Westsyde Youth gearing up for Haiti trip
For Jordy Orsetti and his team of 17 — the Westsyde Youth — soccer is more than a game, it’s a chance to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
On Aug. 3, Orsetti, three adult chaperones and 13 youth will fly to Haiti to hold a soccer camp for impoverished children.
Orsetti, youth pastor at Westsyde Fellowship Church, has held High Power Soccer Camp in Westsyde for the past eight years.
“For our group, we’re excited about Haiti, but I’m even more excited [for] when these kids get back home,” Orsetti said.
The trip will likely foster a greater appreciation among the teens for what they have, Orsetti said, while highlighting the importance of helping others.
For the Haitians, Orsetti said, the camp will offer a chance to experience something new.
Missionaries Rob and Debbie Wray invited the group to come to Haiti.
Originally from Kamloops, the Wrays have a Sunday school program in a poor area of Haiti called Renault.
They feed and clothe impoverished children from the area.
“As these feeding programs continue, there’s always a tremendous amount of aid heading down to them, so it’s just more kids to get connected with them to have the opportunity to have more than what they already have,” Orsetti said.
They will arrive at Port-Au-Prince for the 10-day trip and stay at the Wrays’ camp, which is near Renault.
The group will help out at the Wrays’ Sunday school by distributing meals and clothing during the two Sundays they are in Haiti.
Orsetti’s group will take between 80 and 100 children from Renault to the soccer camp each day.
The Wrays will have translators to help deal with the language barrier.
The soccer camp will run Monday to Thursday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Basic skills in areas such as passing, shooting and trapping will open camp each day.
The Westsyde Youth team will also put on plays, sing songs, teach from the Bible and break into small discussion groups, Orsetti said.
Then they’ll scrimmage for the rest of the camp and have lunch before each day is done.
In the evenings, Orsetti’s group will meet and play games with youth volleyball, basketball and soccer teams, which are sponsored by the Wrays.
On Friday and Saturday, the group will tour an aids orphanage, marketplaces and a prison.
“I think we’re going to get the opportunity to see a different side of Haiti,” Orsetti said.
“It’s a really impoverished and troubled nation and I think it would be neat for us to see a lot of that.”
Through various fundraisers and donations, the group has raised more than $30,000 since October.
The kids posted a $500 commitment fee before raising another $1,200 to send themselves to Haiti, said Orsetti, who thanked those in the community who gave to the cause.
The group was given sporting equipment to bring to the Haitians.
Westsyde secondary donated basketball, volleyball and soccer jerseys, along with shorts.
Hansport provided 50 pairs of cleats and the group received used jerseys from the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association.
The Westsyde Youth team is scheduled to return to Canada on Aug. 13.