• 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:

    For more information or to have your organization engage CAC through our Child Safeguarding Education Program, please contact:

  • Universal Children’s Day

    On November 20th, 1959, the United Nations officially adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. On the same day, three decades later, the UN adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With these historic steps forward, Universal Children’s Day has been used for the last 60 years to inform and celebrate the rights of all children, all over the world.

    Coaches Across Continents has worked for a decade with a foundation built off of these two documents.  We have used them to design curriculum, to create Child Rights policies, and to guide our global network towards a deeper understanding of Children’s Rights.

    This year, with CAC’s focus on Education Outside the Classroom, we have modeled a brand new curriculum built off UNICEF’s 8 International Safeguards for Children in Sport.

    Different from typical curriculums, this resource is targeted towards the training of staff, coaches, referees, volunteers, parents, supporters and young leaders involved in youth sports, not necessarily the youth themselves (though youth can definitely gain valuable skills and knowledge through playing).

    If you are interested in receiving your free copy of this curriculum, please follow this link, answer a few quick questions, and get your FREE resource packet to help celebrate the day!

    Happy Universal Children’s Day!

  • Creating Child Protection Globally

    September 3, 2019.  CAC has launched a three-month campaign working with our community partners in 60+ countries to create internationally approved Child Protection Policies that are child-, coach-, and organization-friendly.

    • Education: Informing stakeholders based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
    • Child Safe:  Having children understand their rights 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
    • Organization Safe:  Developing procedures and policies that guide the entire organizations, from preventative measures to protect children to reporting procedures if violations occur
    • Community Safe:  Engaging key stakeholders on Child Safety and Protection measures and bringing CAC’s Theory of Change and the communities’ new and improved Child Protection to life

    On Universal Children’s Day, November 20th, the CAC network will celebrate the culture change in global Child Protection that moves communities from simply having a child protection policy document to having communities who have comprehensive and friendly practices engaging all stakeholders to protect children as part of CAC’s Community Empowerment to Ensure All Human Rights.

    We are proud that CAC is leading Child Protection globally.”

    – Nick Gates, CAC Founder

    CAC is a pioneering member for the International Safeguards for Children in Sport, has published papers on Child Protection and Peace and Child Rights, is on three UNICEF working groups for Child Protection, and is currently working with governments and NGOs on 6 continents to develop stronger child protection policies, procedures, and cultures.

  • #BeAChampionForChildren: Universal Children’s Day

    We at Coaches Across Continents applaud all our partners who joined with us, and with UNICEF, to champion the rights of children on the recent Universal Children’s Day (November 20th).

    Initially Coaches Across Continents invited partners to begin creating a Child Protection Policy unique to their community. Over 100 partner groups responded.

    Together we raised global awareness of the need to safeguard children in 105+ countries on 6 continents.

    Partners were asked to identify the form of child abuse they most wanted to change within their community. Physical, emotional, sexual and verbal abuse were identified and next steps considered.

    Key issues emerged. These recognised that abuse is often a taken for granted cultural habit, as well as being an abuse of power. Respect for young people was thought to be crucial, while bullying should be avoided.

    Partners who had created a Child Protection Policy asked CAC for curriculum games and online education. CAC distributed a curriculum packet of five games which addressed the four different forms of child abuse, as well as showing how to prevent child abuse in the future.

    Stories flooded in showing the many CAC games that had been played around the world on Universal Children’s Day.

    Additionally CAC invited partners to download and use UNICEF’s International Safeguards for Children in Sport, where CAC was a pioneering member.

    Together we all lived up to the hashtag #BeAChampionForChildren, knowing that by protecting children we were advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    #WhatsYourLegacy?

  • Child Rights, Child Protection – #ItStartsWithYou.

    November 2nd, 2018. Coaches Across Continents ASK for Choice Advisory Team Member, Dr. Judith Gates writes on her work with CAC and UNICEF for Universal Children’s Day on November 20th, as well as our ongoing partnership for Child Rights and Child Protection around the world.

    Coaches Across Continents works around the globe. According to our latest count, we have worked in 55 countries on 6 continents. Our unique footprint of deep involvement in local communities gives us an unprecedented perception of the level and scope of the abuse of child rights around the world. This leads to our clear, unvarnished recognition of the urgent need internationally for child protection policies and actions.

    Within communities and within sporting environments we have heard and seen so many examples of child abuse. We have learned that wider traditional community norms invariably influence behaviour on the sports field.

    At national federation level a gymnastics doctor was convicted of sexual assault of more than 100 girls. English professional football has been inundated by a wave of allegations of sex abuse.

    However the victims are now beginning to speak out. A highly respected Coaches Across Continents team member was a victim of sexual abuse by her coach during her teens. And the abuse is not just happening at the international, national, professional or ‘elite athlete’ level in sport. It is happening in local communities around the world, large and small; local communities where sport is played for fun, local communities who use sport for social development.

    A girl child in rural Tanzania is sold for sex. The payment is a bag of rice. A coach touches a team member inappropriately. He relies on his power to buy silence. Boy children attend a madrassa and are coerced into taking part in oral sex. And, horrific though sexual abuse is, physical, verbal and emotional abuse also leave a lasting negative impression on the hearts and minds of young people globally. We at CAC see it all.

    That is why, several years ago, CAC responded promptly to an invitation from UNICEF to work with them to create a set of International Safeguards for Children in Sport. We ask you to download this for help in creating your own child protection policy. https://www.sportanddev.org/en/learn-more/child-protection-and-safeguarding-sport

    CAC continues to contribute in many ways to the development of child protection policies, locally as well as internationally, on the sports field and within the community. We support our partners to create community based as well as sports based policies to protect their children. We all share the collective responsibility to protect children from abuse. You as well as us.

    Therefore we ask all our partners to join with us to safeguard children. 

    Together we can make a difference.

    Remember #ItStartsWithYou.

     

  • I Will Be Strong!

    July 28, 2018.  Board member Dr. Judith Gates is with our team, back in Kigoma, Tanzania where we held our first-ever program ten years ago. #CAC10.  #WhatsYourLegacy?

    “I Will Be Strong!”

    These were the final words I heard amidst all of the goodbyes, exchange of email addresses and chatter about selfie photo ops that invariably mark the end of a Coaches Across Continents programme. Teachers and coaches were jostling with each other and sharing plans as to how they were going to put all they had learned that week into practice. The group of students, identifiable by their green uniforms, were talking enthusiastically about new insights gained.

    She came up to me. Tall and athletically built, she unexpectedly hugged me, kissed my cheek and said, “Thank you. I will be strong!”

    My spirits soared. I understood what she was saying. I knew what she meant.

    This week’s programme was to mark the 10th anniversary of Coaches Across Continents. Ten years ago the very first CAC programme was held in Kigoma, Tanzania. CAC had returned to mark this important anniversary. It all began here. From one programme in one country in 2008, CAC is now working in over 50 countries around the world.

    All week, with Nick working alongside Nico as leader, the group had focussed on the challenging issue of Child Rights and Child Protection. Curriculum activities had included games in which participants had identified sources of potential harm, recognised the varying forms of abuse, identified who could be of help and which places could be considered safe. They had explored attitudes and expectations relevant to their local community. Teachers and students had shared ideas together during the games, but also worked separately to discuss factors which were specifically relevant to their age group or profession. They had then talked with each and demonstrated their capacity for understanding differing points of view.

    I had led a discussion on abuse. I asked which form of abuse, physical, emotional, verbal or sexual, was most prevalent in their community. Hesitation was minimal. The vast majority of both teachers and students cited sexual abuse. Teenage pregnancies were high. Girls were forced to marry at an early age. Hunger and poverty led to girls being sold, or selling themselves, sometimes for only a bag of rice. The boundary between Child Rights and Women’s Rights blurred as they explored the reality of life for young girls in their community.

    I asked teachers and students, each in their separate group, to think about what could be done, how things could improve. Acknowledging the problem openly was seen as key. The students suggested media reporting, government intervention. Their message was clear. We deserve support and help. Children should not have to experience these things. Teachers suggested education and parental involvement. Both groups wanted answers and action. The aspiration of the girl students was to complete their education and find a job, so that their subsequent life decisions were made from a position of relative strength.

    The final words I shared with them were about personal responsibility. We can turn to others to make the changes we want, but we each have the capacity to influence in some way the context in which we live. I asked them to be strong. I asked them to contribute to the changes they hoped for.

    I told them they each could be part of the solution, they each could contribute to making Kigoma an even better community.

    And she had heard me. Her final words were of latent power, of commitment, of hope. “I will be strong!” That is the message CAC endeavours to leave behind, hoping that it will take root and contribute to locally desired community changes around the world. Another first for Kigoma!

    ~ Dr. Judith Gates