A Haven of Hope
CAC India Team Leader Jamie and Community Impact Coach Benny have been working in rural communities near the city of Pune this week, with Maher – an NGO that provides shelter to underserved women, children and men across the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Maher means ‘Mothers Home’ in Marathi; a place of belonging, understanding and acceptance. For over 20 years, Maher has opened their doors and provided shelter for many of those in need – providing a place to sleep, eat and live while also sending them to school. Currently, they provide a place to call home for 960 children, 170 women and 60 older men. They heard about CAC through our Accredited partner Slum Soccer and wanted to learn about #PurposefulPlay and how it could benefit their children. To tie in with Maher’s core values of acceptance and education, we delivered a programme focused on UNSDGs: 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities).
Our programme was split into two parts – in the mornings we would travel to one of Maher’s other homes in very rural areas, and deliver some fun #EducationOutsideTheClassroom sessions to children and women who had never experienced #PurposefulPlay before. These were introductory sessions that we had a lot of fun with – this new style of learning was greatly enjoyed and each time we left they would ask when they could play more games! At CAC, Sustainability is at the core of everything we do – so to ensure long term impact we always work with the teachers, coaches and in this case social workers to provide them the skills so that these kids can continue learning and having fun, even after we’ve left.
This is where our evening sessions come into the picture, where we worked with around 30 social workers on topics that they felt were most relevant to them. Gender Equality (#UNSDG5) and Reduced Inequalities (#UNSDG10) came up often, so we played many games from our #ASKforChoice curriculum. These social workers had also discussed these topics with the children, but had never considered that using sport was possible and the best way to engage them in difficult conversations.
It was a very successful programme with Maher, now enthused about #EducationOutsideTheClassroom and already inviting us back! My personal highlight is that we managed to involve some of the older orphaned children in the programme, one young man at the end said ‘everyone has always told me I can’t do stuff, but CAC told me I can and encouraged me’. Sustainability has many forms, and supporting someone to find some self-belief so that they can continue believing in their self, is sustainability that matters.
Child Safeguarding Campaign for Universal Children’s Day
November 20, 2019. CAC is proud to announce on Universal Children’s Day that 34 organizations on 5 continents have completed our 3-month Child Safeguarding Education campaign. Other organizations from our partnership network in 60+ countries are expected to complete this program shortly. CAC’s Child Safeguarding Education Program is the only one that recognizes organizations that reach CAC’s international standards for Child Safeguarding as one of our 28 year-round strategic resources needed for organizational accreditation.
“CAC is educating organizations and creating communities that have a comprehensive safeguarding culture and child-centric practices that engages all stakeholders as part of CAC’s Community Empowerment to Ensure All Human Rights.“
– Brian Suskiewicz, Chief Executive Strategist
Each organization goes through a thorough CAC-guided educational process to ensure that their child safeguarding is:
- Child Safe: Having children understand their rights as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by playing CAC Purposeful Play games, understanding who they can talk to, and providing services for the child should any breach of their rights occur
- Coach Safe: Training practitioners on best practices for safe coaching and their role as a link between the children and the organization
- Organization Safe: Developing procedures and policies that guide the entire organization, from preventative measures to protect children to reporting procedures if violations occur
- Community Safe: Engaging key stakeholders such as families, social services, and the police on Child Safety and Protection measures and bringing CAC’s Theory of Change and the communities’ new and improved Child Safeguarding to life
CAC’s expertise in Child Safeguarding comes from decades of work in the field on best international practices that allow for local contextualization. Our partnerships with other leaders in the field include:
- UNICEF and being a pioneering member of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport
- UNHCR and working with refugees in emergency situations to create Community-Based Protection
- FIFA and their Guardians Program through our role as an official partner of the Asian Football Confederation
- CAC Published methodology on Peace and Child Rights, Child Protection, and Community Empowerment
You don’t realise how much you take your voice for granted, until you can’t use it.
The CAC team have been in Nagpur, India this last week working with long time ally and partner – Slum Soccer. This is a partnership that is 8 years in the making, with many successful programmes delivered together. Due to the nature and frequency that we visit Slum Soccer, we wanted to do something different this time and really expand on what #PurposefulPlay means, by delivering a programme centred around #UNSDG10: Reduced Inequalities – specifically focusing on the inclusion of those who are deaf and mute.
Slum Soccer have recently started an initiative called ‘DeafKidz Goal!’ and will work with over 200 deaf children and young adults during this programme. India has one of the highest populations of deaf people in the world – Nagpur alone has over 6000 deaf children. Slum Soccer has seen that these young people were being held back and wanted to take action, calling in the assistance of CAC.
We had 4 deaf and mute coaches on the programme who were incredibly fun to work with – their energy and smiles made delivering the sessions a joy! However, aside from demonstrations, coaches who are able most often use their voice as the main way of communicating and relying solely on this wouldn’t work as we would be excluding some of our group. Whilst we had a brilliant Sign Language interpreter, we wanted to make sure they felt as included as possible – to do this we: played some games in silence and introduced different signs, instead of shouting for the ball we used hand waves, we all learnt how to sign good morning so we could do it together and when we had discussions we would always take time to allow everyone to input and share their thoughts. The coaches who were deaf and mute mentioned throughout the week that they were very happy and thankful and that their favourite sign throughout the week was that we always came to the field with a smile.
And a smile is the most universal sign there is.
Rohingya: From Genocide Victims to Safeguarding Children
October 26, 2019. The Asian Football Confederation and CAC initiative to benefit Rohingya refugees located in the Kutapalong refugee camp is nearly one year old. Supported greatly by the English FA, the BFF, and the UNHCR, we have conducted three separate trainings to Rohingya refugees from 25 different areas of the camp to empower them to become football coaches who will look after the nearly 10,000 children that are directly in their care. It’s a concept called Community-Based Protection, the idea that community members are best able to look after one another.
“As a victim of genocide, we the Rohingya want to improve our nation through football. This program helps us to ensure the protection of children. ” – Mohammed Amin
This latest training, conducted by CAC Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz, FA Coach Taff Rahman, and West Ham United Academy coach Liton Zaman reached a key new milestone. Because of the consistent work with the same group of Rohingya coaches and their willingness to embrace our coaching methodology, the coaches are now more freely opening up regarding their experiences and their future goals. We were able to conduct a full day of Child Safeguarding education, using CAC curriculum games to illustrate children’s rights while they made key promises to protect the children in their care.
“We can show the whole world we are a civil nation and can educate and protect children with fun football.” – Mohammed Ismael
Please watch this world premier explaining our initiative and Community Based Protection.
Initiatives such as this one take a sustained effort over many months and years in order to create long-lasting impact. It is an honor to have a multi-stakeholder partnership with five organizations who are committed to creating this impact. We will continue to mentor these Rohingya refugees through 2020 through coaching education to create Community Based Protection as well as ongoing support through equipment donations
Mohammed Amin and Mohammed Ismael
An Eye-Opener in Bangladesh
Liton A. Zaman, West Ham United Academy Coach/ The FA, provides his thoughts delivering coaching education in Bangladesh. This initiative between the Asian Football Confederation, Coaches Across Continents, and the FA is using football to create sustainable social development in communities by educating Bangladeshi Football Federation coaches and impacting Bangladeshi children. This past week we were in the northern city of Sylhet.
What an experience it has been in Sylhet. They said it was an honour for them to have us, but I think it was an honour for us to be there and work with great people that have a love and passion in helping young people, the environment they live in, and for the love of the game. Over the past three days, three coaches (myself, Taff Rahman from the FA, and Brian Suskiewicz from Coaches Across Continents) have been educating Bangladesh Football Federation coaches on best practices in working with children, and how to use football to address social issues. Many of these coaches came from rural areas and this was their first-ever coaching course.
What an excellent project this is. Coming from an elite environment at West Ham United where our focus is to develop the individuals to become the next Premier League player, to a whole new challenge working with young people and coaches where the aim is to develop community leaders. The number one goal is to help coaches and young people to address social issues through sports and engagement. It has been an honour for me personally to be able to contribute towards this amazing program thanks to the AFC, along with the BFF and the English FA.
~Liton A. Zaman
From Jakarta TuBaba
Over the next 3 weeks, the CAC team are working in collaboration with Uni Papua – an Indonesian partner for over 6 years. Last week we were in the community of TuBaBa, a short one hour flight from the metropolis of Jakarta, TuBaBa is a quiet and rural community on the island of Sumatra. During our five day Education Outside the Classroom program, we used #PurposefulPlay to engage with 80 children and 30 teachers, where we in particular focused on UNSDG #10 ‘Reduced Inequalities’. The Indonesian government also outlawed Child Marriage whilst we were there, making the legal age limit for marriage 19 – a fantastic step forward and one that has been long overdue.
Our program in TuBaBa consisted of two parts – the first was working with the teachers, where we played games from our ASK for Choice curriculum to not only discuss how we could reduce inequalities as a whole but also to talk about gender discrimination. A highlight from one of the conversations was that some men in the group were saying women can’t/shouldn’t play football. One of the female participants said to the group that this was an ‘ancient and outdated’ idea and we need to move forward with the times. This was powerful as it must have taken great courage to stand up in front of people with differing opinions and share your own beliefs, which are not the current norm in her community.
The second part of the program was with the 80 children and young people – this gave Community Impact Coaches, Chester (Phillipines) and Frans (Indonesia) an opportunity to lead and run their own program with the support of CAC staff members. The valuable experience they gained from this benefit them greatly over the next 3/4 weeks as we continue traveling and running Education Outside the Classroom programs across Indonesia. Reducing Inequalities also comes in many forms, and one form is the inability to access sport due to financial restrictions and costs. This was a free, high-quality and most importantly fun program for these children, many of whom come from disadvantaged and poor backgrounds.
To round off our week we met with the leader of the Department of Education, Budiman Jaya, who was very impressed with CAC and will now look to continue to support and roll out these types of programs across the Sumatran Island.