NBLSA International Relations Committee 2008 Ralph Bunche Building Bridges Trip -- Port-au-Prince Haiti - Day 2 Mar 17 5:45 PM
NBLSA visits Cite Soleil
Today, NBLSA’s delegation to Haiti visited Cite Soleil. Children with ill fitting and dirty clothes walked through streets layered with trash amidst the bustle of marchands and tap-taps on dusty but lively streets. Many of the marchands or vendors are children themselves, fighting to stay alive in a place where gang violence have claimed the lives of many young children. Cite Soleil however has seen some improvement in the last months, according to Herode, the programming director of Pax Christi who directs the Soccer for Peace program in Cite Soleil. Over the past year, the political situation in Haiti has stabilized and brightly colored buildings are slowly springing up around Cite Soleil. However, many of Cite Soleil’s children are largely deprived of an education, health care, shelter and clean water.
NBLSA members delivered and distributed 35 boxes of soccer equipment, sports clothing, games, and school supplies to the children of Cite Soleil through the Pax Christi Soccer for Peace Program. Additionally, Michelle Augustine, the NBLSA’s International Relations Committee Chair, presented the organizers of the Soccer for Peace program with a check for money that was collected from NBLSA chapters around the country.
While interacting with the children, the delegation was visited by a group of three Amnesty International researchers who had heard about the NBLSA presence in Cite Soleil. Impressed by NBLSA’s commitment to the children of Haiti, the researchers expressed an interest in working with NBLSA in the future.
NBLSA members also visited the homes of two of the children who participated in the Soccer for Peace program. The visit to Cite Soleil moved several of the students, and encouraged them to make steadfast commitments to continue their efforts to combat poverty in Haiti.