In 2011, I returned home from playing professional soccer in the United States, and decided to spend my off-season as a coach, training kids at some of the private schools local to my home in Nassau, Bahamas.
During my new role as a coach, and whilst watching a public school tournament (organized by the Bahamas Football Association), I was amazed to see the level of natural skill and ability displayed, regardless of the lack of extensive coaching or practice. I knew then that what I really wanted to do was to help nurture and develop opportunities for ALL of the children in the Bahamas, and so YESI or Youth Empowerment Through Soccer International was born.
The vision started to evolve with daily clinics being held in our poorer neighborhoods, or "grass root" areas, throughout the island of New Providence. We were quickly drawn to an old proverb: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". It became clear very quickly that sporadically visiting different villages whenever we had the time or resources available to take them food and soccer supplies, was not enough. I realized that to be able to truly support the youth of that village I would have to learn more about each individual child, their background, their family situation, and their living conditions.
In September of 2012 YESI started its full-time soccer program at a facility adjacent to Gambier Primary School. Gambier is one of the oldest villages in New Providence, located 9 miles west of Nassau. Up to 200 children are coached, mentored, fed & clothed every week. YESI strongly believes knowledge is POWER! As these children grow physically stronger through training 4 days a week (3 days per week after school, and Saturday mornings) we are also supporting their emotional development alongside their academic progress. This is possible due to a well organized coaching schedule that works alongside a structured volunteer tutoring and mentor program. The children are learning to take the same principles of TEAM WORK, COMMITMENT and HARD WORK into their daily lives. Our goal is to ensure that we improve EACH and EVERY child's overall experience.
YESI has made a commitment to these children, who in turn have made a commitment to themselves to train hard, behave responsibly and most importantly, believe they can turn their dreams of a brighter future into a reality.
Happy Hall, Founder of YESI
YESI Soccer, PO Box SS6297, #40 Airport Industrial Park, Nassau, the Bahamas
Telephone: +1 (242) 427-3283