Model and Values
GOALS uses soccer to engage youth in community work and education that improve quality of life and develop new leadership.
Our S-3 Model: Soccer, Community Service, and Educational Seminars
In order to benefit from the GOALS soccer program, kids must contribute to the program and their community by engaging in all of our activities. This means that when kids come to our programs on any given day, they may wash their hands, help pick up trash, discuss what qualities leaders demonstrate and play soccer. What’s the best part? While kids are changing their lives and making a difference in their community, they’re having fun!
GOALS operates according to values designed to empower communities and achieve long-lasting development through sport.
- Soccer: All players on GOALS’ youth soccer teams participate in at least 8 hours of soccer practice per week, with at least two away games per month. All soccer players receive food and water when they attend practice. Programs include kids’ soccer summer camp, community events, and neighborhood soccer teams for girls and boys, aged 10-18 years old.
- Education: All players on GOALS teams participate in a weekly workshop or class. Subjects include English as a Second Language, first aid skills, sexual health, and computer skills. 23 members of the Dream Team receive high school scholarships. Read more about the Dream Team’s past work here. GOALS also organizes public community meetings, which can serve as a platform to promote public health and answer related questions.
- Community Service: All players on GOALS soccer teams participate in two hours of community service weekly. Activities include litter control, planting and maintaining vegetable gardens, and conducting local development projects. Past projects have included the construction of a local toilet, rehabilitating a local road, and building “plas timoun,” or “kids plazas” using recycled materials such as discarded tires.
- Local Capacity Development: GOALS creates jobs for local residents and teaches professional skills. 18 of 19 staff members are Haitian and now work as coordinators in rural areas where they were born and raised. Open community meetings are held to promote on-the-ground ownership and transparency. All of our projects in Haiti move forward based on community censuses, needs assessments, and an open planning process conducted by GOALS staff with local residents.
A Long-term and Sustainable Impact
GOALS is unique in its emphasis on developing local capacity and youth leadership. Read about our youth leaders in this past update. 18 of the 19 GOALS staff members are Haitian and work in the area where they grew up. We train local residents to conduct census surveys and needs assessments, hold a weekly public town meeting in all program sites, train local volunteers, and develop new young leaders, who are eligible foracademic scholarships through our Dream Team. Read more about our Dream Team here.
“GOALS doesn’t do charity. Our work is driven forward by the community’s needs and the community’s own contributions. This is aid dependency in reverse: in Destra, GOALS relies on the community to organize, support, complete, and then maintain projects. [GOALS’ work] is showing that we can improve the way people and organizations tackle development work, from soccer and gardening to toilets and houses.”
– Kona Shen, GOALS Founder & Director
- Love of the game: Soccer is the backbone of GOALS sport-for-development youth programs. Research has shown that sports and physical exercise can improve the health and self-esteem of youth, in addition to developing leadership, teamwork skills, and discipline.
- Empowerment & Equality: GOALS promotes gender equality, youth leadership and community-led initiatives to empower citizens to drive forward local development.
- Sustainability: GOALS strives for long-term environmental, financial and operative sustainability in all aspects of the organization.
- Transparency: GOALS is transparent about its administrative, financial and project-based practices so that the organization’s work is clear to community members and donors.