SAKALA Ayiti (Haiti)
7 Michiko, 3BB, Route Nationale #1, CiteSoleil, Haiti
GPS: 18.5753012, -72.3259141
"Sakala serves as Cite Soleil’s only youth community center, to develop children and young adults through athletics, agronomy, and education. Founded as a Pax Christi peacebuilding project, Sakala builds people of courage and character, to strengthen the families and communities of Cite Soleil.
Sakala works to the future where every child of Cite Soleil can join positive groups and programs, readily and freely available. We see a future where each of these children chooses a peaceful alternative to armed groups and violence. Sakala seeks to inspire the 150,000 children of Cite Soleil, in a way that one day a new Cite Soleil will inspire a new Haiti."
Cité Soleil is labeled as the poorest and most dangerous underdeveloped area in the Western Hemisphere. The densely populated neighborhood has seen decades of exploitation, government neglect, and social stigmatization, and Cité Soleil's youth bear the brunt of this marginalization. The founders and staff of SAKALA have consciously placed themselves here, working to transform children's lives. Simultaneously, they are combating the stereotypes of Cité Soleil.
SAKALA is a community center and organization that blends athletics, agronomy, and education in an effort to provide safe environments and empower the youth of Cité Soleil. SAKALA teaches them to become active members of their community, engaged in building a society in which social justice can flourish. The term SAKALA is both an acronym and a word in itself. As an acronym, it stands for "Sant Kominote Altenatif Ak Lape" which translates from Creole to English as "The Community Center for Peace and Alternatives." As a word, it translates roughly to "Acceptance."
250 youth from all 4 blocks of Cité Soleil are enrolled in SAKALA's programs, and the community center's playground, sports facilities, classrooms, library, computer lab, and urban garden also serve the community at large.