the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kicking in Haiti

"I feel so happy to see what happened in the country and to see all the Haitians come to the game. It was incredible. We only have one thing left, and that's football. You can play and all the world is watching you. The flag can fly everywhere because of football. It's the one thing that people live for now."
Haitian national team player James Marcelin, who also plays for the Portland Timbers, made the preceding comments following Haiti's 6-0 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands during 2014 World Cup qualifiers in early September of this year. Goalkeeper Steward Ceus, who also plays for the Colorado Rapids, added his thoughts:
"I was in college when I heard a buzz about Haiti being interested in seeing me. Coming here left me speechless. The fans come after training, before training, crowding around the bus. My passion for soccer has always been there and I always wished that the people around me shared that passion. For the first time I found the passion I've been looking for....
I have never seen a country with so many talents as here. If you put these guys in Manchester United and Barcelona, they would be great player[s]. The problem is to be a great player you need good food and a good environment. Here is nothing."
Already the poorest country in the Americas, Haiti was further devastated on January 12, 2010 by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that left approximately 300,000 people dead, another 300,000 injured, and a million homeless. As has happened elsewhere throughout the world over the past century, the continuation of soccer provides a unique form of therapeutic relief. For the national team, their World Cup qualifying aspirations ultimately ended with a 1-0 loss to Antigua & Barbuda in early November. But, like elsewhere throughout the world, kicking the round ball occurs at many different levels.

When we asked some of our kicking contacts to discuss important charities and causes, Haiti surfaced twice. Tom Feely, patriarch of the kicking Feely family, noted their programs which began this past summer.
"My son, John Feely, started the World Ministries Football Club which provides Soccer camps, and Christian ministries to children in Haiti. It is backed financially by the Feely Family Foundation which is a philanthropic organization to fund outreach programs."
Phase 2 gets under way in 2012: WMFC will organize and support a youth soccer team affiliated with the Mission of Hope School. The team will be open to elementary and high school students and WMFC will sponsor local children that are not already enrolled to attend school. The team will practice locally and travel to play games against other school and youth teams in Haiti. Every year, WMFC will return with coaches and trainers to run a camp for the team and other children interested in soccer. More information can be found on their webpage and on Facebook.

Brandon Kornblue of Kornblue Kicking was the first to respond to our general inquiry:
"This message has nothing to do with kicking or punting. It is something much more important. If you are interested in doing something to help the people of Haiti, please keep reading.

Many people feel the desire to do something for those in need, but either don't think they could make a difference or don't know which organization to trust. Don't think you can make a difference? It costs only 17 cents per meal to feed someone in Haiti. Don't know which organization to trust? I am able to share firsthand knowledge of my experience with an organization in Haiti which is providing hope to the country and has the infrastructure to help people who desperately need it.

In June 2008, I spent a perspective-altering week in Haiti with Mission of Hope, an organization based 45 minutes outside of Port-au-Prince. Brad Johnson is the director of Mission of Hope, Haiti. His parents had a vision to build a mission complex that would effectively reach out and minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the less fortunate people in Haiti. Brad, his wife Vanessa, and their children have helped bring hope into Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The Mission of Hope Complex now sits on 76 acres of land and consists of the School of Hope, the Hope House Orphanage and the Hospital of Hope. In addition, the Mission of Hope assists close to 200 children in four other orphanages in nearby villages through the Feed A Child program. The Mission of Hope is able to contribute to the local economy by employing over 150 Haitian women and men.

Please keep Haiti and the Mission of Hope team in your prayers. If you can, please send a donation of any size. The country consists of many wonderful people who simply need help. I worked with this team in Haiti a few years ago and have supported several of their fundraising projects. I have seen and heard how they responded to the 4 hurricanes that hit Haiti in 2008. I can say with complete confidence that they will be good stewards with your donations.

Updated info from MOH and the link to donate can be found here: Mission of Hope: Haiti

Thank you so much for reading this and anything you are willing to do to help. God bless you!"

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