Haiti’s Fields of Dreams
CAC volunteer Marissa Segala blogs about our first week with GOALS Haiti in 2015.
January 22nd 2015. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of city life in Port au Prince, we began our second week of training with a program called GOALS Haiti located in rural Léogâne. Each morning we piled in the back of the truck and ventured through the bumpy back roads surrounded by fields of sugarcane to the training site. “The field of dreams” as it came to be known, was made of dirt. It had little more than two pipes for each goal, and was the friendly host of an array of farm animals that would graze as we played. I know you’re thinking, “What’s dreamy about that?” And it’s a good question. It was a big rectangle outside just like any other soccer field, but it had cows and goats instead of lines and nets. The dream though, I realized was something that the GOALS coaches brought with them to the pitch each morning.
The coaches wanted to play. They wanted to learn, and work together to solve problems. We would talk in between, but it was evident that the learning and discussions were happening in the dirt, within the games. It was almost impossible not to want to jump in and play with this group. Beyond the impressive touch they each had on the ball, the talent and knowledge poured onto the field from their hearts and minds. It was especially inspiring for me, hearing the four female coaches contribute objectives and dreams of their own involving women in Haiti. On our ASK for Choice day, when we played games and talked about female empowerment, one coach by the name of Dyna spoke out about the ability and necessity for girls to set goals high and to achieve them with the support of the community. She shared how her older brother brought her to a field full of boys when she was young. With their support as well as her family and other adults, she was able to become the great player and coach she is today – a female. The best part is that with her initial dreams achieved, Dyna still comes back to the same field with new dreams for young girls and boys in Léogâne to reach higher and achieve more. She is there to support them.
As a part of the year three curriculum for CAC, the coaches work to create and adapt their own futbol games for social impact and empowerment. I am looking forward to next week, when we get to spend four days in the classroom helping coaches like Dyna develop their own unique games that will continue to fuel the field of dreams here in Léogâne.