• Lessons in Humanity

    May 5th 2015. Nora Dooley writes about our third year with Rumah Cemara in Bandung, Indonesia.

    Every day, teams from CAC and our partner organizations battle all over the world for the rights of women and girls. And Indonesia is no different – from sex trafficking to lack of equal opportunities – this week with Rumah Cemara would certainly address the issue of gender equality. As a coach, however, my understanding of the issue’s scope would be forever changed.

    Why? Over a third of the participants identified themselves as transgender. Moreover, the rest of the group never flinched over the matter, as if this was a run-of-the-mill dynamic.

    The reality? This just doesn’t happen – anywhere in the world, let alone in conservative, religiously traditional Indonesia.

    This being the first time I have worked with openly transgender participants, I had to rethink my approach to some of our games. I chose the honest approach – and being honest, I know very little about the transgender community. So what do I do? What CAC always does: ask questions.

    I asked the group, who has more choice in Bandung (after addressing that men have the most) women or transgender? The quick answer: women.

    How do we work towards female empowerment when most of the participants are far more oppressed than women? Now we’re getting into some serious psychological/nature vs. nurture/scientific vs. social deep water that I will not pretend to be able to navigate. I will say, however, that people are people, and no matter where we come from, how we were raised, or what gender we identify with most, everybody wants to laugh, love, and share who they are with people who want to listen.

    I wanted to listen. So I asked and asked and after four days of questions, I can say I understand just a little bit more. But more importantly, I learned lessons in bravery and the true power of unity from a group of incredible human beings.

    This pack of about 30 participants laughed and Mingle Mingled their way to a new level of social inclusion, a level where the term ‘social inclusion’ was an afterthought, overshadowed by human compassion. This training, thanks to Rumah Cemara for inviting all the different organizations, created a bubble of understanding and tolerance in a community and country where many of these participants are excluded from spaces and activities that so many of us take for granted.

    To top it off, the leaders put their creative minds together and came up with five new games to teach children and adults messages about stigma, discrimination, the effects of cigarettes, access to healthcare, and bullying.

    I look forward to the day when the participation of a transgender community will not be the focus of a blog, but as it stands – this entire group deserves recognition, with extra kudos to 3-year partners, Rumah Cemara for giving us the opportunity to learn new lessons in humanity.


  • Coaches Across Continents/Chevrolet Shortlisted for Beyond Sport Award

    August 24th, 2014. Coaches Across Continents have been shortlisted for the 2014 Beyond Sport Awards. The prestigious global sport for social development awards selected the joint Coaches Across Continents and Chevrolet application in the highly competitive Corporate of the Year category. CAC’s work with Chevrolet in 2014 has been a resounding success with projects in Bandung, Indonesia and Chicago, USA completed earlier in the year. These projects have provided local partners Rumah Cemara and Beyond the Ball with the facilities, equipment and tools to create sustainable social change through soccer. The 3rd Chevrolet project of 2014 will take place in Hammanskraal, South Africa with Dreamfields in September.

    CAC won the Beyond Sport Best New Project for the Hat-Trick Initiative in 2009 and since then we have maintained a close relationship with the conference and awards, attending the event every year and regularly leading high-level panels. This year the Beyond Sport Summit will take place in Johannesburg from October 28th-30th.


    Click here for more information on the Beyond Sport Awards.



  • Video: The Impact of our Chevrolet FC Partnership in Indonesia

    Ginan is the star of the new Chevrolet FC video (below)

    Ginan is the star of the new Chevrolet FC video (below) highlighting the effective partnership with Coaches Across Continents

    May 23, 2014.  Coaches Across Continents has teamed up with Chevrolet FC to revitalize pitches and provide coaching education to selected communities around the  world.  This past month we completed a ten-day training with Rumah Cemara in Bandung, Indonesia.  Coaches Across Continents has developed and delivered a curriculum that addresses the problem of stigma against people with HIV/AIDS, as well as addressing the fundamental causes of this disease.  Together our three organizations are making a real difference in lives.  Check out the video for more!

    Coaches Across Continents, Chevrolet FC, and Manchester United enjoyed the first weekend of play at the new Rumah Cemara Field

    Coaches Across Continents & Chevrolet FC enjoyed the first weekend of play at the new Rumah Cemara Field in Indonesia.  What do you #Playfor?

  • Fighting Stigma with Rumah Cemara and Chevrolet FC


    Showing off their skills to Coaches Across Continents founder Nick Gates

    May 9, 2014. This is the second year we have worked with Rumah Cemara, and the second time we have been amazed by the bold work being done by their programs around Indonesia. Rumah Cemara is a fellow Streetfootballworld partner that uses football to educate and address the stigma towards people who are HIV+ as well as former drug users.  Joining the partnership this year is Chevrolet FC, who are also the new sponsors for Manchester United.  This is the first of a number of global sites that Chevrolet FC will be working alongside Coaches Across Continents as part of the What do you #playfor initiative.

    What Rumah Cemara has created is an inviting safe space for people of all genders and backgrounds including former drug users who are HIV+. They accept people for who they are regardless of sexual preferences, personal history, or soccer ability. Just like last year, coaches came to the Coaches Across Continents training from all over the island Java and other islands in Indonesia. Including Rumah Cemara, there were 29 different NGOs or football organizations represented. We even had coaches from Bali and Papua fly in for the training.


    It was all smiles working with Coaches Across Continents this week!

    Approximately 25% of the coaches this week had participated in our training last September, and they were often the leaders in new activities. One game that hit home for this group is brand new game being released by Coaches Across Continents called “Understanding Stereotypes.” This is a normal game of football but the field is divided into three zones. Each player is restricted to this specific zone and may not leave for any reason. This represents the stereotypes and limitations that are placed on people in society. As the game progresses one team has all restrictions lifted, becoming a more “free” society. The game concludes with all restrictive zones lifted. The coaches immediately saw how this can be used to help teach their messages of stigma towards people differences, notably HIV+, drug users, and sexual orientation.


    Everyone is excited for the  Chevrolet, Manchester United, & Coaches Across Continents partnership.

    This five days of training has concluded, but our work on this project is includes extra elements because of our partnership with Chevrolet FC.  We are going to work for an additional five days with just Rumah Cemara coaches in an intensive additional program.  The ten total days of training will conclude with a surprise event that we are happy to be a part of.  Our partnership alongside Chevrolet FC and Manchester Uniter (along with Rumah Cemaraand One World Futbol) is the first of a number of sites globally over the next two years.  Each implementing partner will see some amazing impact on their programs. Check back soon to see the depth of impact that Chevrolet FC is having on Rumah Cemara! Get sneak peaks on twitter by following @chevroletfc or @coachesacross, and the hash tag: #playfor. Trust us, this is big!


    This kid knows, Coaches Across Continents is #1!

  • Coaches Across Continents Partners with Chevrolet and Manchester United


    Chevrolet FC and Coaches Across Continents join forces!

    May 8, 2014.  Coaches Across Continents is proud to announce a multi country partnership with Chevrolet FC.  This partnership will occur over the next two years, with our first project just completed with Rumah Cemara in Indonesia.  Chevrolet’s tagline for this initiative is What do you #Playfor?  Their involvement in each country will consist of constructing or improving a safe space to play soccer and utilizing Coaches Across Continents’ expertise to train local organizations in best practices of sport for social impact, and launching the new space and trained-staff with an event day in each location.  Chevrolet has been a major sponsor of One World Futbol who is also involved in the project, and will be the Manchester United global sponsor beginning in July 2014 with their logo appearing on all Manchester United first team apparel.

    In February, a film crew visited Rumah Cemara to highlight their work on “Stigma and HIV” and produced this first video. In April, Coaches Across Continents, Chevrolet, and Manchester United reconvened in Bandung to follow through on the pitch construction, sport for social impact training, and launch day.

    Stories and videos regarding this launch will be forthcoming.  In the meantime, tweet the world about what you #Playfor @coachesacrosscontinents.


    Ginan (Rumah Cemara) is happy to work with Coaches Across Continents and Chevrolet FC to attack stigma in Indonesia

  • Tattoos, Drugs, HIV and Football

    IMG_6356September 11, 2013.  Tattooed, charismatic Rumah Cemara employees with huge smiles greeted us at the airport with a “WHAT’S UP!!” when we arrived into Bandung. Our drive into Bandung was filled with laughter and stories as we headed to lunch with two of the founders of Rumah Cemara; Ginan Koesmayadi and Aditia Taslim along with two other employees. From the banter and island-feel Brian and I both felt like we were seeing old friends we haven’t seen in years. At Rumah Cemara everyone is a part of their small community and embraced with open arms.

    IMG_6322Rumah Cemara is an exceptional organization that was founded to educate youth about HIV/AIDS, drugs and to accept youth and adults who have HIV/AIDS. Rumah Cemara is a safe-haven for many people who are dealing with HIV and some who are recovered drug users. They open their doors to everyone who is looking for support, friends and a safe place. In Bandung and in most of Indonesia people who are HIV positive are not accepted and incorporated into communities and are seen as outcasts. Rumah Cemara is working hard to end that stigma and teach Bandung and Indonesia that having HIV doesn’t define a person. Their football program was started to have an outlet and through their program they have worked side by side with the community to build a jaw-dropping sport court under an overpass. They have also become the official representatives for the Homeless World Cup representing Indonesia.

    IMG_6393Our week of training consisted of coaches who traveled from all over Indonesia including one who flew in from Bali and others from around the island of Java. Everyone was eager to see what exactly sport for social impact was, and through their enthusiasm all of the coaches jumped into the action head first. The week was full of cheeky jokes, lots of football, and trips around Bandung trying new food like the amazing (and heart attack inducing) dessert Martabak.

    IMG_6387We were fortunate enough to visit the sport court under the freeway and watch the local Rumah Cemara women’s street football team practice and play while young boys from the community watched and cheered with support. When different teams and groups are using the sport court it is an unbelievable site. When explaining what football does for people at Rumah Cemara one of the founders Ginan Koesmayadi stated:

    Humans cannot create a miracle but humans can experience miracles through football.  Drug users and HIV positive people in Indonesia are excluded and outcasts, but through football we have become one and included into the community. Football has brought everyone together in Bandung, it is an amazing site to see.

    It doesn’t matter where in the world you are sport and teams can become your family and get you through anything. At Rumah Cemara it is proven that sport brings even broken communities together.