• Stop OSAEC in the Philippines

    Makati City, Philippines. Football for Humanity and sports education partner Coaches Across Continents kick-off a series of online training sessions for thirty coaches participating in the community football mobilization program under the #StopOSAEC (Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children) advocacy headed by Football for Humanity (FFH) and Advocacy Partners Asia Inc (APAI). The course promotes a structured curriculum to enhance FFH coaches’ knowledge and skills necessary for coaching vulnerable children. These coaches will be offering free and fun football sessions to communities where children are at risk of OSAEC, which is a violation under Article 5 of Republic Act No. 7610 (An Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination, And for Other Purposes)

    Coaches Across Continents is an international NGO and the global leader in using purposeful play and education outside the classroom to address the UN SDG’s and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. CAC Founder Nick Gates said, “I am delighted to share my support of the fantastic group of leaders from the Philippines, coming together with CAC and Football for Humanity to challenge OSAEC in their communities and around the world. I believe if we can bring fun back to play and sport, then we can heal from our traumas and rebuild communities, families, teams and cultures with children’s imagination at the center.”

    Sport and play have been endorsed by UNICEF in its Sport for Development Programs (S4D) as a proven platform for children’s “empowerment, leadership and self-esteem, and which contributes to overall well-being and future prospects”. In addition, FFH and its partners recognize children’s right to leisure, play, and participation in cultural and artistic activities as enacted in the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    As COVID-19 surged and the entire country was practically halted in lockdown, OSAEC incidences also grew exponentially, thus putting more children at risk in a world that has become more digital, seemingly overnight.  As of May 2020, the Department of Justice (DOJ) had reported an annual increase in OSAEC cases of 264%.

    “OSAEC has created hundreds of thousands of traumatised children who suffer in silence. If we educate and empower children through play, we will help prevent, heal and reverse the crippling effects of this monstrous crime,” according to FFH founder and president Chris Thomas.

    Football for Humanity and Advocacy Partners Asia formalized their partnership for the project in May, 2021, when APA Executive Director Louie P. Sebastian declared that, “No child should ever experience abuse in any form most especially online sexual abuse which leaves long-term physical, social, mental and emotional trauma.  Increasing awareness of the ills and dangers of OSAEC is crucial. Hence, Advocacy Partners Asia, Inc. and PAGEONE, as leading organizations in development communication and social mobilization, are one with FFH in creating a strong movement against OSAEC.”

    The #StopOSAEC advocacy is funded by the Australian Government through the Direct Aid Program (DAP) of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines and is supported by the Department of Justice Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (DOJ/IACAT), PLDT/Smart, and other partners and sponsors affiliated under FFH, which runs on a strong child protection platform in all of its initiatives.

    Mr Thanh Le, Development Counsellor at the Australian Embassy said, “The FFH project presents a valuable strategy to raise awareness on and counter OSAEC in communities through purposive play. It has a strong potential to empower vulnerable children and their families against OSAEC. This initiative complements Australia’s SaferKidsPH program, which aims to strengthen the child protection system in the Philippines with a particular focus on OSAEC.”

    Social media platforms and online technology are at the center of the OSAEC problem, and constitute the “bridge” where alleged perpetrators and potential victims converge. FFH and APA reached out to PLDT and Smart, the Philippines’ leading telecommunications and digital services providers, as both had already launched an aggressive campaign in April 2021 to stamp out OSAEC through its technology solutions and affiliated organizations.  “PLDT and Smart recognize the critical role that technology plays in combatting OSAEC. Further to that, we’re also pursuing shared value partnerships with like-minded organizations such as the FFH to strengthen our commitment to champion children’s rights and create safer spaces for them, both online and offline. With technology and sports as our shared anchors, we aim to bring opportunities for vulnerable children to find hope, safety and support to continue moving forward,” said PLDT First Vice President and Group Head for Corporate Communications, Cathy Yap-Yang.

    Law enforcement efforts regarding this online crime are led by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the Philippines, which also created the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) in charge of coordinating and monitoring the implementation of Republic Act No. 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003. The IACAT is multi-agency, composed of government agencies and non-government sectoral representatives who employ various approaches to combatting OSAEC. Officer in Charge, Executive Director Wendell Bendoval, welcomed the involvement of FFH and its partners in the multi-agency alliance: “Human trafficking is a pervasive crisis throughout the world, especially here in the Philippines where we are considered a trafficking hotspot. Through international cooperation, the anti-trafficking movement continues to adapt to shifting circumstances and new challenges to remain one step ahead of traffickers and protect our children from it. Partnerships are crucial to the movement because it takes not one person but rather a whole government approach to completely end modern-day slavery. FFH’s involvement in the advocacy allowed us to be reminded once again of this collective commitment as we take on another year and look forward to the work that lies ahead.”

    Football for Humanity is a charity registered in the Philippines and the UK. The charity uses the power of play to educate, empower and protect children facing the threat of violence, exploitation and extreme poverty.

  • Coaches Across Continents Launches Global Day of Play

    Coaches Across Continents is excited to launch the first-ever Global Day of Play on the 27th of August 2021 – an annual celebration on the positive impact of play.

    This year we want individuals, organisations and communities who believe in the importance of play to take the #PledgeToPlayEveryday HERE!

    On the 27th of August we are asking communities and organisations to join us by holding an hour of safe, fun and inclusive play with people in your community. Please tag us @coachesacross on social media with the hashtag #PledgeToPlayEveryday.

    Research has shown that young people are playing less and one of the main barriers to children and young people participating in play is a lack of time. Play is often seen as ‘silly’ and ‘non-educational’ but as Albert Einstein once said “Play is the highest form of research” and is vital in cognitive, emotional and physical development.

    Organisations all over the world have already signed up and are excited to celebrate on the day. Organisations from 29 countries, out of CAC’s global network spanning 132 countries, have already taken the pledge. Groups participating range from an Australian Rules football team in Edinburgh, UK to Kusewara (which means PLAY in the Chichewa language) in Malawi.

    One example is training4changeS in Stellenbosch, South Africa. International Director Daniel Thomae said “we believe Purposeful Play helps children grow as self-directed learners. For the upcoming Global Day of Play on 27th of August our futsal academy players will design and lead play sessions with their peers. We’re excited to see what these young leaders come up with.”

    Jaspreet Kaur from YFC Rurka Kalan in Punjab, India tells us that “at YFC Rurka Kalan, we believe young people are the backbone of society and providing play based activities is crucial to their health and well-being. We are thrilled to be a part of the first Global Day of Play on August 27th and are celebrating with our whole community, including the schools, with lots of different activities and dancing!”

    We are also delighted to have generous support from leaders in the sport for social change sector including the Aspen Institute, Beyond Sport, Laureus Sport for Good, Michael Johnson Young Leaders, REMS Brazil, Sportanddev, and streetfootballworld who will all be engaging their global networks.

    Together we can work together to raise awareness of the importance of play and #PledgeToPlayEveryday

    To get involved please contact [email protected]coachesacrosscontinents.org. Thank you for promoting play!
  • Indochina Starfish Foundation of Cambodia Accredited by Coaches Across Continents

    Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) is a Cambodian charity with over 13 years of experience using education and sport to change lives.  In Cambodia, less than 5% of youth will finish high school. The poverty many children live in not only strips them of their childhood but it also means that they miss out on an education and vital life skills that are taught through peer interaction and play. Through their Education Programme, Football Programme and Community Development Projects ISF is supporting those most in need to build a brighter future.

    CAC has worked alongside ISF staff, coaches and young leaders since 2013. We have seen first-hand their growth when it comes to integrating play-based activities with key social and educational learning methodologies. Many ISF coaches have joined the CAC team over the years to facilitate Purposeful Play trainings for other leaders in communities beyond the ISF home in Phnom Penh. And after several years of learning and evolving together in partnership we are delighted to present ISF as a CAC accredited organization in using Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    Thank you ISF for your partnership and we look forward to many more years of playing and learning with you!
  • We Are Moving With Rexona

    Creating Legacies 17, the Coaches Across Continents consultancy brand, is proud to be a partner on the Rexona Breaking Limits Programme. Rexona, also known as Degree, Sure or Shield, is a Unilever deodorant brand dedicated to getting people moving.

    The Breaking Limits Programme is a cutting-edge initiative developed in partnership with Beyond Sport to transform the lives of young people through sport and physical activity. Launched on April 6th, the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the programme will empower millions of young people with the confidence and opportunity to move more. Everyone deserves the right to experience the many benefits movement brings – whoever you are, however you move. Follow @rexona to learn more about the #Rexona #BreakingLimits programme.

    Coaches Across Continents, alongside fellow program partners The Change Foundation and The Sports Creative, have designed and delivered online video and program content for organisations around the world to use in their sustainable local play-based programming. Virtual Modules will be provided for both introductory and advanced level coaches and organisations. Coaches Across Continents Modules are focused on Confidence and Access, and Inclusion.

    Click here to fill out a short form and access the digital training platform including Module 2: Confidence and Access.

    Thanks to the incredible CAC leaders who assisted us in putting Module 2 together- Daniela Gutierrez, David Mulo, Elvis Nshimba, Freya Levy, Jaspreet Kaur, Jesus Valenzuela, Jonathan Hannay, Lee Docherty, Lina Restrepo, Luis Mendoza, Nico Achimpota, Orlando Carlos de Villa Neto, Patty Caceres, Romina Calatayud, Rose Abou Elias, Tejas R, and Vero Turiza.

    Click here to fill out a short form and access the digital training platform including Module 3: Inclusion.

    Thanks to the incredible CAC leaders who assisted us in putting Module 3 together- Amanda Bezerra, Ariel Wulfman, Benny Marquis, Daniela Gutierrez, David Mulo, Estahappy Mariki, Lina Restrepo, Maria Alejandra Vanegas Muñoz, Regina Bezerra, Vero Turiza, and Vicente Gabriel Valdelamar.

    About Rexona

    Rexona’s Belief
    • Rexona believes in the power of movement to transform lives
    • Everyone should be able to experience the incredible physical, mental and social benefits
    movement brings – whoever you are, however you move

    The Issue
    • Too many people face barriers preventing them from moving.
    • Self-doubt holds people back. They fear failure or judgement from others and lack
    confidence in their own ability.
    • Society further fuels our fear. Too often, people are made to feel they aren’t capable of
    doing something by others. They face discrimination because of their race, gender or
    perceived ability.

    Rexona’s Purpose
    • Sure is fighting for a world where everyone has the confidence to move more.

    Rexona Breaking Limits Programme
    • The Rexona Breaking Limits Programme will empower young people with the confidence and
    opportunity to move.
    • The programme has the power to transform the lives of young people. Because through
    movement, everyone can find the confidence to break limits – those set by themselves and
    by society.

     

  • COVID-19 Recovery

    In 2020, Coaches Across Continents (CAC), with the Commonwealth Secretariat, created a play-based educational resource, covering issues such as anxiety, self-esteem, and stress. 96% of CAC partners reported the mental well-being of youth they engage has been affected by the pandemic. The resource seeks to benefit any organisation, community, coach, or teacher who interact with young people. The activities are adaptable to participant numbers and restrictions (distancing, hygiene etc) so they can be used in contexts where social distancing and hygiene measures are necessary.  

    In many ways COVID-19 has brought the world together as we adapt to the lack of travel and group experiences by connecting online and through messaging platforms. We can increase access to sport for development by designing interactive learning techniques accessible for all such as global video sharing and collaboration, active sport for development video games, and virtual reality technology.

    COVID-19 has denied people the ability to socialise, play, and move, causing everyone to re-assess what really matters.  One of the key opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic recovery presents to sport and play is that its benefits have been reinforced in people’s minds. We can build back better post COVID-19 by re-emphasising sport and play’s role in the emotional and social development of young people as opposed to primarily its role in elite talent development. Coaches using resources such as our Mental Health through Sport curriculum in their work will transform the perception of play in the minds of young people, parents, teachers, and communities.

  • 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.