Community Papers

Ladner teen to teach Haitian refugees

Ladner Vipers’ player Chloe Fulton, 16, is headed to the Bahamas to teach  soccer clinics and life skills to Haitian refugees.  - Adrian MacNair
Ladner Vipers’ player Chloe Fulton, 16, is headed to the Bahamas to teach soccer clinics and life skills to Haitian refugees.
— image credit: Adrian MacNair

When 16-year-old Ladner Vipers’ midfielder Chloe Fulton is on the soccer pitch her mind is completely focused on the task at hand, and all her worries and stress disappears.

The teen is hoping to bring that experience to impoverished Haitian refugees children when she visits the tiny Bahamian island of Spanish Wells this week. She and other teens will be teaching soccer clinics and life skills to children who lost everything in the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010.

A soccer player for the past 10 years, Fulton’s Ladner team has been to the provincials twice, losing in a heartbreaking shootout last year in double overtime. Her soccer league has donated jerseys for the trip so she can make some teams of her own when she reaches the Bahamas.

Fulton has volunteered every Saturday night for the past 10 years at the Vancouver Friendship Network which welcomes new immigrants and international students to Canada with songs and prayer. A member of the Emmanuel Christian Community, she says reaching out to other cultures is an important part of her faith.

“It’s a mission trip so we’ll be doing worship with my guitar,” she adds.

Fulton is leaving with a group of teens from around the world through Landry Academy (a home school faith-based curriculum), including her cousin Zuri Vankevich, a 17-year-old soccer and basketball player from Langley, and two other 14-year-olds from Langley, Monique Bouchard and Rachel Haak, who will be teaching dance workshops. Langley United Soccer and Langley Basketball and North Langley Baseball are also donating sports gear for the Canadian part of the team to take down.

The needs and special requests for the refugees include sports gear, personal hygiene and first aid supplies, children’s clothing, undergarments for teens, hair accessories, books, flip flops, sports, school and sewing supplies.

The total cost of the trip (including airfare from Seattle) is $1,400, which Fulton has raised through her friends, family, church, and by selling flowers and bulbs.

Fulton says she’s looking forward to comparing her school-taught French with the Haitian Creole of the island. And although she’s never been so far away from home she’s excited about the opportunity.

“Interesting, but it’ll be fun. I’m ready for it. It’s only a week.”

To reach out to Fulton or donate to her trip you can email her at fulton4@telus.net.

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