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Vapor Sports Center: Ouanaminthe, Haiti

Vapor Sports’ fourth sports center to promote youth empowerment through sports, mentoring, and youth-development programs, will be serving the community of Ouanaminthe, located in the Nord-Est department of Haiti. Establishment of this sports center will begin in February 2011. Indigenous leaders, trained by Vapor, will instruct 40 life-coaches who daily facilitate the Ouanaminthe sports league. On the fields each day, young people will be challenged, encouraged, and empowered by these life-coaches. It is Vapor’s goal to help this community, mainly by empowering and training locals, but also through the immediate, essential task of alleviating Ouanaminthe’s humanitarian aid needs. Therefore, to alleviate Ouanaminthe’s need for clean water, Vapor will install a high-capacity commercial well to provide clean drinking water for the sports leagues, as well as low-cost household water throughout the community. Within the first year, Vapor seeks to distribute at least 1,000,000 liters of water through this water project. To address Ouanaminthe’s lack of education, Vapor’s child sponsorship program will link children with sponsors in the United States and provide education scholarships and daily meal stipends to children with the highest need. Vapor will use the $25,000 grant to establish the sports center facilities, including the sports fields, equipment room, local office, and high-capacity well. All of these facilities play an important role in Vapor’s overall strategy to empower Ouanaminthe’s children through sports, and to ultimately improve their lives.

Who is the sponsoring organization?

Vapor Sports Ministries. Vapor Sports Ministries establishes centers for humanitarian aid and sustainable life change in third-world environments. We use sports as a platform to teach, empower, and train people in the poorest, most undesirable and economically-unstable areas around the world. We also offer physical help to these communities through providing clean water, child sponsorships, disease-detection and avoidance education, and sustainable job opportunities. Vapor connects with young people in slums by leveraging a platform of sports leagues in a consistent, systematic way. Youth are participating in the sports league 5 days a week, with 30 minutes of each 2-hour sports practice devoted to challenging, encouraging, and developing personal life skills. It is Vapor’s desire for each young person to know his or her potential, become leaders, and affect change within their community. Vapor's vision is to build forty of its self-sustainable sports centers by 2017. Vapor has sports centers in the Kawangware slum of Nairobi, Kenya, in the Gichagi slum of Ngong, Kenya, and in third-world Togoville, Togo. The establishing of a center in Ouanaminthe, Haiti begins in February 2011, followed by this particular sports center project in Verrettes, Haiti. In 2012, Vapor seeks to build two more life-changing centers in East Africa.

Where will the project be located?

Ouanaminthe, Nord-Est, Haiti

Ouanaminthe, Haiti. Ouanaminthe is a city of approximately 100,000 to 120,000 people with a severe need for clean water, sanitation, and medical care. There are no high-capacity clean water wells within the community, and medical care is less than adequate with only one hospital/clinic employing a minimal staff. More than half of the children in the city are currently not enrolled in schools due to lack of schools and lack of personal funding to enroll. The city faces a high rate of malaria and water-borne illnesses due to lack of education about prevention methods and a lack of medical treatments. Vapor seeks to help Ouanaminthe in all of these areas of humanitarian aid, but mostly we seek to empower the local youth and children through something the community is so passionate about: soccer.

Do facilities at the location need to be constructed or upgraded?

Yes. The piece of land in Ouanaminthe where Vapor will build this sports center is approximately 15 acres, and has no existing structures on it. The ground needs to be cleared and leveled before constructing any of Vapor's facilities. After the land is leveled, Vapor will begin the establishing of 3-4 sports fields (with the capacity to have 9-11 football matches or other games played simultaneously). We will build an equipment storage facility to house all of the youth's jerseys, balls, goals, etc. Vapor will also construct an office building for the center representatives, staff, and coaches to complete their day-to-day activities. Finally, Vapor will install a high-capacity commercial well to provide clean drinking water to all the individuals participating in the sports leagues. This construction of Vapor's well includes a hydrology report, electricity wired to the site, well house, distribution tank, high-capacity pumps, drilling, casing and capping of the well.

Are any further architectural or design services required?

Yes. Vapor seeks to use the resources made available within Ouanaminthe as efficiently as possible, and we desire to maximize the utility of any sports facility we build. For example, at our sports center in Ngong, Kenya, we constructed an oval-shaped, quarter-mile track, and in the center of the track we designed fields for children to play football so the two sports could be played simultaneously. An architectural/design professional would be able to help Vapor’s sports center achieve the highest utility, without wasting any of the land that has been provided to Vapor. Vapor also desires to involve as many individuals in the sports center as possible to make an impact on and to improve the maximum amount of lives within the community of Ouanaminthe as practicable. A professional would realize this goal for Vapor by designing a facility that engages as many local children, youth, and adults as possible.

Would this project benefit from the assistance of construction professionals?

No. Each of our existing Vapor Sports Centers have been designed by indigenous architects and engineers, and constructed by indigenous hired workers. Creating jobs for locals and using local resources is a huge priority in Vapor's strategy to work alongside our indigenous partners and to engage individuals within Verrettes. We desire for the community to be the actual builders and to be a part of the center's establishment. Vapor feels this technique creates pride in the center, knowing that the center was built by locals, for locals. Two Vapor representatives will live in the community for 1-2 years, and will oversee the construction of the project, making sure all construction plans are being successfully accomplished. Therefore, Vapor will not necessarily benefit from the assistance of construction professionals, for the sole reason that it could potentially be detrimental to our overall strategy of engaging and empowering locals.