• Thank You, Goodbye Cameroon!

    July 25, 2014. Volunteer Kathryn Keefe writes about her last week (and month) in Cameroon. Our last week of Coaches Across Continents programs was spent in Kumba working with the Cameroon Football Development Program (CFDP). This was CFDP’s first year of training with Coaches Across Continents. Our mornings were spent on the field with close to 50 coaches, and our afternoons were spent welcomed into the homes of CFDP staff members, sharing a meal together, followed by various capacity building training sessions with the management team at CFDP. We focused on Monitoring and Evaluation, storytelling, and social media for these sessions. And, of course, our later evenings were spent watching the World cup matches!

    During our Coaches Across Continents sessions, were able to have some very rich and in-depth conversations with the coaches this week, specifically those conversations around gender equality and child rights. Both topics for conversation were clearly controversial and at times these conversations became very heated. I was impressed with the young peer-educators from CFDP who were apart of the CAC training. They engaged these issues critically issues and added depth to each conversation.

    Kumba exceeded all of our expectations. The CFDP team hosted a number of events during the week that we were invited to take part in. On our first night in Kumba, we were invited to the CFDP board chairman’s home for dinner, drink and conversation along with the CFDP management team. The board chairman’s name is Dr. Nzume and he along with his brother run a private, non-governmental hospital in Kumba. He shared with us his philospophy of community health and the importance of a holistic approach to development. He was approached by Justin, the founder of CFDP, several years ago and he fell in love with the work that CFDP is doing for the community. It was great to see his support and clear passion for the mission and work of CFDP and their partnership with Coaches Across Continents. This was one of several occasions that the Cameroonian warm hospitality was extended our way this week. We were sad for this week to end, not only because it meant that we had to say goodbye to this beautiful town and the wonderful people we met in Kumba, but also because it meant that we had to say goodbye to Cameroon and prepare for our departure and travels back home.

    Before arriving in Cameroon, Josh had told me that it would be near to impossible to expect what was ahead on this trip, and he was right. My month spent in Cameroon with Coaches Across Continents was challenging and it was hard, but it was also one of the best experiences of my life and I would not trade it for the world. The memories I formed with both my teammates and coaches from our partnering programs are ones that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Thank you, Cameroon, for the trip of a lifetime, and thank you, Coaches Across Continents, for making that possible.

    Can Kathryn See HIV?

    Can Kathryn See HIV?

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  • CAC Back in Njombe, Tanzania

    P1040952October 18, 2013.  CAC coaches Sophie Legros, Danielle Foxhoven and Becca Meierbachtol left Zimbabwe after three weeks of programming and headed North to Tanzania. Tanzania was host to the first ever Coaches Across Continents program in 2008. They were met at the airport by one of CAC’s best community impact coaches, Nico Achimpota and some of his team members. They headed out the next morning on an 11 hour bus ride from Dar Es Salaam to a smaller city in the mountains called Njombe.

    Tuesday morning they got right to work as they met all of the education department members  in the Njombe community before starting the daily 4 hour morning session. Every afternoon was spent coaching a group of girls from a primary school. What a great experience for the team! The coaches covered new skills and averaged 7 new games and social messages every morning!

    Our CAC staff and the community coaches ended the Njombe program with a 45 minute game between coaches and what a competitive and fun match it turned out to be! Nico, despite having suffered a potentially week ending pulled hip flexor, had his glory moment as a foul was called on the edge of the penalty area which he converted on a beautiful free kick!

    After the game was over the head of Njombe’s education department gave a well worded speech inspiring everyone to work hard to implement the games and social messages that were covered throughout the week. Needless to say we are excited to see what the teachers and coaches in Njombe can do over the next year!

    Lastly, the day was finished with CAC and One World Futbol leaving 4 balls with the community to get them started on the games until a shipment can arrive for all of the primary and secondary schools in Njombe. It was the perfect ending to a great week for our CAC coaches and the newest members to the educated CAC coaches!

  • Meet the Coaches Working in Namibia

    L to R: Nick Gates, Sheila Dohmann, Charlie Crawford, Dr. Judith Gates, Bill Gates, and Brian Suskiewicz

    L to R: Nick Gates, Sheila Dohmann, Charlie Crawford, Dr. Judith Gates, Bill Gates, and Brian Suskiewicz

    June 17, 2013.  Happy (late) Father’s Day everyone!  Coaches Across Continents has six coaches and board members here in Windhoek as we start our third year with Special Olympics Namibia.  Board member Dr. Judith Gates, who is working with UNICEF to develop a Child Protection Policy, will be working with SON along the same capacity this week.  Joining the team is another board member, former 13-year English professional player Bill Gates (Middlesbrough FC) who will be working with the four coaches on the field.  The four coaches on the field are Nick Gates, Brian Suskiewicz, Charlie Crawford or Sheila Dohmann.  Since we already know about Nick and Brian – here is some more interesting tidbits about our four other team members for the next two weeks.

    Charlie Crawford

    Charlie CrawfordCharlie is a rising junior at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, USA.  He competes on the men’s varsity soccer team as a center back and is studying philosophy.  Or is he?…  Here are some fun facts with Charlie!

    Favorite Team – FC Barcelona

    Favorite Player – Zinedine Zidane

    Favorite Coach – Nuno Piteira (coached Charlie during club soccer days in Georgia)

    Favorite Movie – Silence of the Lambs

    Why I enjoy working with CAC? – “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with such attractive people on both sides of the program and to see how our interactions effect each other.”
    Who will win the World Cups in 2014 and 2015? – 2014: USA, 2015: USA!
     
    Sheila Dohmann
    Sheila DohmannSheila has a broken elbow right now, but won’t let that stop her.  She works for the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee as head of local engagement (putting football into people’s culture for the lead up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar).  She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University (USA) where she was an NCAA varsity athlete as she rode equestrian.
     
    Favorite Team – Manchester United
    Favorite Player – Iker Casillas
    Favorite Coach – Sir Alex Ferguson
    Favorite Movie – The Goonies
    Why I enjoy working with CAC? – “I am excited to work with CAC because for a sport that I deal with in a daily basis on the corporate side I am excited to see firsthand the social impact that football can have on the younger generation and how it does bring all nations and cultures together.”
    Who will win the World Cups in 2014 and 2015? – 2014: Argentina, 2015: Japan.
     

    Bill Gates

    Bill Gates tackling George Best

    Bill Gates tackling George Best

    Bill Gates made his first-team debut for Middlesbrough at age 17 and was a first-team regular for 13 years.  He has worked programs for CAC in Uganda and Tanzania in past years.

    Favorite Team – Middlesbrough

    Favorite Player – Bobby Charleton

    Favorite Coach – Sir Alf Ramsey

    Favorite Movie – City Slickers

    Why you enjoy working with CAC? – Because Brian is so funny.

    Who will win the World Cup in 2014 and 2015? – Brazil and USA

    Judith Gates

    As always, Judith surrounded by children.

    As always, Judith surrounded by children.

    Dr. Judith Gates is a CAC board member and heads our monitoring and evaluation and child safety initiatives.  Married to Bill Gates, she has also worked programs in Uganda and Tanzania in past years.

    Favorite Team – Middlesbrough

    Favorite Player – Bill Gates

    Favorite CoachSir Bobby Robson

    Favorite Movie – Iron Lady

    Why you enjoy working with CAC? – “I never cease to be impressed to see at the variety of ways in which they can use soccer to create a real change within communities.”

    Who will win the World Cup in 2014 and 2015? – A rare occasion that I agree with Bill, but Brazil and USA

    L to R: Nick Gates, Sheila Dohmann, Charlie Crawford, Dr. Judith Gates, Bill Gates, and Brian Suskiewicz

    L to R: Nick Gates, Sheila Dohmann, Charlie Crawford, Dr. Judith Gates, Bill Gates, and Brian Suskiewicz

  • Coaches Across Continents Behind the Scenes

    IMG_0752June 11th 2013: Over the past seven days Coaches Across Continents have been developing many aspects of our off field work. Without off field work CAC would not be able to deliver successful and sustainable programs like the recent week in Uganda with the Buwaya Youth Association.  Indeed consistent support is essential to allow CAC to run programs in 20 countries this year benefiting our implementing partners, volunteers, coaches and most importantly the children we impact.
    From our office in London, CAC have developed many significant partnerships and networks which will continue to build the organisation as we reach the half way point of our 5th year. CAC are a significant part of the sport for social impact community and met with Beyond Sport this week to discuss future events in the industry including a showcase of CAC’s work in London. Furthermore, there are ongoing discussions with UNICEF regarding the potential addition of child and human rights into the extensive CAC curriculum, demonstrating the high regard CAC is held in globally. We are also in talks to link with an international soccer coaching organisation to ensure our programs consistently have the highest quality coaching.

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    In order to build our organisation and benefit implementing partners CAC have created a partnership with Thomson Reuters which will  provide legal advice for successful applicants through their foundation. Confirmation of future CAC ambassadors from the soccer world will further increase our standing in the sport for social impact industry. Our partner XL Soccer Tours have been able to sell soccer equipment as part of our Equipment Across Continents initiative. Finally, extensive meetings with members of our business advisory board and the management consultancy group Fortitude Partners  have also helped to form our future strategy towards the end of 2013 and into 2014 which will lead to the continued growth of the organisation. Our on-going off field work allows the on field programs to flourish as CAC continue to impact communities globally.

  • Fun Dress Friday in Cameroon

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    Who wins/loses you decide!

  • Harvard Women Juggle Across Continents

    Harvard juggles3May 13th 2013:  Harvard Women’s Soccer team has just joined coaches and players from Liberia, Columbia, Haiti and Ghana by participating in CAC’s Juggles Across Continents initiative. All of our partner programs around the world will be participating in this program. Our goal is to reach 1,000,000 juggles by the end of 2013 ! The Harvard women’s soccer players have together added 4083 juggles to our total of more than 37,000 juggles for the beginning of 2013. Just like the Harvard women, you can help us reach our goal by joining other players all over the world to create lasting social change through soccer ! To learn more about how you can get involved, check our website.

    Harvard’s involvement with CAC is not limited to the Juggles Across Continents initiative. The Harvard soccer community’s efforts have played 13855_428811610534924_268624553_nan important role in the success of our programs. Since 2009, more than 20 players and alumi from the Harvard men and women’s soccer teams have volunteered their time and skills to work at different Coaches Across Continents programs in Africa, South America and Asia. Assistant athletic director Tim Wheaton also traveled to Africa in 2012 to work with one of our soccer for social impact programs. Check out our ”Crimson Across Continents” facebook album to see pictures of Harvard players and alumni in countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Columbia, Haiti and India.

    Harvard juggles1The Harvard athletic community has also joined efforts off the field to raise awareness and funds for Coaches Across Continents. In the spring season of 2012, the Harvard men’s soccer team hosted a match against Cape Verde to benefit Coaches Across Continents and the Cape Verdean Football Association. For the past few years the Harvard Varsity Club and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee have organized an Annual Charity Ball and 100% of the proceeds from this event benefit Coaches Across Continents.