• Liberia: A Nation Recovering

    March 25, 2013.  Pappie Jones is well-known in Monrovia, Liberia.  That is because he has been here a long time.  He stayed in Monrovia through the worst of the seventeen years of civil wars, taking refuge at the American compound for three years.  And he is still here, throughout the rebuilding process, coaching football.  Pappie runs a group called Soccer Ambassadors for Christ.  They are a group of 90 boys from ages 4-20 who train with his various teams.

    Three great players turned up for this year's training in Liberia!

    Three great players turned up for this year’s training in Liberia!

    Pappie does not focus solely on their development as players or “partial individuals” as he says it.  His training focuses on helping them to become “complete individuals” by learning about three things: Football, Faith, and Education.  It is because he is focused on the complete person that Coaches Across Continents has partnered with Pappie Jones for the past three years.  At his football practices, you can see how much the boys enjoy being there, sacrificing their few Liberian dollars to cover transport to get there.  In addition to football specific drills, Pappie also incorporates at least one CAC game every practice, and in doing so peppering the players with social impact skills throughout their development into citizens of Liberia.  This tutelage, coupled with the advice and mentorship he is providing allow his boys to see in him a father figure worth emulating.

    Over our three years Pappie has also been instrumental in making sure that many different coaches have had access to the CAC trainings.  He has intentionally moved our trainings each year into different communities, allowing the youth coaches in each area to participate and benefit.  This year we worked in West Point, the poorest slum in Liberia.  This year we worked primarily with Division 3 coaches, who typically train teenage boys.  We also discussed a future plan with FODEDE who will be starting (along with the Liberian Football Association) a girls’ school league.  Many of the coaches we trained will be asked to join the fledgling girls’ school league as coaches.  Finally there were coaches from the YMCA which operates nation-wide.

    Juggles Across Continents with One World Futbol!

    Juggles Across Continents with One World Futbol!

    Also providing a massive assist to this year’s training is One World Futbol.  Together with Chevrolet, they have shipped over 5,000 balls into Liberia with a larger shipment arriving in the coming months.  These balls are virtually indestructible, even on tough African fields.  Together with the CAC curriculum, lasting change can take place in the community as coaches now have the equipment to implement our award winning curriculum and allows for more children to participate with the balls.

    It is because of people like Pappie Jones that you can see progress in Liberia, which was a shell of a country after their civil wars.  Even now the 85% unemployment rate is evident, as is the fact that 80% live below the poverty line (established at $1 USD per day).  But in the few years that our CAC coaches have been visiting, you can see progress of a society slowly moving forward.  It is still very much developing, and leaning on the UN and international community, but it is a country that is proudly moving forward from their conflicted past.  And as they continue to develop, they will continue to need the steady mentorship of people like Pappie to guide them through life.

    Learning today about being a Complete Person

    Learning today about being a Complete Person


  1. tamandani says: April 16, 2013 at 2:03 pmReply

    This the only we should be doing to develop africa