Jacques, Savela, Class of 2013 – (Cité Soleil, Haiti)

Practicum Summary:

Using Sports for Social Development and Promoting a Better Image of Cité Soleil

In her research practicum, Savela examines the relationship between sports and other collaborative games and whether or not Future Generations Haiti could use sports to encourage a gradual change in the trends and evolution of prejudices between residents of the community of Cité Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Historically, sports games have been used as a method of social integration and unification between people from different cultures and walks of life, as well as a way to instill national pride among citizens. Savela bases her theory that sports can help in unifying the slums in Cité Soleil on the thoughts of M. Ban Ki-Moon, who is the Secretariat General of the United Nations. He claims that sports are an important factor in social change and peace, and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development goals set up by the United Nations. In Savela’s research, questionnaires, interviews, and documentaries were used to access whether the relations between citizens living inside and outside of Cité Soleil could improve due to unification through sports. Savela concludes that while sports cannot be used as a development tool on its own, sports events between communities can foster psychological comfort needed to boost morale, unify citizens and break down sociocultural and economic borders— all circumstances required to pave the way for peace.