Playmaker Spotlight – Caring for future leaders in Haiti

By: Gina Fleurvil, Life is Good Playmaker

There are a lot of assumptions made around the world about what kids in Haiti need.

As someone who works closely with these kids every day, I can tell you that our kids need what all kids need: Nutritious food, clean water, a warm, safe place to sleep, learn, and grow. Time to play, and people who love them to play with.

Far too often, I think far too many adults—even those who really want to help—pass over those last two essentials: Play and love.

I’m a social worker who manages programing at the Be Like Brit Orphanage. “Brit’s Home,” as it’s affectionately known here in Grand Goave, Haiti, houses 33 girls and 33 boys. These are some of Haiti’s next great leaders, and they must find their place in our county and world without the support of family.

To call it a major responsibility feels like a major understatement. It’s an honor. A passion. A purpose—one that’s kept me from feeling too overwhelmed thanks in part to The Life is Good Kids Foundation and its Playmaker Program.

The tools, retreats, and coaching that I continue to receive through The Life is Good Kids Foundation has given me permission to play, to have fun creating games that engage the kids and adults I work with, and to make space to take care of me so that I am best able to take care of others.

Maybe it sounds silly or simple, but no one ever told me that before: That it’s important for me to keep playing and taking care of me so that I can best take care of others. I now find gratitude in the little things, like starting my day jumping rope.

I know that I can grow the good among these kids because, despite how hard or trying things are, I now have the tools, the skills, and the disposition to help them discover joy. That’s enough to keep me jumping in to do more each and every day.

To send a note of gratitude to Playmaker Gina Fleurvil, or to nominate a Playmaker in your life for a future feature, click “Submit.”