money to buy bread in the city anymore, since it will be prepared closer in their village and be sold at a better price. Also, we can support the economy by buying flour made from wheat grown in Haiti.
The project will be dedicated to the benefit of the whole community (kids, youths and adults) and should improve the economic situation of Bossan. The money people spend on a taxi to get to the city to buy bread will be SAVED since the bread will be baked directly at Bossan and thepeople will be able to eat more food and spend less money.
Finally, the bakery will be a place to get more professional experience for our older kids to learn the bakery business. GOALS will help develop such talents for kids who are interested in bakery profession.
We decided to call the GOALS bakery the “BOUL’ANJRI” with an apostrophe because BOUL in Haitian Creole means “ball or soccer ball” and BOULANJRI is the word for bakery. We have a soccer bakery, so it is a BOUL’ANJRI!“
Jean Kendy has already been helping GOALS teenagers paint the new bakery, and is training up parents how to make the bread. We can’t wait to get cooking! With no electricity in the village,the work of mixing the dough will be done by hand, and the ovens will be fired up using propane. It won’t be easy, but we’re confident that thanks to Jean Kendy’s planning and leadership, the GOALS Boul’anjri will be successful, providing jobs, food security, skills training, and locally-produced food for our programs.
At GOALS, our mission is to make daily life easier, while helping to shape a better future. This what we work for every day: Healthy, nourished children who gain confidence on the soccer field and have the opportunity to grow up and make their communities a better place. And they couldn’t ask for a better role model than Jean Kendy.
Like most of our kids, Jean Kendy’s life has been wrought with extreme personal tragedy which, in his case, has only led to extreme personal triumph. Here’s a bit of his story:
I’m always happy when I’m talking about my life story. I grew up with my grandmother without having mother and father: both passed away. So I had an objective to reach: I wanted to go to school so I could help my country in the future. I wanted to help the youth in my community to make them able to be their own actors of the development of their country. Now I can say my dream came true.
After the earthquake that destroyed Haiti and especially Leogane, my native town, I started to help many people: I worked as a volunteer with several American organizations to help to remove rubble in houses and schools that were broken down during the disaster, to distribute hygiene kits and school supplies, build biosand water filters and rebuild schools. With the experience that I had with foreign people, I had the opportunity to improve my English. In 2011, I started to work with GOALS which gave me the biggest work experience I have.
See why we’re so proud? Jean Kendy is truly an inspiration to all of the young people in Leogane, and we’re happy to have him in charge of the GOALS Boul’anjri! A huge thank you tostreetfootballworld and the Sony Football for Social Change initiative for selecting Jean Kendy to lead this project!
Be sure to find out what’s happening with the Boul’anjri and all of GOALS projects! Follow GOALS on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to keep in touch and share with your friends about what’s happening on the soccer fields of Haiti every single day.