Girls reflect on how GOALS Haiti prepared them for Concacaf stage

Photo collage of girls from GOALS Haiti
Girls who have gone on to play on the Haitian national youth team expressed how GOALS helped them develop beyond the pitch ©GOALS

When Haiti secured its spot at the 2024 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship, which runs February 1-11, several girls on the national team paid a visit to the place where it all started at Global Outreach And Love of Soccer (GOALS Haiti).

GOALS Haiti, a Play Academy grantee, is an organization that advances youth leadership through soccer and education to create stronger, healthier communities in rural Haiti. It provides soccer programming in Destra, Carrefour Croix and Bossan, and it was through those programs where the seven girls below learned more than how to play the sport. They also learned life skills they said were important to their growth and applicable outside their home villages, as part of the Haitian youth national team and their future going forward.

Daphca – Destra

Girl smiling at camera

“All the years of being in GOALS and playing soccer on an international level makes me feel happy because GOALS has done a lot for me and if it was not for GOALS I would never be where I am right now. This is why I’m motivated to keep on improving myself.

“I want to prove to the world and myself that I’m a well-disciplined person.

“I feel GOALS well prepared me for being on the national team. I feel like I know all the essentials of playing soccer.”

Jornadie – Destra

Girl with medal around neck

“All these years in GOALS and now playing on an international level make me feel so proud. GOALS helped me accomplish this big dream of mine.

“I would like to prove to the world my true potential and talents that GOALS has helped me develop. Also, I want to prove to myself that I can be the best ever to play this game worldwide on a professional level.”

WATCH: How the 2023 Women’s World Cup inspired Jornadie.

Laissa – Bossan

Girl smiling holding cleats

“All these years being in GOALS and now playing on an international level makes me feel so happy and I can say I never regret the times I spent in GOALS. I want to prove to the world that I’m great and proud to be a strong woman. Also, I want to prove to myself that I can continue to reach great levels of success as I grow older.

“The biggest obstacle I’ve faced on the national team was being shy at first. But I remembered what GOALS taught me that being too shy can prevent me from showing my true potential. I’ve gotten over the shyness, and I feel like my true talents have been unlocked for the world to see.”

Lourdine – Bossan

Girl smiling

“All these years in GOALS and now on an international playing field— I’m just so overwhelmed with joy and happiness.

“I feel like I need to prove to the world that I am somebody and I need to prove to myself I can do whatever I set my mind to.

“The biggest obstacle I faced when joining the national team was adapting to the new staff which was totally different then the GOALS family. The easiest part of adapting to the national team is actually playing the real games and being fearless and ready to win each game.”

Mondy – Carrefour Croix

Girl jumping as part of soccer drill

“What I want to prove to the world is that I’m recognized and respected as a great soccer player, and what I want to prove to myself that there is nothing impossible in life. Even if it’s very difficult I need to tell myself it’s still possible.

“I feel GOALS has well prepared me well for the national team. I feel comfortable having the ball in my possession, I’m comfortable with the role I’m given, I’m capable of guarding the ball well, I can dribble the ball well and I’m dangerous in kicking the ball to score goals.”

Rachel – Bossan

Girl smiling at camera

“GOALS has prepared me for where I am now because if it weren’t true there would be no way I could have made the national team. I feel that I’ve mastered all the techniques of playing soccer.”

Yvena – Bossan

Photo of female Haitian soccer player

“GOALS has for sure prepared me to adapt to the national team. It’s been so easy to adapt I make the coach’s life so easy all because of the years of training with GOALS.

“The biggest obstacle I face on the national team is hearing the gang violence (shooting) near the soccer training camp.

“The easiest part of adapting to playing for the national team is successfully completing all of the coach’s difficult soccer drills faster than everybody else. I am very confident in my ability and that’s why I’m the team captain.”

Haiti qualified for the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Champs held in Toluca, Mexico, via Qualifiers in the Dominican Republic last year. Of the seven girls above, Yvena and Dapcha were selected for the Concacaf Women’s U-17 Championship roster. Djoulandie and Anabella also grew up playing soccer as part of GOALS Haiti and will help Haiti compete for a berth to the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Article by Play Academy and GOALS Haiti