GTA Training Takes Action With Your Help in 2011
This summer, GTA Training had the opportunity to visit Haiti and volunteer in communities hit hard by the earthquake.
Many basketball workshops were run during the days in the two weeks GTA Training was there, working closely with local children. Toronto locals Dale Davis and Paul Campbell had the chance to teach the children of Haiti basketball fundamentals and teamwork skills through a variety of teambuilding exercises, drills, and games. GTA Training was invited to Haiti to volunteer by HUSU (Help Us Save Us).
Time for Change…
“Help Us Save Us was birthed from the heart of Fred Joseph Jr., Founder and President of HUSU in January 2010, from what was the Anasoule Wishes Foundation (AWF). During a trip to Haiti in 2008, Fred hosted a soccer tournament in Saint Raphael, Haiti in an effort to raise money for a local high school. A fight erupted among two rival teams upon leaving the tournament, during which, rocks were thrown at bystanders and participants. What started out as an opportunity to raise funds for educational development turned into a brawl that left adults and children running for their safety.
“Help Save Us” was Created
It was then that Fred realized that it was time for change. “The local kids were in dire need of a more productive environment; one that could not only provide for their families, but generations to come.” Thus, AWF was born and named after Fred’s grandmother, Anasoule. AWF was founded to teach the children of St. Raphael, to utilize their resources in order to better their lives and community. Realizing the needs of the children in Saint Raphael were similar to the needs of other children around the world, Fred expanded the vision of AWF and created “Help Us Save Us.”
On the first day Dale and Paul arrived, they were greeted by local children who, when they saw the basketballs, were very excited to get outside and play, even in 40 degree weather. The children so rarely get to participate in organized sports due to lack of equipment, that they were overjoyed by Dale and Paul’s presence. A few days later, while running a workshop in Saint Raphael, the majority of the local girls aged 6-20 got involved. This is notable because in countries suchas Haiti, there are many instances where girls don’t have the chance to play because either the boys don’t let them or equipment isn’t available.
Dale and Paul were able to get kids active all around Haiti in places such as Pignon, Port au Prince, Saint Raphael, Cap-Haitien. Beyond basketball, Dale and Paul were helping kids learn English, do arts and crafts, camp, and most importantly have fun.
Dale and Paul got the impression from a lot of kids that the North American lifestyle is idolized there. By exposing kids to stories and language from North American culture they able to inspire hope. Dale and Paul have both sponsored separate children, donating money to allow them to go to school for the year. When Dale and Paul left, the kids had clearly gained confidence after having a good time. It was a great experience that GTA Training will be involved with for many years to come.