After listening to the panelists and having the opportunity to ask them questions, the youth completed an exercise to develop a roadmap to help them reach their dream professions.

Cylla shares a light moment with a group of youth

After leaving Parc de Martissant, the group visited Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien (MUPANAH), a museum featuring artifacts and displays that chronicle Haiti’s rich history.  

From July 15th to the 17th, BAL held a 3-day basketball camp at the Sport for Hope Center, led by Jeantal Cylla. On Day 1, BAL’s Executive Director, Dave Fils-Aimé, introduced Cylla to BAL’s youth and staff, and presented him with a BAL jersey bearing his name and number. 

From left to right: Nogi-Clarvel Barron, Fritz Cenal, Ivanov Cadet, Nedgine Paul Deroly, Roudy Stanley Penn, Chancy Victorin

Cylla and Joseph work with the youth on the basketball court

On Friday, July 19th, BAL’s youth, staff and volunteers enjoyed a day at the beach Soleil Antillais in the town of Gressier.

Fils-Aimé with one of the award recipients, Came-Suze Paul

Cylla takes a souvenir picture with a group of youth

A partial view of the audience, which numbered around 150  

Cylla proudly displays a BAL jersey bearing his name and number

A still image from Cylla's dunk show to end the camp

A youth asks the panelists a question

Fils-Aimé presents Mathurin with a BAL jersey

During that first day of the camp, Cylla assessed the youth’s skill level through different drills. He also took the time to acquaint himself with many of them through group and individual conversations.

On Day 3, the youth were able to apply what they learned during the previous two days by forming different teams to play in a basketball tournament. For the tournament, the teams were grouped into four separate categories based on skill level. After the tournament, individual players from each of the four categories had the opportunity to put their shooting prowess on display by participating in the Shooting Stars contest.

Coach Jude Toussaint with a group of youth who played in the girls’ tournament

From left to right: Marc-Arthur Jean-Louis, Antoine Joseph, Jeantal Cylla, Dave Fils-Aimé

A doctor examines one of BAL’s youth

A doctor examines one of BAL’s youth

To wrap up the camp, Cylla put on a show with some thundering dunks that were accompanied by loud cheers of his name. Afterwards, the youth watched highlight videos of Cylla's games with the Haiti National Men’s Basketball team and the University of North Carolina Wilmington; they were truly amazed by his play and enjoyed the experience. Immediately after, Cylla delivered the camp’s closing remarks in which he emphasized the idea that he and the youth are part of one big family, and that he would always be there for them as their big brother. Cylla backed up this declaration by providing his phone number to those who requested it. 

In addition to the various performances, the youth who distinguished themselves on the basketball court and in the classroom received awards.

Minister Charles with a group of BAL’s beneficiaries, staff and volunteers

Cylla cuts the BAL 6th anniversary cake

All the award recipients are pictured with members of BAL’s staff and volunteers 

A youth tells the group his dream profession 

BAL’s 6th anniversary activities continued on Thursday, July 18th with field trips to two sites. The day began with a visit of Parc de Martissant, an urban park featuring a memorial dedicated to the victims of the 2010 earthquake, a medicinal garden, a library and a cultural center. 

BAL Celebrates 6 Years!

Inside the MUPANAH

On the 8th and final day of activities, BAL’s 6th Anniversary Celebration & Award Ceremony was held at the 5-star Karibe Hotel. The event featured a performance by one of Haiti’s most popular and prolific musicians, Mikaben. The youth were pleasantly surprised to see Mikaben enter the room and he captivated them with an animated performance of his most popular hits. Afterwards, the youth displayed their own talents with a series of musical, dance, spoken word, and standup comedy performances. 

From left to right: Jeantal Cylla, Minister Edwing Charles, Dave Fils-Aimé, Antoine Joseph

From July 14th to the 21st, BAL celebrated its sixth anniversary in Haiti through a series of activities. For the occasion, the organization had the pleasure of having the presence of the player who wears number 6 for the Haiti National Men’s Basketball team, Jeantal Cylla. A 2019 graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Cylla currently plays for the University of Arkansas Men's Basketball team as a grad transfer. While playing for Arkansas, Cylla is also pursuing a Master's degree in Adult and Lifelong Learning / Leadership at the university. 

​BAL’s 6th anniversary activities began with a Mobile Health Clinic held on July 14th at Haiti’s Sport for Hope Center. The clinic was organized in partnership with doctors from the group La Santé au Rythme and doctors Melissa Antoine, Joelle Denis and Reginald Fils-Aimé. This fantastic group of doctors who kindly volunteered their time for the clinic were able to provide check-ups to over 100 of BAL’s beneficiaries and staff members. 

A doctor examines one of BAL’s youth

On the 7th day of activities, BAL held a Career Panel & Visionary Goal-Setting Workshop for the youth at Haiti’s top private university, Université Quisqueya. The panel featured six accomplished professionals: statistician Nogi-Clarvel Barron, banker Ivanov Cadet, political consultant Roudy Stanley Penn, educator Nedgine Paul Deroly, journalist Chancy Victorin, and entrepreneur & software engineer Fritz Cenal. They all shared with the youth their paths towards their respective professions and provided them with advice on how to do the same. The panel was organized in partnership with Université Quisqueya and the Centre d'Entrepreneurship et de Leadership en Haïti (Haiti Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership). 

A light moment in Parc de Martissant’s medicinal garden

Cylla and Fils-Aimé in front of the MUPANAH

Inside Parc de Martissant’s library

BAL’s Executive Director, Dave Fils-Aimé, with the doctors who participated in the Mobile Health Clinic

During Day 2, BAL had the honor of welcoming two distinguished guests to the camp: the captain of the Haiti National Men’s Basketball team, Antoine Joseph, and Haiti’s Minister of Youth, Sports and Civic Action, Edwing Charles. Marc-Arthur Jean-Louis, Executive Director of the Sport for Hope Center, also stopped by the camp and shared a few words of encouragement with the youth. For this second day of the camp, Joseph joined Cylla in helping the youth improve their basketball skills through a variety of drills. Joseph ended the camp’s second day in style as he made a backwards half-court shot to the delight of BAL's youth and staff. A video of the shot can be viewed here

A group of girls from the Cité Soleil program do a dance performance 

Cylla returns to the gym wearing his BAL jersey

Prior to leaving the Sport for Hope Center, the group enjoyed a delicious cake gifted by one of BAL’s top volunteers, Johny Mathurin. In addition to the cake, Mathurin prepared the savory meals served to BAL’s youth, staff and volunteers from July 14th to the 17th. To thank Mathurin for his contribution, BAL’s Executive Director presented him with a BAL jersey bearing his name and favorite number.

Mikaben performs one of his hit songs 

Cylla provides instructions to a group of youth

The youth complete the career roadmap exercise 

Another group of youth in the ocean with Cylla 

Cylla with one of the winners of the Shooting Stars contest, Djoudmyli Germain

A group of youth play in the children’s pool

Basketball as a tool to mentor and educate Haitian youth

Basketball to Uplift the Youth​​