Déjà vu with Slum Soccer – In a New Place!
November 25, 2014. Our partnership with Slum Soccer has been one that has shown how far our concept of self-directed learning can be taken through sport for social impact. Many of their Nagpur-based coaches have created their own curriculum games using soccer to teach about child rights, mathematics, and other subjects. This past week, we embarked on a new venture with Slum Soccer, working with them for the first time in Chennai (as well as Udumalpet) where they have recently expanded.
When you think of Chennai, India – the first that comes to mind is not the ten-year anniversary of the tsunami that affected Indonesia in December 2004. However, the two beach slums on the eastern coast of India were hit hard by the tsunami causing deaths thousands of miles away from the epicenter of that deadly earthquake. The residents here still live in “temporary housing” a decade later, and the children are sons and daughters of fishermen, playing on trash-strewn beaches in their bare feet.
This past week a group of over thirty hopeful coaches came together to learn how to use sport for social impact. They are hopeful coaches – because many of them are just entering their teenage years. The most impressive progress was seen in their coaching voices and their desire to teach the games correctly during our coach-backs. This is where they have to coach a CAC game they learned during the week back to the group. Many of them focused on teaching games like Ronaldo Skills, Mia Hamm Communication, and Marta Skills. In each instance the budding coaches were assertive in their communication and making sure to bring out the voices of the participants. This is the first step in giving children a “voice” to give them a “choice.”
The next step is for them is to take on more leadership roles within Slum Soccer Chennai as assistant coaches. If they prove to be adept at their new assistant positions, they will grow into the first home-grown coaches for Slum Soccer Chennai. It is extremely refreshing to watch the first seeds of implementation and change germinate. In a few years, when the program reaches the same level of their parent organization in Nagpur, it will be rewarding to know that CAC was there for the growth at every stage.