A Haven of Hope
CAC India Team Leader Jamie and Community Impact Coach Benny have been working in rural communities near the city of Pune this week, with Maher – an NGO that provides shelter to underserved women, children and men across the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Maher means ‘Mothers Home’ in Marathi; a place of belonging, understanding and acceptance. For over 20 years, Maher has opened their doors and provided shelter for many of those in need – providing a place to sleep, eat and live while also sending them to school. Currently, they provide a place to call home for 960 children, 170 women and 60 older men. They heard about CAC through our Accredited partner Slum Soccer and wanted to learn about #PurposefulPlay and how it could benefit their children. To tie in with Maher’s core values of acceptance and education, we delivered a programme focused on UNSDGs: 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities).
Our programme was split into two parts – in the mornings we would travel to one of Maher’s other homes in very rural areas, and deliver some fun #EducationOutsideTheClassroom sessions to children and women who had never experienced #PurposefulPlay before. These were introductory sessions that we had a lot of fun with – this new style of learning was greatly enjoyed and each time we left they would ask when they could play more games! At CAC, Sustainability is at the core of everything we do – so to ensure long term impact we always work with the teachers, coaches and in this case social workers to provide them the skills so that these kids can continue learning and having fun, even after we’ve left.
This is where our evening sessions come into the picture, where we worked with around 30 social workers on topics that they felt were most relevant to them. Gender Equality (#UNSDG5) and Reduced Inequalities (#UNSDG10) came up often, so we played many games from our #ASKforChoice curriculum. These social workers had also discussed these topics with the children, but had never considered that using sport was possible and the best way to engage them in difficult conversations.
It was a very successful programme with Maher, now enthused about #EducationOutsideTheClassroom and already inviting us back! My personal highlight is that we managed to involve some of the older orphaned children in the programme, one young man at the end said ‘everyone has always told me I can’t do stuff, but CAC told me I can and encouraged me’. Sustainability has many forms, and supporting someone to find some self-belief so that they can continue believing in their self, is sustainability that matters.
You don’t realise how much you take your voice for granted, until you can’t use it.
The CAC team have been in Nagpur, India this last week working with long time ally and partner – Slum Soccer. This is a partnership that is 8 years in the making, with many successful programmes delivered together. Due to the nature and frequency that we visit Slum Soccer, we wanted to do something different this time and really expand on what #PurposefulPlay means, by delivering a programme centred around #UNSDG10: Reduced Inequalities – specifically focusing on the inclusion of those who are deaf and mute.
Slum Soccer have recently started an initiative called ‘DeafKidz Goal!’ and will work with over 200 deaf children and young adults during this programme. India has one of the highest populations of deaf people in the world – Nagpur alone has over 6000 deaf children. Slum Soccer has seen that these young people were being held back and wanted to take action, calling in the assistance of CAC.
We had 4 deaf and mute coaches on the programme who were incredibly fun to work with – their energy and smiles made delivering the sessions a joy! However, aside from demonstrations, coaches who are able most often use their voice as the main way of communicating and relying solely on this wouldn’t work as we would be excluding some of our group. Whilst we had a brilliant Sign Language interpreter, we wanted to make sure they felt as included as possible – to do this we: played some games in silence and introduced different signs, instead of shouting for the ball we used hand waves, we all learnt how to sign good morning so we could do it together and when we had discussions we would always take time to allow everyone to input and share their thoughts. The coaches who were deaf and mute mentioned throughout the week that they were very happy and thankful and that their favourite sign throughout the week was that we always came to the field with a smile.
And a smile is the most universal sign there is.
Rohingya: From Genocide Victims to Safeguarding Children
October 26, 2019. The Asian Football Confederation and CAC initiative to benefit Rohingya refugees located in the Kutapalong refugee camp is nearly one year old. Supported greatly by the English FA, the BFF, and the UNHCR, we have conducted three separate trainings to Rohingya refugees from 25 different areas of the camp to empower them to become football coaches who will look after the nearly 10,000 children that are directly in their care. It’s a concept called Community-Based Protection, the idea that community members are best able to look after one another.
“As a victim of genocide, we the Rohingya want to improve our nation through football. This program helps us to ensure the protection of children. ” – Mohammed Amin
This latest training, conducted by CAC Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz, FA Coach Taff Rahman, and West Ham United Academy coach Liton Zaman reached a key new milestone. Because of the consistent work with the same group of Rohingya coaches and their willingness to embrace our coaching methodology, the coaches are now more freely opening up regarding their experiences and their future goals. We were able to conduct a full day of Child Safeguarding education, using CAC curriculum games to illustrate children’s rights while they made key promises to protect the children in their care.
“We can show the whole world we are a civil nation and can educate and protect children with fun football.” – Mohammed Ismael
Please watch this world premier explaining our initiative and Community Based Protection.
Initiatives such as this one take a sustained effort over many months and years in order to create long-lasting impact. It is an honor to have a multi-stakeholder partnership with five organizations who are committed to creating this impact. We will continue to mentor these Rohingya refugees through 2020 through coaching education to create Community Based Protection as well as ongoing support through equipment donations
Mohammed Amin and Mohammed Ismael
CAC Accredits 2 More Organizations
September 10, 2019. Coaches Across Continents is proud to announce two more organizations who have been accredited in Purposeful Play. GOALS Haiti and Slum Soccer (India) have demonstrated organizational growth and capacity-building through partnership with CAC to create legacies of social change based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through Purposeful Play. They are being recognized as model organizations within CAC’s global partnership network; a network that covers 60 countries, impacting over 16 million children. They join ACER (Brasil), GOALS Armenia, and training4changeS (South Africa) as the only CAC Accredited organizations globally.
80% of CAC’s accredited organizations are shortlisted for the 2019 Beyond Sport Awards
In January, 2019 Coaches Across Continents launched the world’s first-ever Organizational Accreditation Program in Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom. For accreditation, these groups engaged with their CAC Process Consultants to develop their organizations through our 28 Strategic Resources that include: Creating a Theory of Change Model, Designing a Women’s Rights Policy, Monitoring & Evaluation Process Consultancy, Child and Community-Based Protection Training, and more. Becoming an accredited organization improves that organizations ability to create sustainable change based on the UNSDGs, find and secure funding and award opportunities, enhance brand reputation, and more. Accredited partners will receive additional support from Coaches Across Continents including substantial joint-funding opportunities, educational travel and leadership development, global recognition, and high-level networking.
Slum Soccer has been a CAC-partner since 2011 where they have grown from impacting 500 disadvantaged youth in Nagpur to directly impacting 90,000 youth nationwide. Some of their most recent initiatives involve leading the Education and Sport sector by designing curriculums and programs to teach children about various aspects of Menstrual Health, along with LGBTQI related topics supported by Streetfootballworld’s Common Goal initiative. Slum Soccer was named the first-ever FIFA For Diversity Award winner in 2016 and are shortlisted this year for a Beyond Sport award in UNSDG#3: Good Health and Well-Being for their Shakti Girls initiative.
GOALS Haiti advances youth leadership through soccer and education to create stronger, healthier communities in rural Haiti. They are shortlisted for this year’s Beyond Sport Awards UNSDG#3: Good Health and Well-Being for their Aktive Jèn Yo program that utilizes soccer in Haiti to engage youth and their families in programs that emphasize education, health and the environment to improve their quality of life on a daily basis, and are a prior winner at Beyond Sport (2016).
To learn more about Coaches Across Continents Accreditation Program: Click Here
To partner with Coaches Across Continents or support an organizations’ accreditation,
Partnerships for the GOALS
The CAC team have been in Armenia this last week, working in Partnership with the Kansas National Guard and GOALS Armenia. Using our #PurposefulPlay curriculum, we delivered a 3 day summer camp high up on the beautiful mountains of Yenokavan, in Northern Armenia for local children of military families. Our Goal for this was to focus on UNSDG #5 Gender Equality whilst also introducing #EducationOutsideTheClassroom to young people who had never experienced it before. There were 44 children in attendance with an ideal 50/50 split of girls and boys.
The summer camp was a lot of fun and using the amazing story of Brazilian international football player and role model Marta, we were able to have in-depth conversations about the harmful impact of gender roles and we also had discussions about how we can be more inclusive in our schools and communities.
The brilliant GOALS Armenia facilitators played many games from our ASK For Choice curriculum, creating fun and safe environment where the participants could share their thoughts and feelings. We also introduced a lot of team-building activities, with one participant stating “I made many friends thanks to this camp and have gained a lot of skills like how to build my confidence and work as a team.”
The Kansas National Guard were also a major part of this camp – the 4 officers played a game with the children so they could learn more about life in the army in America, and also through this game their stereotypes were challenged when they learned the officer ‘in charge’ was the female officer. A special thanks to Major Solander for not only playing a major part in helping make this camp possible, but for sharing her inspiring story of being a female in the military and the challenges she faced.
This camp was a massive success, mostly down to the fact we had three organisations, from different countries and different backgrounds, coming together to put on a world class camp for the children and young people of Armenia. This was UNSDG #17 in action.