Meet Nadège: first female coach for GOALS Haiti
28 years old
Nadège Exilhomme, mother, coach and educator, lives in Destra—a small, isolated fishing village located on the outskirts of Leogane, Haiti. She is one of the few women to play football in Destra, and her level, even though she’s an amateur, is still higher than her friends’. Appreciated by adults and children, Nadège became the first female coach for GOALS Haiti. Since the community trusted Nadège, GOALS had no reason to doubt her.
Today, Nadège is well-known and respected by her community. Her work with GOALS helped her to grow and become a leader who’s able to gather the majority together. Her wish is to bring young people together and teach them the ability to do something by themselves.
Nadège believes in the power of soccer to develop positive self-esteem, and she believes in the potential of her generation and in the education of Haitian youth.
As a coach for GOALS, Nadège works with the “Ti pwason” (Little Fishes) team, a mixed-gender group of around 40 children six to 13 years old. She has the patience needed to work with children and youth, who sometimes don’t know anything about soccer. The children trust her, and she likes her work. Monday through Friday, she strongly leads her team and has them play soccer as she delivers lessons on health, environment, hygiene, etc.
Several years ago, three girls from Nadège’s team were selected by the Haitian Federation of Football to be part of the national soccer school in Port-au-Prince. It’s partly thanks to Nadège’s work the girls were able to achieve such success.
She is a real defender of human rights, especially for children and women. She leads a team of young boys and girls—giving them the same attention, putting them on same level to play soccer and talk together.
Nadège played a key role in setting up the GOALS literacy project in Destra. She put GOALS in touch with the appropriate people to complete a successful pilot project.
Nadège returned to secondary school last year and is a role model for many young people in Destra who cannot afford to go to school every year.
Nadège represents GOALS on the field alongside other coaches. Every month, she also meets with the parents of young GOALS participants to discuss various activities: the start of the school year, scholarships, excursions for the children, schedule changes, special activities, etc. She is a reference for the parents of Destra because they trust her.
Nadège is a community motivator, walking around the village and encouraging the youth to attend soccer training, English class or community workshops and services. All the youth in Destra know her.
Nadège invests her time and energy in the development of her community. She is an ideal leader—a volunteer, available, determined, ready to give to the well-being of her community and her country. She is a role model for every young person in Destra and also for the women around her. She is proof that one young Haitian woman has the ability to create positive change, a real example of hope for the youth and for Haiti.
Story shared by GOALS Haiti