This past weekend we sat down with Tony Sanneh, ex professional soccer player, 2002 U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup Veteran, and founder and CEO of The Sanneh Foundation (TSF) as well as Tod Herskovitz, head of International Partners Relations at The Sanneh Foundation to discuss the Haitian Initiative.
Tony Sanneh, a St. Paul, Minnesota native and recently retired professional soccer player, founded The Sanneh Foundation in 2003 with a goal of helping underserved urban youth. After 15 years of playing professional soccer – including playing for the U.S. in the 2002 World Cup – Tony moved back to St. Paul in 2009 to dedicate himself full-time to the work of The Sanneh Foundation and his vision of positive youth development.
The Haitian Initiative- A collaborative of partners led by the Sanneh Foundation using soccer as a catalyst for change to positively develop youth and foster community health and wellbeing in Haiti.
Cite Soleil, Haiti. An extremely impoverished and densely populated area with the city of Port-au-Prince. It is considered to be the most dangerous city in the Western Hemisphere! Don't believe us? Just google some images and articles for yourself.
The Haitian Initiative operates year-round, six days-a-week. The program provides 250 boys and girls the opportunity to play organized soccer with a staff of coaches trained in the use of soccer for social change, receive a daily nutritious meal and clean drinking water, and attend school with the help of education scholarships.
The Sanneh Foundation’s newest achievement was being awarded an International Sports Programming Initiative award from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to design and implement a transformative two-way educational and cultural exchange program between the U.S. and Haiti. The Sanneh Foundation is using its expertise in soccer for development to focus on ways the sport can play a role in promoting more stable and inclusive communities, and as an alternative to anti-social behavior. The series of two-way exchanges will emphasize soccer as a tool to promote mutual understanding, social cohesion, and female empowerment for youth and community coaches in Haiti and the U.S.
Bownet Sports and Bownet Soccer could not be any more proud of what TSF is doing in Haiti. This is program is truly making a difference in one of the toughest cities in the world. Bownet is looking forward to partnering up with The Sanneh Foundation and its program in Haiti to provide top notch Bownet Soccer Goals as the Haitian Initiative works to empower kids, improve live and unite communities in Cite Soleil.
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