March 16, 2016: Meet a GOALS family

We often share stories of children whose lives have been transformed through GOALS’ programs and the power of sport for development (such as Olsen, Esteri, and all our students). But what about their families? How are their families and their daily home lives changed? Read on to find out! 

Meet Andremene Desir. Madame Desir was born in the village of Destra and has lived there her entire life. Surrounded by sugar cane fields for miles on three sides and the ocean on the other side, Destra is in many ways, a typical poor, rural, Haitian village. There are no formal jobs, and the closest schools, markets and paved roads are miles away.

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The family’s home in the village of Destra.

In Madame Desir’s “lakou” (Haitian communal courtyard), there are two houses, one is a tarp shelter which GOALS helped secure for her in 2010 after the earthquake, and one is a single room wooden shelter with a dirt floor. Together, these shelters house a total of six people: Madame Desir, her husband, and her three children and one nephew, who participate in GOALS’ programs. A fifth child lives elsewhere.


Madame Desir’s daughter Daphne, left, is 15, and has participated in GOALS programs since 2010.

In the five years that her children have been participating in the GOALS programs, their village has seen many changes – from the first public toilet, to privacy shower stalls, and even the village’s first high school graduate. Along the way, fewer teenagers have gotten pregnant, and the village’s children – including Madam Desir’s –  are growing up healthier, stronger, and with big dreams for their future.

But what about Madame Desir herself?

Though she has never held a formal job, Madame Desir has enough land to grow food to feed her family – plantains, potatoes, eggplant and peas – and occasionally enough to sell. She also helps prepare food for the GOALS programs one day a week.


Learning to read and write for the first time at GOALS’ first adult literacy classes!

Like many adults her age in the village, Madame Desir never attended school, but she jumped at the chance to enroll in GOALS’ literacy class. She was unable to even write her own name when GOALS first assessed her as a candidate to enroll, making her fully illiterate. After several months of hard work, Madame Desir scored a 10 (out of 24 possible points) on our assessment, placing her in the “semi-literate” category.

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Madame Desir’s literacy pre-test and post-test: What an incredible achievement!

Before Madame Desir received a water filter from GOALS, she relied on the local community pump, which, fortunately, is very close to her house. Though water from the local pump is untreated, like in many rural areas, there simply isn’t any option for clean water to drink in the village of Destra, so a small portable filter, like the Waves for Water system which GOALS procured for her, are a good solution.


Madame Desir and her oldest son stand in front of their Waves for Water filter system which GOALS helped procure.

Now, Madame Desir uses clean water from her filter to drink and also to wash the food from her garden, and to wash her face and her body after using the toilet. With her filter, Madame Desir says she feels healthier and that her family “avoids microbes” such as “kanal boulee” (urinary tract infection) and “vant fe mal” (stomachaches).

Be sure to find out what’s happening with the GOALS “Boul’anjri” bakery, literacy projects, soccer teams, 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.


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