• Playing With A Purpose

    CAC leaders Saraswati Negi and Nandini Vijay Kumar recently traveled to Bangladesh to work with coaches and youth leaders from our partners Sports for Hope and Independence. Here Nandini writes about that experience.

    PLAY…… the word that always puts a smile on everyone’s face irrespective of age, caste, socio economic background and region. So when we say Purposeful Play it is a mixed reaction of both joy and confusion, joy because it is play but the confusion is how can it be purposeful. So then what is Purposeful Play? As the name suggests, play with a purpose. We at CAC believe that play should be meaningful and our participants should learn through our Self-Directed Learning methodology. We use play as a tool to help our coaches/ participants address social issues and life skills, which helps them better connect to real life situations.

    What better way then to interact with young coaches and youth leaders of Sports for Hope and Independence, Bangladesh than through Purposeful Play as we did recently.

    An introduction to the Play Based Methodology, Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom opened the minds of these young leaders who will go back to their communities and work with children, adolescents and youth. 

    At the onset we observed the participants were confused about how we can connect sport/games to life but the next day after experiencing real life situations on field they were able to make these connections very well. As we follow the 80:20 play: discussion method we found that participants express themselves more confidently and were able to recognize challenges in their communities and they were able to come up with different solutions to the same challenge. The coaches experienced the joy of playing and understood the importance of including play in their everyday training sessions.

    Gender inequality is one of the biggest challenges that any community faces especially communities in South Asia that are Patriarchal over generations and these traditions are considered normal here. Cultural norms and restrictions curtail girls/women from stepping out, voicing out and moving forward toward their own betterment. The Purposeful Play methodology helped these young coaches identify cultural and natural differences between boys and girls/ men and women. 

    Every developing or underdeveloped country is working toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and through our Purposeful Play we helped the coaches understand the meaning of sustainability and how education and sport need to go hand in hand to achieve sustainability. Purposeful Play focuses on SDG4: Quality Education where we help our participants redefine success and help them differentiate between Chance and Choice, cheating and making mistakes and learning from their mistakes and from one another which is Self-Directed Learning. As a coach what better education can one give than to help them understand that it is OK to make mistakes as long as they learn from them and do not keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

    A coach should be one who can create a safe space for his/her participants to be able to express themselves freely and not judge them based on their caste, religion, community, socio economic background or their experiences. A coach is not all knowing there should not be any hierarchy and they should be willing to listen to their participants, be one among them and be open to learning from them as well.

    Messages like these when spoken can be very heavy for one to handle and he/she might not be able to understand the concept clearly but we have created an experiential learning environment where we address these through games/play so once they experienced the situations they were able to connect faster.

  • Project Launch – Gender and Climate

    We are delighted to announce the 10 successful Women-Led Organisations that will be working in partnership with CAC’s Choice for Women brand on the Gender and Climate Project funded by The Swedish Postcode Foundation.

    Sports With A Mission

    GOALS Haiti

    The Girls Foundation of Tanzania

    Kick4Life

    Raya34 Sports

    Reclaim Childhood

    Palestine Sports for Life

    GOALS Armenia

    Misbah Volleyball Academy

    Futebol dá Força Foundation

    Our successful partners come from 10 different countries representing the regions of the  Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Eurasia. Three of these organizations have completed their CAC accreditation pathway and a further three are on track to become accredited in 2023. One of these organizations has a CAC accredited coach and at least two women coaches from other organizations in this cohort will be accredited in 2023.

    These organizations will recruit and train 20 women leaders from within their communities who will receive virtual training and support to deliver a custom designed Purposeful Play curriculum focusing on gender issues which are exacerbated by the climate crisis. 

    Together CAC and the women-led organizations will aim to educate 15,000 participants over the course of the next 12 months to increase knowledge and confidence regarding gender and climate issues, creating a legacy of empowered women who can become activists within their communities.

    Each organization will also select one female climate activist who will design and implement their own climate related project to educate and empower others to make positive changes that benefit the environment. 

    If you have would like further information about this project please contact

  • CAC & Disney Expand Partnership in Latin America

    • Disney believes in the importance of healthy living and nutrition for children globally. 
    • In line with that belief Coaches Across Continents is pleased to announce an expansion of our international initiative using play to promote healthy living, nutrition, and physical activity. 
    • Previously this initiative focused on Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Now we are delighted to expand to include Chile and Colombia in addition to those 3 original countries.
    • 12 established community organizations in 5 countries will deliver sustainable education programs teaching underserved youth aged 11-18 why healthy living is important.

    Buenos Aires, Argentina: Coaches Across Continents (CAC) and Creating Legacies 17 is delighted to continue working with Disney. This partnership is now expanding to Chile and Colombia, in addition to continuing our prior work within low socio-economic communities in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. CAC has designed a unique play-based healthy living curriculum which ensures youth leaders have the tools to discuss vital Disney messages around nutrition, physical activity, mental health, and hydration. The curriculum is consistent while being adaptable for the specific challenges facing a diverse range of communities in the chosen countries. CAC trains and supports 12 community partners and their youth leaders in the 5 countries about using the curriculum, ensuring child protection, and core coaching methodology.

    After developing this program in 8 communities in 2021/22 we are pleased to be expanding to 12 communities in 2022/23. In each community established partner organizations have been selected to receive the curriculum and training and deliver play-based youth programs with underserved populations. 

    In Argentina this initiative will be delivered in Bolougne (Fundación Starte) and Mar del Plata (Cambio de Paso). 

    In Brazil this initiative will be delivered in Diadema, SP (ACER Brasil), Morro do Castro, RJ (UMRio/ONERio) and Sao Paulo, SP (Time Naurú).

    In Chile this initiative will be delivered in 2 communities in Santiago (Fútbol Más).

    In Colombia this initiative will be delivered in Guayabal, Medellín (Fundacion TCP) and Urabá, Antioquia (Club Deportivo Costazul).

    In Mexico this initiative will be delivered in Bacalar (Girls United FA), Puebla (Topos FC), and Valle de Chalco (Natlik A.C.).

    The anticipated impact of this initiative is that 120 leaders will be trained to be healthy living community educators and 6,000 underserved youth aged 11-18 will be educated in Disney healthy living. The beneficiaries vary depending on the partner organization and community; from blind youth in Puebla, Mexico to children at-risk of hunger in Morro do Castro, Brazil.

    We are excited to bring this partnership to new communities.

    “At Disney we know that our stories reach millions of families in the entire region, and that is why we have an enormous responsibility and opportunity in inspiring positive habits and values. Diet, active life, rest and hygiene are the first habits we acquire from a young age, and we believe that, through our content, experiences, characters and stories, we can collaborate in identifying them and then adopting them. Support for organizations that positively impact children and young people through food and sport is part of making healthy life a proposal more accessible through all childhood”. 

    Belén Urbaneja, Director of Social Responsibility Corporate, Brand Management and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, The Walt Disney Company Latin America.

    ‘We are honored to be expanding our partnership with Disney in Latin America. Their commitment to healthy living aligns perfectly with our mission to use play to address the Sustainable Development Goals. As a result of Disney’s invaluable support we will be able to educate thousands of children in 12 communities about the importance of eating healthily, participating in physical activity, and maintaining mental health. As we live in an increasingly online world the urgent need for projects such as this only becomes more apparent.’

    Brian Suskiewicz, Coaches Across Continents Chief Executive

    ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS:

    About #ViveMásSaludable

    Disney’s commitment to fostering healthier generations takes life under its #ViveMásSaludable initiative, which is expressed in internal and external activities in Latin America: social investment, programs for employees, content, promotions and licenses, advertising business, events and experiences. Using the power of entertainment and guided by a comprehensive policy, the initiative offers creative, diverse and entertaining proposals to motivate and facilitate healthier lifestyles, with a special focus on childhood. 

    Coaches Across Continents 

    Coaches Across Continents is an award-winning non-profit focused on education and community development. Its Purposeful Play curriculum and Education Outside the Classroom (EOC) methodology supports communities to design pathways towards social change based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. EOC empowers communities, organizations, leaders and young people to analyze their needs and implement strategies to choose their futures. CAC has trained and certified 25,000+ community coaches and leaders, and annually, provides quality education for over 16 million youth.

    CONTACT: 

    Coaches Across Continents – Adam Burgess,

    English Press Release

    Portuguese Press Release

    Spanish Press Release

  • Women and Climate Initiative With the Swedish Postcode Foundation

    • Coaches Across Continents is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Swedish Postcode Foundation (SPF) that addresses the effects of climate change on women and girls globally. The project is supported with 2,170,000 SEK (200,000 USD) and is carried out until April 2024. 

    Coaches Across Continents’ Choice For Women brand is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Swedish Postcode Foundation. The Swedish Postcode support non-governmental organisations in Sweden and internationally that foster positive social impact or search for long-term solutions to global challenges.

    Our collaborative Women and Climate initiative will seek to address the global climate crisis and the disproportionate effects it has on women. This project will enable those who are most impacted by climate change in countries of low income to mobilize themselves and their communities by placing tools and funds into the hands of local, women-led programs and leaders. It will activate women-led organisations and female leaders to ‘Act’ on Climate Change, and the gender-specific issues it brings, in their community through comprehensive play-based training, curriculum, & resources.

    “Climate change disproportionately affects women and young girls. To invest in female leaders and give them the right tools to max their potential to lead their local communities in climate work is a must. We are proud to support Coaches Across Continents who uses the exciting form of comprehensive play-based training to do just that!” says Marie Dahllöf, Secretary General of the Swedish Postcode Foundation.

    Choice For Women, with the help of an expert panel, will select 10 women-led community partners from our global network to receive curriculum, training, year-round resources, and funding starting in January 2023. These partners will use play-based programming to address gender-related climate issues over the course of 16 months. Each of the 10 selected partners will also nominate a female Active Citizen to deliver a project that impacts a climate-related gender issue they are passionate about within their community.

    Throughout the project, Choice For Women will provide resources, strategies, and bespoke consultancy to each of the programs and Active Citizens to support their delivery, organisation, and long-term sustainability. We will measure the impact against key UN SDGs including 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), and 13 (Climate Action).

    Choice For Women is a specialized women-led organization working within Coaches Across Continents that aims to equip girls and women with the tools to become global Active Citizens, achieve UN SDG 5.1, and create a more gender-equal world.

    The Swedish Postcode Foundation aims to encourage sustainable development by supporting NGOs in Sweden and internationally that foster positive social impact or search for long-term solutions to global challenges.

    For all inquiries regarding this project, please contact .

    Downloadable press release

     

  • Partnership With PLAY International

    PLAY International and Coaches Across Continents have signed an agreement to create opportunities for the implementation of social development programmes. The two organisations have committed to sharing their educational contents and testing each other’s play sessions, to learn from each other.

    “CAC is delighted to launch this partnership with PLAY International. We have been working towards similar goals for many years with the shared desire to use intentional and thoughtful play-based methodologies to achieve sustainable social impacts. We have great respect for PLAY’s work and approach and we’re thrilled to explore the possibilities of this collaboration and what we can achieve with our collective experience and programs.”
    Nora Dooley, Impact Team Leader and Choice for Women Brand Director

    “PLAY International and Coaches Across Continents are both developing pedagogies using sports games to serve social ambitions and more equality; our respective expertise has enabled us to reach very similar conclusions on the possibility of training professionals in innovative content while allowing children to learn and change their perceptions while having fun. The concrete practices of CAC, especially through the use of football, will undoubtedly be a source of enrichment for our programmes and we are looking forward to this collaboration full of educational, sporty, playful perspectives.”
    Henri Lelorrain, PLAY pedagogical referent.

    About Coaches Across Continents
    Coaches Across Continents is the global leader in using Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom to address the UN SDGs and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. CAC’s three brands work at all levels, from advising governments and creating corporate social purpose to advancing community organizations, developing coaches, and educating young people. Through 15 years of creating legacies of social change, CAC has been recognized with 30 major global awards.

    About PLAY International

    PLAY International is a pioneering NGO working in the field of development and education through
    sport. It was founded in 1999 with the core belief that sport is a source of solutions to meet our social
    challenges. For 20 years, PLAY International has invested in sport as a lever for education and social change. This action in the field shows that it is possible to positively impact the life course by inventing new ways of using physical activity and sport: to promote learning and develop life skills; facilitate dialogue between war-battered communities; etc.

  • Mariah Lee Reflects on Trip to the DRC

    Step Up Athlete and professional soccer player, Mariah Lee, talks about her first on-field experience with CAC, advancing gender equality in the DRC. 

    I have just returned home after spending two weeks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). While I have been a part of the Choice For Women team for more than a year now, this was my first on-field experience with CAC. For the majority of my time in the DRC, I led trainings on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Prevention at the Malaika Community Center in Kalebuka as part of a global initiative with EngenderHealth to address UN SDG 5: Gender Equality. 

    In other words, I used Purposeful Play (i.e., sport/games/play) to teach community leaders about SRHR and GBV Prevention. They will go on to lead sessions in their communities, impacting hundreds of youth across the DRC. Elvis, head of the Malaika Community Center and long-time CAC accredited coach spearheaded the sessions, and together we graduated more than 40 leaders over the course of one week. 

    Reading and hearing about what CAC does is one thing, but experiencing it firsthand is entirely different. There is something really powerful about experiential learning and using play to spark dialogue and introduce concepts. This could look like a game of tag where taggers represent a sexually transmitted disease and the safe area represents a condom. This could also be a game of soccer or handball where scoring a goal symbolizes pregnancy and goalkeepers symbolize different types of contraception. Each game is designed to stimulate discussion and incorporate participants’ ideas and solutions. 

    You might think adults wouldn’t be that excited to get outside and play games all day, but the folks we worked with were incredibly enthusiastic! Our cohort had so much energy– we danced and chanted and laughed together every day. We had our share of serious moments, too. During the week we touched on topics such as reproduction, family planning, contraception, HIV/STI protection, reproductive rights, stereotyping, inclusion, opportunity, power dynamics, and safe choices. For many participants, this was their first time broaching some of these subjects. 

    Fortunately, we were able to create a safe environment where participants were able to ask questions about stereotypically taboo topics. I was able to correct misconceptions participants held about reproduction, contraception, and female athletes. Interestingly enough, the men in our cohort were more accepting of women in sport, and it was the women who were more apprehensive. Most of the women had played soccer when they were younger but eventually stopped because of pressure from their community. They were told playing soccer would make them become infertile, turn into a boy, lose their virginity, lose their breasts, etc. I gladly busted those myths!

    Outside of our SRHR and GBV Prevention trainings, I spent the majority of my time running soccer sessions with coaches and players– including girls from the Malaika School and boys from the surrounding community. In the DRC there is no public education. Parents either have to come up with the money for school fees or their children sit at home all day– or for many– at the local football pitch. I coached many boys who had little to no formal education, where football is one of the few pathways to a better life. Malaika is a tuition-free private school for girls founded by international supermodel Noella Coursaris Munsunka. Noella, who is Congolese and Cypriot was born in the DRC, but raised in the UK after her father died. Noella’s mother, like most Congolese women, had no education and could not support her. This reality fueled Noella’s desire to create opportunities for girls and women in her home country. 

    E-meeting Noella and being welcomed by the administrators at Malaika was incredibly inspiring and further cemented my passion for empowering Black girls. Being able to impact the girls and women of the Kalebuka community is something I will never forget!