With corporate sponsorship, the Hand to Hand Mission to Haiti team purchased 1,000 soccer balls and delivered them to Haiti last week.
A team of nine missionaries distributed these balls to children in the remote villages of southern Haiti and their schools and soccer leagues.
Children walking home from school across the mountain tops and within the villages were completely surprised when a van pulled up, someone spoke Creole out a little window, and then they were given a signed soccer ball
“It was a beautiful experience,” said one of the team.
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. Father Yvans Jazon, a native to this area and currently administrator at St. Monica Church in Atlantic City, noted that several students share a pencil or pen with their siblings every other day because their family can’t afford one pencil or pen for each child
To children with such few material items this gift of a soccer ball was “like gold,” he said.
While traveling down a dirt road, usually travelled only by scooters and walkers, often without shoes, the team came upon a group of young boys who were playing soccer in the road with a deflated basketball. The team offered to exchange the basketball for several brand new soccer balls, and then Father Jazon joined the children in a quick game of soccer.
“There were so many moments that touch you deep within your heart,” shared a mission team member on seeing the poverty in Haiti for the first time.
The team is working on developing a study center in the Jacmel area of Haiti for students to have a place to come after school hours and on weekends, where they can study and have computers available. In these remote villages, most often there is no electricity or very sporadic electricity, and the children study by candlelight in the evenings.
Father Jazon knows the difference these advantages can make. He had extended family in the city of Port-au-Prince who took him in when he was growing up. This allowed him a more modernized education and a better life.
Much appreciation is given to Cooper Levinson attorneys at law, Marsh McClennan Insurance Agency, Cape May National Golf Club, the XChange Club, Coastal Broadcasting 98.7, and St. Monica Parish for corporate sponsorship and to everyone else who helped make the four-day mission successful.
Anyone interested in more information about the mission or to sponsor the next batch of soccer balls, or the Study Center, please contact Father Yvans Jazon at 609-345-1786.
Trish Best is a Hand-To-Hand Mission to Haiti team member.