Niñas Sin Miedo: the first CAC Accredited Organization of 2021
Based in Soacha and Bogotá, Colombia, Niñas Sin Miedo (NSM) is a female-led organization serving girls and young women from underserved communities. Using the bicycle as their central tool, they provide opportunities for girls to learn and express their voices, their ideas and their power. They focus on supporting the girls to address specific challenges and issues like sexual and reproductive health and rights, and they provide endless opportunities for the girls to play and take ownership of their learning and development.
We have partnered with NSM since 2017 and it has been a privilege to witness and support their evolution. They are one of the most socially-conscious organizations in the world and our global network has the honor of learning and sharing with these incredible women. One of the NSM coordinators was a Michael Johnson Young Leader in 2018 and then later traveled alongside CAC to deliver on-field Education Outside the Classroom trainings all over Colombia.
On this International Women’s Day 2021, there are few groups who embody the #ChooseToChallenge theme like Niñas Sin Miedo. We are thrilled to announce Niñas Sin Miedo as an accredited organization in using Purposeful Play to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
CAC’s Creating Legacies 17 and The FBA Educational Partnership
Coaches Across Continents and The Football Business Academy have entered into an agreement that will see the Swiss educational institution collaborate with our global award winning network. Through this partnership, those enrolled in The FBA’s Professional Master in Football Business will have the opportunity to learn from CAC through internships and specific projects and, by doing so, provide new ideas and perspectives that go hand in hand to support our organization’s activities and partners.
“Coaches Across Continents is excited about our official partnership with The Football Business Academy. Having opportunities to work with their Candidates will benefit our Creating Legacies 17 brand that works directly with major entities including the Asian Football Confederation, Bloomberg, CONCACAF, Nike, Pathfinder Foundation, and the United Way. We first met at a Soccerex event and had our first successful internship this past year. We look forward to many more positive exchanges in 2021 and beyond.”
– Brian Suskiewicz, Chief Executive Strategist, Coaches Across Continents
“We are pleased to now officially welcome Coaches Across Continents into The FBA Family. The impact they’ve generated over the years and across the world has been incredible, and it encourages us to see how FBA Candidates can support their great team and partners as part of ongoing developments. CAC offers a great environment for challenge-based learning which can quench the thirst of those who are most passionate about social impact through football.”
– Kristian Dobrev, Chief Partnerships Officer, The FBA
The Beyond Sport Awards: #WhatsYourLegacy?
September 10, 2018. Coaches Across Continents is looking forward to the Beyond Sport Awards in NYC on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. For the second consecutive year, CAC is shortlisted for the Global Impact of the Year Award, this year with our #WhatsYourLegacy? campaign. Overall there were 355 separate applications from over 100 countries on 6 continents for 10 categories of awards.
Over 25% of the finalists at this year’s Beyond Sport Awards are CAC partners!
Coaches Across Continents’ #WhatsYourLegacy? impacts over 16 million children in 56 countries on 6 continents through our three primary initiatives: 1. Corporation and Foundation Legacy Program; 2. Government and Community Legacy Program; and 3. Curriculum Legacy Program. All of these initiatives look to create Legacies of Social Change based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
It is symbolic that in our tenth year, in the month that we celebrate our ten-year anniversary with #CAC10, we are being recognized for our impact on the sport for social impact field. Just last week, Founder Nick Gates wrote about his thoughts from working in a small town in Kigoma, Tanzania in 2008 to what is being accomplished daily through our year-round partnerships and 28 strategic resources. Coaches Across Continents was recognized 9 years ago by Beyond Sport with the Best New Project which helped to launch CAC on our road to success. This followed with Corporate of the Year with Chevrolet in 2014 as well as 22 other major global awards.
Nick is joined at the awards by ASK for Choice Strategist, Nora Dooley and Sustainability Strategist, Adam Burgess. The Awards may very well feel like a reunion of sorts, as the influence of CAC partnerships will be seen throughout. Nick, Nora, and Adam will be very busy meeting our partners who were also shortlisted and meeting some other new faces. CAC directly partners with 7 of the 35 finalists in the main categories. There are also two separate categories where CAC partners are recognized. 2 of the 5 young leaders nominated for the Courageous Use of Sport Award and 2 of the 3 finalists for Sport for Refugees Award are CAC partners.
Thursday, after the awards ceremony is the Beyond Sport United Conference. Nora will be the expert on a panel on how sport specifically can support young people in being socially responsible and active.
Not to be outdone by all the activity in NYC, 12 time zones away, Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz is in Kuala Lumpur for the Asian Football (AFC) Confederation Social Responsibility Conference and Dream Asia awards, occurring on the same two days. As the Official Social Responsibility Partner of the AFC, Coaches Across Continents is responsible for presenting at activities such as this one to share knowledge and best practices with their 47 member institutions as well as other organizations looking to use sport to create social change in Asia.
The Most Valuable Toolset
Something we have learned through our journey here at UKSD is the importance of making partnerships. For the past few weeks, we have partnered with South Shore Select and Coaches Across Continents in order to enhance all of our abilities to reach kids through the game of soccer.
South Shore Select is an all girls soccer club located in Hingham, MA. Although they focus much of their work on building talented young athletes who are both technically and tactically educated, they are very much aware of the importance of helping their players also build their sense of character, commitment, leadership potential, and global awareness. It is because of this that Select welcomed, with open arms, Coaches Across Continents hands- on-training. Over the course of two weeks, Select Coaches, along with our very own UKSD coaches, actively participated in CAC educational sessions. However, don’t let the word education make you think of classrooms and books. The CAC staff had us moving, playing, thinking on our toes, and having deep and meaningful discussions. Their mission is to use sport as a means of community growth and awareness. They knew that with a pitch full of coaches and even some players that the best way to do this was through the game itself.
Because CAC tailors their curriculums to the communities they are serving, they asked Select and ourselves what topics we wanted to focus on in our sessions . They wanted to know what we felt we needed in order to strengthen the kids we work with. We each came to the decision that some of the main focuses would be women’s empowerment, gender equity, leadership, healthy competition, and the definition of success. Throughout the training, these topics evolved in the most thoughtful and organic ways. Each coach was able to add their insight, experience, and how they could and would implement the lessons we were learning into our sessions with our kids.
The beauty of our discussions were that there really was no wrong answer. Each coach was encouraged to take what they could from the different activities and games and find ways to adapt them depending on the age, diversity, needs, etc. of the particular group we would be working with. Every one of us walked away, day after day, with valuable skills and lessons we could implement immediately.
It was in discussion after the trainings that we collectively recognized something; this type of player education could, quite possibly, be the most valuable toolset we could ever give the kids we work with.
Although some will go on to play at the collegiate level or pursue careers having something to do with soccer or sport, many will pursue other endeavors. We need to give skills which can transfer from their training on the field to whatever it is that they choose to do off of it.
We’re so excited for this partnership we’ve built with South Shore Select and Coaches Across Continents. It’s not everyday that an established soccer club will make time for this type of work. Even though winning may be important, they recognize that building youth with exceptional character is far more important. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of these organizations and our connections with them.
Education Outside the Classroom in the “No-Law Zone”
April 12th, 2018. Self-Directed Learning Educator, Jordan Stephenson, writes about his second visit to Lebanon working with Corporate Partner ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid).
Arriving in Lebanon for my second time representing Coaches Across Continents was a great thrill. Having experienced the hustle and bustle of Beirut previously and worked with some incredible people with our partner Anera (America Near East Refugee Aid), it was now time to work with the local NGO’s which Anera support.
We are delivering Life Skills training to teachers working in refugee communities. The programme works with youth aged 14-24 years old who have not been in education for more than 2 years. Our Education Outside the Classroom methodology is allowing more young people to access vital skills relating to employment [even though it’s virtually impossible to get a job anyway if you’re Palestinian or Syrian] and becoming a better citizen.
Most of the teachers are living and working in the Ein el Helwe refugee camp. It is the largest refugee camp in Lebanon with over 120,000 people. It has high media presence because of gun violence and death rate due to the lack of Lebanese authority. It is known as the “no-law zone” because Lebanese police have no jurisdiction in the camp and therefore the community runs themselves.
The training brought to life our curriculum as well as giving me a greater understanding to the challenges which people face here, both whilst using Education Outside the Classroom and in their lives. We have two more weeks of training in different locations across the country and I am excited to continue to spread the community legacies which Coaches Across Continents are involved in!
March 28th, 2018. Self-Directed Learning Educator, Pedro Perez, writes about his experience working with Fundación Paso Del Norte in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Imagine you’re playing a game where the purpose is create a strong competition between groups and see how they react. Suddenly and spontaneously the participants decide that instead competing they will start to work all together to accomplish the goal. Well, this is exactly what happened during our week in Juarez.
This shocked me. It was surprising that this kind of situation calls our attention and not the other way around, right? I tried to find an explanation for this phenomenon. The word resilience came to my mind.
Over the years Ciudad Juarez has been a host city of drug trafficking, violence and insecurity. Faced with this situation, people from Juarez – as it happened during the game – have created a system where they are taking care of each other, and where cooperation is more important than competition. They could choose to believe that what once surrounded them was the model they had to follow, but no, they have chosen to create a reality where the collective good is above the individual.
For me that shows resilience. The people of Juarez after years suffering from an environment full of violence came out strengthened from that period, with the creation of a collective consciousness above the average. Admirable without a doubt!
After that week working with Fundación Paso del Norte, and the teachers that are part of their program “Juarez en Acción”, I had this idea in my mind….“Do you know the feeling of arriving at a place, that turns out to be completely different from what you expected? Well, that’s Ciudad Juarez.”