Haiti Update #5 – sportanddev and Up2Us

It has been a real pleasure to highlight the efforts of great individuals and organizations who are staying active in the relief and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. There are, of course, many others who are also fighting the good fight, folks like George Laraque, Pierre Garcon, Andre Berto, Samuel Dalembert, the Jack Brewer Foundation, and UNICEF.  In additional to the impact their work is having on the people of Haiti, there are additional benefits; specifically, they serve as a model and inspiration for others who also want to help, thereby forming a foundation for a movement that is sorely needed.

We heard from our friends at sportanddev.org, who have created a dedicated area at their website to highlight ongoing efforts in Haiti. We strongly encourage you to subscribe to sportanddev’s newsletter and to visit their site to learn more about these and other initiatives.

An item of particular interest just came out this week and can be seen at sportanddev.org.  It is an incredibly valuable new report put together by Plan International, in partnership with UNICEF. As outlined at sportanddev,

“Plan International, in partnership with UNICEF initiated a consultation process with close to 1,000 children and youth throughout Haiti, to hear their ideas and priorities for the country’s reconstruction.

Their views were gathered with the purpose of feeding into the PDNA. Local facilitators experienced in working with children and youth conducted 54 focus group consultations in nine departments (West, Artibonite, South-East, North, Grande Anse, Nippes, North-West and North-East, and the South).

This document presents key findings from the consultations with the children and youth.”

You can get a copy at the sportanddev site or by clicking the following link Haiti – post disaster needs assessment.

Even with better insight and guidance from this report and the learning from others who are continuing in the relief efforts, there still may be the question, “How can I help? There is so much to do and still so much to learn.” Those are very valid points and thankfully, in addition to sportanddev, there are other organizations that have addressed those by putting together guides to help those who want to help others. A great resource to check out comes from Up2Us.

Up2Us is a national coalition of “Sports-Based Youth Development (SBYD) organizations. Since 2008, Up2Us has been leading the movement to use sports to address critical issues facing youth- issues. Its mission is “to increase the impact of and access to sports as a tool for positive youth development.”

Up2Us created the “Guide for Youth Sports to Help Haiti” to assist youth sports coaches, parents, administrators and athletes in figuring out ways to make a difference in Haiti. According to Up2Us, with the guide, you “will learn how to lead your team in the essential components of a successful service-learning project: discussion, research, preparation and action.”

What I have learned this week is that the fight to help Haiti goes on and is being led jointly by those whose lives are firmly rooted in the world of sport and development but also by those who have been so moved by the dire circumstances facing our fellow citizens that they have joined the fight as well. Famous professional athletes and the everyday athlete, coach, and parent. All are contributing.

And from whatever group we come from or associate ourselves with, we are all fortunate that organizations like sportanddev and Up2Us provide the necessary news, insight, and guidance to make a difference in the smartest, most effective way possible for maximum impact. Their contributions will have us more prepared for future situations calling for the world of sport to make a difference for the benefit of others.