News News |
HaitiChildren’s newest initiative aims to keep Haitian children out of gangs by encouraging students to play soccer. Aspenite Susie Krabacher and her husband, Joe, founded the organization 28 years ago. With their staff, they currently care for 119 children in their orphanages, as well as over 500 students in their schools. It is one of two organizations in Haiti that provides free therapy to disabled children and adults.
Krabacher hopes that the new soccer academy will provide students — many of whom are children of gang members — with a strong sense of community and an alternative to joining the gangs that dominate Haitian society.
“It’s one way to keep these teenagers off of the really mean and dangerous streets,” Krabacher said. “And it gives them a sense of community and being part of something that’s bigger than them. I’ve seen so many kids murdered in the slums of Haiti, and this is my desperate attempt to entice the children to do something, a sport, something important, something that can grow their minds and their inner power, rather than taking up a gun.”
Krabacher’s goal is for the soccer academy to have different teams, with a total of 500 Haitian children. She hopes that the academy might also provide some students with the opportunity to be recruited onto professional soccer teams.
The idea to form the academy was inspired by two former HaitiChildren students who were recruited — one for a Welsh team, and one for the Kansas City team (although the latter was unable to join due to the obstacle of obtaining a visa).
“For the kids to be able to come into our well-secured walls — we have armed security, well-armed security — it will be a time for them to feel safe, to eat a meal and to play on a team, and maybe even get recruited into an international soccer team,” Krabacher said. “I’m just thrilled about it. I’m hoping that some of the people here in the Valley will help me support this idea, because it’ll take 500 kids off the street.”
HaitiChildren has faced heightened challenges due to worsening gang violence in Port-au-Prince. Recently, a 6-year-old student at HaitiChildren’s facility in Cite Soleil was shot while playing with his father near their house.Though both individuals survived the incident, the child now faces a long road to recovery, Krabacher said. The shooting was one of many during an especially violent week in the Cite Soleil neighborhood of Haiti’s capital. The fuel crisis and spike in inflation leading to an increase in hunger nationwide have exacerbated the issues that Haiti was already struggling with, according to France24.
HaitiChildren has several facilities located in Arcahaie and one in Cite Soleil. The facilities include a physical therapy center, a church and community center, a farm, three schools and a special education school, three orphanage dorms and various mobile clinics. The mobile clinics are operated in conjunction with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
Krabacher’s own challenging upbringing motivated her to start the organization. As a child in rural Alabama, she was abused and subsequently placed in the foster care system. The foster care system only had space for one child, so her brother was left without a home.
“My brother ended up killing himself, and I got rescued,” Krabacher said. “And I promised God that if I could just survive, that I would absolutely take care of kids that are hurt.”
HaitiChildren equips students to combat Haiti’s challenges by “educating the hell out of them,” Krabacher said. The students’ schooling begins with primary education, then a job during high school, which HaitiChildren pays an allowance for. The money from the allowance goes into an account that the students do not have access to until they graduate from the organization at age 18. By that time, students typically have enough money for three years of rent, Krabacher said.
Many students continue working with HaitiChildren as teachers, pastors or secretaries after graduation; the organization employs over 150 Haitians.
To ensure that HaitiChildren’s priorities are aligned with the local communities, the organization meets with community leaders to determine what programs are most important. The HaitiChildren campus opens to hundreds of villagers twice a month to discuss local problems. During these meetings, HaitiChildren provides medical care to the villagers and facilitates a discussion about which issues are most important. Currently, the organization’s main concern is water issues.
This year, with input from local leaders, HaitiChildren was forced to cut its summer camp programming to continue its food and therapy programming.
“We’ve really struggled with getting funds because Haiti is struggling, and there’s not a lot of sympathy for Haiti,” Krabacher said. “So I have to talk to the community leaders and say, ‘Look, you know, we are struggling with funds, what is most important to you right now?’”
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Ute Mountaineer is currently seeking Sales Associates. We are people who love the outdoors and want to help customer by…
Seeking Professional Day and Night Drivers Aspen Set your own schedule weekly Top Drivers Earn $30+/hr. Up to $1,000 sign-on…
Now Hiring: The Aspen Mountain Residences Front Desk Agent Maintenance Engineer Bell Attendant Housekeeping Manager Housekeeping Supervisor Learn more and…
Computer skills, Office Experience, and Strong Personal Skills. Competitive pay & benefits.
Live and Work in the Beauty of the Mountains BG Architecture & Design located in Aspen, Colorado is growing and…
Send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Granby Ranch’s Ranch Hall is seeking a fun and energetic people person to greet homeowners and guests. Duties will include…
Pay now $20/hr! Applicants should love kids, have an outgoing personality, and enjoy being around others. Not currently certified? Don’…
The Aspen Times is looking for detail oriented, early risers to deliver newspapers in the Roaring Fork Valley. Earn money…
Davinroy Services Inc., property management company in Snowmass, is seeking to hire the following positions. Part-Time QuickBooks Bookkeeper $25-$35 (starting…
FRONT DESK CLERK Yampah Hot Springs and Spa is looking for a Front Desk Clerk. The ideal candidate is someone…
Crew: $17.00 per hour, Shift Managers: $190.00 per hour. Management Opportunities, Free Meals, Free Uniforms, Flexible Schedules. Text WEN12 to…
FT/PT, Morning and mid-day shifts. Willits location. Gym membership included.
Home Team BBQ is hiring managers & hosts immediately! Join our crew at the base of Buttermilk Mountain! If you…
NOW HIRING Server, Bartender, Host, Food Runners, PM Prep Cook, Dishwasher, Bussers, Expo Please send your resume to email@example.com or…
Immediate availability for all levels of handy work, in snowmass village. FT or PT. some lifting required. Hourly $40.00
Residence Life Assistant Coordinator Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Glenwood Springs Please go to: www.coloradomtn.edu/employment for more information. Under the…
Part time, minimum experience needed. Exercise background helpful, strong interpersonal skills.
Job Type Full-time Description Sign on Bonus: $1,500, ask for details. The position will be located in the Vail, CO…
THPK is a boutique CPA firm located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado that specializes in tax preparation & planning and financial…
A new tax on short-term rentals has wide support; how about raising ambulance tax?
A new tax on short-term rentals has wide support; how about raising ambulance tax?
Place Legal Ad
Search Legal Ads
Farm & Ranch
Become a Carrier
Submit a Request to Update a Crime Story
Submit an Obituary
Commercial Print Sales
Do not sell my personal information
Breckenridge – Summit County
Craig – Moffat County
Glenwood Springs – Rifle
Park City – Utah
Steamboat Springs – Routt County
Vail – Eagle Valley
Winter Park – Granby – Grand County
Aspen High School – Skier Scribbler
Printing Press Jobs
©2005 – 2022 Swift Communications, Inc.