Vin Jwe Tournament Press Release
Organizations Promote Health through Youth Soccer Tournament in Haiti Tournament empowers kids to protect their health on and off the fieldLéogane, Haiti – March 20, 2012 – GOALS (Global Outreach and Love of Soccer) announces its 2nd annual spring soccer tournament, Vinn Jwe! (Come and Play) which will kick off on April 14th and 15th, convening international aid agencies and youth from around Haiti. This year’s theme is “Pwoteje tèt ou!” or “Protect your health!” and will advance child development and personal health through the medium of soccer. Hosted at the L’Athlétique d’Haïti football facility in the Cité Soleil neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the event will begin at 8 AM and finish at 6 PM both days. Teams of boys and girls ages 13 to 18 will play elimination rounds for the championship trophy, and two disabled teams will play an exhibition match. The organization Partners in Health will team up to provide health information and resources. All of the tournament’s events will be free and open to the general public and attendance is expected to reach 1000 over the two day period. GOALS founder and director Kona Shen says, “In Haiti, kids will do anything for soccer. This is a rare opportunity for kids to showcase their skills and build self-esteem in a real tournament, while learning how to protect themselves against malnutrition, disease and illness. And the best part is, while they’re learning to take charge of their health, the kids will be having fun!” In Haiti, playing soccer brings normalcy and joy to kids living in the midst of poverty, disease, and the ongoing effects of natural disaster and political instability. According to UNICEF, “Sport can be an effective tool to help achieve goals in health, education, gender equality, HIV and AIDS, child protection and child development.” By harnessing the love of soccer to promote positive youth development, GOALS Haiti is proving that soccer is much more than just a game. About GOALS Haiti: GOALS is a 501c3 non-profit organization incorporated in the United States and headquartered in Leogane, Haiti. GOALS uses soccer to engage youth in community work that improves their quality of life, their health, the environment, and local leadership. GOALS’ soccer programs impact 500 kids every day, and reach an additional 3400 people through outreach to families. For more information, please visit http://goalshaiti.org GOALS director Kona Shen is available for interviews, and photos from last year’s event are available for use.