Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Kevin Pamphile Says Helping Students in Haiti Was ‘Amazing’

In three years with the Bucs, offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile has been active in sending school supplies and hygiene kits to students in his parents’ homeland of Haiti. Last month, he made his first trip there and saw in person the lives he was working so hard to improve.

“It was amazing,” said Pamphile, 26, who started 14 games for the Bucs last season, all but one at left guard. “To see the island, to see the culture, the atmosphere, to see how much they have to struggle each day …it really touched me, and I know there’s more that can be done.”

Pamphile visited for four days in February with his father, Serge, and two college teammates from Purdue. He spoke at schools and delivered donated goods from fundraising efforts he had helped coordinate in Tampa. He’ll be back in July to host a youth football camp for about 250 children, another way he can give back.

Pamphile had heard stories of Haiti from his parents — his mother, Marie, died in August at age 57 — but had never seen the country up close before. An earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 still has left extensive damage, as Pamphile found in touring an impoverished area called Cite Soleil, part of Haiti’s capital and largest city, Port-au-Prince.

His father, who came to the United States around 1980, had been home only briefly for family funerals and drove through areas he knew growing up, surprised to see the devastation that has persisted around Port-au-Prince.

“Some of the buildings that were there when he grew up were pretty much rubble,” he said. “To see how congested some parts are with people, when he described it, he described how beautiful it was when he was growing up, so it was crazy.”

In addition to local education projects, Pamphile is now president of Athletes for Haiti, a charity launched from a larger organization, Athletes for Charity, which Pamphile continues to work with. He’s organizing a fundraiser at Top Golf in Tampa in May to help support education and sports initiatives in Haiti.

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SOURCE: Tampa Bay, Greg Auman