GOALS advances youth leadership through soccer and education to create stronger, healthier communities in rural Haiti.
GOALS is an award-winning sport for development organization that provides education, health and well-being support to kids and young people in rural Haiti. Our approach is holistic and we are a strategic long-term organization committed to multigenerational change.
Through soccer, GOALS engages young people and their families in programs that promote education, health and environmental protection to improve their quality of life on a daily basis. Through leadership development and social change initiatives, GOALS is creating stronger, healthier communities in rural Haiti.
In Haiti, rural areas are characterized by extreme poverty and isolation, but also a strong sense of community. GOALS recognized the urgency of improving the quality of life and providing opportunities for youth to keep them out of the rural to urban migration trap. The concrete impacts of GOALS' programming include the reduction of teenage birth rates (from 7% to just under 1%) and increased local options for education and health care. Youth are provided a healthy outlet that includes soccer training, equipment, mentoring and safe space to play, which in turn improves physical and mental health and wellbeing and creates increased self-confidence and improved communication skills.
Youth are gaining a strong sense of community pride and learning activism by giving back through community projects, while also improving the environment and producing much needed food diversity locally. There has been a reduction in environmental degradation and there are cleaner areas in and around the fields.
The cultivation of engaged citizens who have the opportunity to learn in a dynamic and culturally appropriate way which fosters both a gain in knowledge and a love of learning. With sports as a foundation to that education youth acquire life skills in a safe space that allows them to truly grow.
Being part of the GOALS program inspires feeling of belonging, a sense of teamwork and a healthy competitiveness that will encourage young people to strive for more, not only for themselves but for their entire community. Youth have a stronger sense of self and of their capacity being equipped to make good choices for their health and wellbeing.
GOALS has already made a mark on the field of sports for development by using the approach to go further with education, gender equality and health programs as part of its commitment to promote positive physical and mental health. Over the last eight years, GOALS has been honored to receive a series of awards and recognition for its work including:
The Beyond Sport, Best New Project Award in 2012
The Beyond Sport, Sport for Education Award in 2016
The Energy Globe, National Award for Haiti in 2018
The Beyond Sport, Sport for Health and Well-being Award in 2019
The Sport for Peace and Development Award for Best Nonprofit, also in 2019
The Energy Globe, National Award for Haiti in 2022