Soccer in Cite Soleil, Haiti

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Photographing Soccer in Cité Soleil, Haiti

L’Athlétique d’Haïti is a youth development program for severely underprivileged youth.  Since its inception in 1995, the program has grown to provide sports training, nutrition, and medical and educational assistance to more than 2,000 participants  daily.  Founder Boby Duval states:

 “L’Athlétique d’Haïti is not just a sports program, it’s a youth development program.  I try to use sports to reach the hearts and minds of the kids because that’s the way you do it.  At the same time I try to bring some value in terms of morals and life skills.  That’s a self-regenerating process.  We don’t just do sports, we do school and social activities.”

Boby Duval is a prominent Haitian human rights activist.  He began his organization in Cité Soleil because he wanted the reach Haiti’s most vulnerable children. Cité Soleil has a reputation of being the poorest, most violent slum in the western hemisphere.  A key component of the L’Athlétique d’Haïti program is as basic as providing a daily meal. If you don’t eat you don’t have the strength to exercise, and for many of the children this may be the only meal they get.  Asked why he began in Cité Soleil, Duval responded:

“I always found the area ostracized by the rest of society.  Even in Haiti, they’re like the worst down trodden people, really ostracized. There’s no sanitation, you see kids that are 2 years old eating dirt, eating nothing, living in unsanitary conditions. It’s very heart wrenching. If you can make it here then everywhere else would be much less difficult.”

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