Pax Christi Ayiti

Pax Christi Port-au-Prince provides a safe place for youth to experience positive alternatives.  Through our philosophy, organizational structure, and programs we encourage local community building and decision making.  We educate and advocate, creating opportunities for peaceful social transformation and economic welfare.



SAKALA blends sports, community building, and peace education.  The term SAKALA is both an acronym and a word in and of itself.  As an acronym, it stands for “Sant Kominote Altenatif Ak Lape” which translates from Creole to English into “The Community Center for Peaceful Alternatives”.  As a word, it translates roughly to “We will find our way together”.   Pax Christi Port-au-Prince realized that sports were a way to bring people together and tap into a common passion in Haiti.  We decided to use soccer to unite the youth of Cite Soleil and expose them to new ways of thinking and practices of nonviolence while they are developing their skills in the game.  Currently, the program has established four soccer teams that partake in practices and tournaments to provide recreation and a methodology to disseminate peace messages throughout the city.   Small group classes occur where questions can be asked and understanding can grow about the concept of peace and its relationship to soccer and be a safe place for reflection and conflict mediation.  In addition to soccer, Pax Christi Port-au-Prince staff created “Dimanche Anti-Stress” or “Fun Sunday” after the earthquake of 2010.  This is a weekly gathering on Sundays for all the children of the neighborhood to come and participate in recreation (hoola hooping, Frisbee tossing, jumping rope), organized games, singing, and laughter with one another.  The SAKALA program helps participants to imagine and enact alternate realities in Cite Soleil as well as offer up a different, more complex vision of life in this neighborhood to those outside looking in.  It aims, through this, to open a space where the youth can begin to move forward and build their lives on a different premise, with self determination, of who they are and what they have to offer Port-au-Prince and the Republic of Haiti. 

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