Empower2Play is hoping that football can provide some diversion and relief for the youth in Cite Soleil, Haiti. The organization will be hosting a 10-day sports diplomacy event in Cite Soleil with the U.S. Embassy to focus on using football to help Haitian kids learn the fundamentals of American football and give them the chance to play the game and get active in their community. Three hundred local youth and 100 volunteers involved from all parts of the world will help make the event happen.
And for people who can’t attend, Empower2Play will live-stream a virtual reality broadcast of the event worldwide.
Empower2Play will launch its very own ten-day sports diplomacy event with the US Embassy in Cite Soleil, Haiti, incorporating American Football, which begins on September 10th. Founder and Former All-American sprinter from the University of Oregon, AK Ikwuakor will host the event alongside Kako Bourjolly, a widely acclaimed Haitian celebrity.
Kako stated, “In order to succeed, we must come together and empower the youth for the greater good of Haiti. The work we accomplish at this event will bring a better tomorrow.” This event will bring together over 300 local youth and 100 volunteers from around the world.
In partnership with Livit Now, Empower2Play will have a live broadcast of the event worldwide through virtual reality technology. Vice President of Livit Now, Gregory Goldstein says “Livit is honored to help Empower2Play do the first ever live stream in Virtual Reality from Haiti. Virtual Reality gives the world a way to be immersed in any live event. Virtual Reality is powerful – it’s just like being there.” This partnership will give people worldwide an opportunity to understand a neighborhood that is often underrepresented and notorious for violence and unrest.
In addition, this event has gained support from the U.S. Embassy. “The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince is proud to partner with Empower2Play on its sports diplomacy initiative. The training Empower2Play will offer young Haitians promises to embolden them into making healthy, creative choices in both work and leisure, making the communities in which they live stronger as a result of their engagement. Congratulations Haiti. Thank you Empower2Play” -Indran Amirthanayagam, Public Affairs Counselor, U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince.
This event and technology will allow people around the world to see a side of Haiti not usually represented in the media. Coach AK explained, “This past Sunday, I was in Cite Soleil and my most vivid experience was not of any violence, but instead of young boys and girls in their Sunday’s best walking the streets after church. No violence, but instead a strong feeling of community. Our mission is to show sides of the world most people are unable to see. With virtual reality, the world will finally get that chance.”
Empower2Play (E2P) is a U.S.-based NGO whose mission is to identify next generation leaders and foster cross-cultural relations through the power of sports. Their vision is to create a global family one sport at a time by connecting diverse populations to promote cultural understanding with a focus on building youth leadership for future generations.