Partnership with Peace One Day A Huge Success
October 17, 2014. Earlier this year Coaches Across Continents announced the largest partnership in sport for social impact. Together with Peace One Day, we teamed up to supply organizations with a free soccer resource packet that uses CAC games to educate about peace and encourage the development of skill sets that lead to peace building. On 21 September, these efforts came to the fruition when millions around the world celebrated and recognized Peace Day.
Together with Peace One Day, Coaches Across Continents is using their One Day One Goal platform to use football as a peace building educational exercise. Along with their other efforts, the goal for 2014 is to have Peace Day recognized by one billion people globally. This first year of our partnership was a great start to spreading that awareness. Overall nearly four hundred sport for social development organizations took advantage of this free resource to educate their communities on peace building practices. These included organizations on all six continents, and they were distributed and available in six different languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili).
The focus of this year’s celebrations was on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region of Africa (focusing on Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania). So far in those five countries we have confirmation of the resource packet being used by 50 organizations to promote peace, with more coming forward every day. Each of these organizations also held an event for 21 September, the International Day of Peace. These include CAC implementing community partners as well as organizations who have heard about the power of sport through other avenues like StreetFootballWorld, One World Futbol, FIFA Football for Hope, and Peace One Day.
Stories, pictures, and videos from around the world continue to arrive speaking of the incredible power that football has as a unifying factor. Check out some of them on our Facebook page. If you or your organization want to tell your story from Peace Day, please contact us at: or .
Get Involved with Peace One Day
April 7, 2014. Coaches Across Continents is proud to announce our continued support of the One Day One Goal initiative for Peace One Day. This extremely important global day is held every September, 21st. In addition to the support from our 75+ communities in 30 countries, Coaches Across Continents will be providing support materials for organizations in potentially over 130 countries this year. Any organization wishing to use sport to promote peace is welcome to contact either Coaches Across Continents or Peace One Day to get involved in this year’s celebrations.
For 2014, Coaches Across Continents (CAC) is launching a Peace Day football resource, aimed at integrating real-life conflict resolution skills into regular football training. Coaches Across Continents, the global leaders in sport for social impact, are launching a series of games that use football to explore, demonstrate and develop some of the skills necessary for conflict resolution and social harmony.
The resource, in support of Peace One Day’s One Day One Goal football initiative, will comprise five games, the first of which will be available to mark the 6 April 2014, the first UN Day of Sport for Development and Peace, with the rest following in mid-June.
From teamwork to understanding types of violence, this resource will encourage organizations and individuals, to integrate conflict resolution skills into their regular football training in the run up to Peace Day 21 September and beyond. Our unique monitoring and evaluation has discovered that 99% of participants best know how to teach children how to resolve conflict through soccer after playing our games, up from 19% at the start of each training.
To access this resource, free of charge, contact us, share your 2014 One Day One Goal match and tournament plans and start using football to help create a more peaceful society.
The CAC Staff Zenith
January 15, 2014. Coaches Across Continents is always on the move – Fact. Our team meetings mostly consist of deftly planned Skype sessions connecting us from Hawaii to England to somewhere in the depths of Africa. But, for the first time, the majority of our staff members came together in one place: the newly founded CAC Global Headquarters in Orlando, Florida (thanks to our wonderful partners XL Soccer World). Over the course of these three jam-packed 10-hour days, senior staff members from England, Scotland, Belgium, and the USA put our game-faces on and effectively mapped our future.
When planning for what lies ahead, it is imperative to reflect on the past, our history, where we came from. It’s hard to believe that in 2008 CAC was running just one program in one country – Kigoma, Tanzania. In 2013 we had programs in 20 countries, 51 partner programs, over 2,100 trained coaches, thousands upon thousands of ‘Ronaldos’ and ‘Martas’ and ‘Messis’, and an inconceivable number of air miles later, here we have the CAC envisioned by our fearless leader, Nick Gates.
But what we have realized is that the world of CAC is, in one word, unique. That is to say, it is rather difficult to understand what we do from the outside looking in. After your first day on the field in northern Uganda, or southern India, or rural Haiti, however, and all of a sudden it clicks – you have one of those “Ohhh!” moments and no longer think your crazy friend who works for CAC is “running around Africa playing soccer” or “holding soccer camps for little African children”.
There had to be a better way to tell our story.
There was, and is, and thanks to the hard work of one of our staff members – Adam Burgess – with help from the Taiji Group, our story has become very clear. With refortified mission, vision, objective, beliefs, principles, approach, personality, and promise, CAC is ready to launch into 2014, sharing our story off-field, while living it every day on-field.
The Zenith now marks this turning point in CAC history; the moment when our founder unveiled the final product in our collaborative effort towards establishing the CAC brand. It would have been a proud moment for a stranger walking in off the street. So imagine a room filled with about ten people who are so invested in what Nick has created (including his contributing and immensely supportive parents, Judith and Bill), to the point of no return. It was a great moment.
The importance of telling our story encompasses all the work put in to making this organization what it is today. From Tanzania to Sierra Leone, to Indonesia, Nepal, Jamaica, and Colombia. From all the coaches of past, to all the coaches of present, and all the coaches to come. From Skills by Ronaldo, Marta, and Messi to Skills by Mia Hamm, Sawa, Neymar, Xavi, and Nkwocha. From Sport for Social Impact to Self-Directed Learning. From Chance to Choice.
Coaches Across Continents believes in the possibility of a better world. We trust in the capacity for humans to change. We thrive on cooperation and respect. We are inspired by the promise of equality. And we live and die on the all-mighty power of the beautiful game of football.
Now, back on the field!
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.“ – Plato
2013: On The Field Review
January 2, 2014. We have a theory that someone at Coaches Across Continents is always awake and working. Not just because our senior staff resides in the UK, Belgium, Hawaii, and the mainland USA, which spans eleven time zones, but also because we were on the road so often running programs on FOUR CONTINENTS in 2013. Our staff is often awake at odd hours from jet lag and from constant communication with our 51 PARTNER PROGRAMS in 19 COUNTRIES. For those of you who are wondering – those countries were (alphabetically): Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
The effect of working internationally is the IMPACT we have on individuals, communities, and countries. Our Sport for Social Impact curriculum CREATES SELF-DIRECTED LEARNERS, enabling the individuals we work with to identify local problems and ultimately solve these issues in a locally relevant manner. By empowering communities CAC is helping to enact positive change on a truly global level. Although we have only completed our fifth year on the field, this year our Hat Trick Initiative taught over 2,100+ COACHES AND COMMUNITY LEADERS. These coaches and leaders have been working tirelessly throughout the year to impact OVER 162,000 CHILDREN using our Sport for Social Imipact games, and striving to create the next generation of free-thinkers. Our rapidly growing team firmly believes in transcending the boundaries of education laid down by long-standing traditions. We are passionate about learning, we are passionate about football, and we are passionate about combining these forces to redefine the way the world views the education of children and the development of communities. Alongside our incredible partners from the far reaches of the world, we revel in challenging outdated customs, breaking down unjust societal norms, celebrating our rights, and doing it all on the football pitch, whether green grass, field turf, brown dust, or pure concrete, united by our love for the beautiful game.
As we continue to build on the work we do around the world in sport for social impact and self-directed learning, we remain extremely conscious of PRIORITIZING LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY. In 2013 we launched our COMMUNITY IMPACT COACH (CIC) PROGRAM, which facilitates collaboration among the communities we work in. Leaders from our partner organizations have the opportunity to apply to become a CIC and travel with our teams to other communities within their country, their continent, and even globally. With this program we have witnessed CICs thrive in different environments, out of their comfort zone, where they are able to coach CAC games in settings foreign to their own and gain a greater understanding of the various ways in which sport can be used to educate. Our Community Impact Coaches are not only able to connect with other coaches who share their passion for community development, but are also given the chance to inspire others to become CICs, to travel and learn from different cultures, and return to their own community with greater perspective and knowledge about our shared efforts in the field of sport for development.
Our first CIC was Coach Nico who worked in Ghana and Tanzania. He was followed by Community Impact Coaches Charles “Oti” (Kenya), Salim and Godfrey “Moogy” (Uganda), Corrie, Danver and Bulelani (South Africa), and our last CIC was Homkant (India). These coaches came into their own as ROLE MODELS, enhancing our work on the field far beyond the limits of geography, and we are more than pleased to be able to offer such opportunities to truly amazing leaders. This initiative was a highlight of our 2013 programs, setting the stage for more success, more collaboration, and more participating coaches in the future. In 2014, we hope to have CICs in over half of our partner program countries, starting later this month when we visit Haiti.
While the CAC “Empire” is always awake and working towards creating sustainable sport for social impact programs globally, we are also aware that our work cannot be done without the 28 COACHES and VOLUNTEERS who spent 17,536 HOURS working ON THE FIELD with communities this past year. They are the backbone of our organization and allow change to happen on a worldwide scale. To everyone who traveled with CAC to any one of our 19 countries of operations… THANK YOU!
We hope that if you are interested you will contact us and volunteer your time in 2014 or support our many other initiatives through personal or corporate efforts. Have a great 2014 everyone!
Tattoos, Drugs, HIV and Football
September 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.
Rumah 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.
Our 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.
We 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.
Meet the Coaches Working in Cambodia
August 19, 2013. Three CAC coaches have landed in Cambodia for our first-ever program in this Southeast Asian Country. For the next two weeks we will be working with Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) which is based in the capital city of Phnom Penh. ISF looks to help some of the poorest, most disadvantaged children in Cambodia. Part of their organization is a network of football squads through schools, NGOs, and communities throughout the country. Working with ISF for the next two weeks from Coaches Across Continents are Brian Suskiewicz, Emily Lambert, and Helena Bassett.
Both Brian and Emily are long-time coaches with CAC having worked in over a dozen different countries. However having the opportunity to work in Cambodia made both of them volunteer immediately. Joining them is Helena Bassett, a sophomore at the University of Chicago in the United States. Helena learned of CAC through her good friend and classmate Micaela Harms who volunteered last summer with CAC. Helena is a former captain of Taos High School in New Mexico (USA) and has traveled extensively in India and other countries. This is also her first trip to Cambodia.