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
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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.
A Programme That Packed SWAGA
A Week of Reflection and Growth for Green Kenya
Most of the time when one hears about On-Field training, they picture running around the football pitch with a ball. However, during Green-Kenya’s week of On-Field training with Coaches Across Continents, our games focused less on the physical aspect of the sport and more on addressing different social issues, questioning harmful practices in the community, teaching Self-Directed Learning methodology, and encouraging critical thinking with the participants. With this in mind, we focused on child rights as well as the UNSDG#4: Quality Education during our week On-Field with CAC. At Green Kenya, we strongly believe in participatory education. By exposing children to open discussion and encouraging their input, we can teach them that their opinions are important.
Our first on-field training with CAC provided us at Green-Kenya with a bird’s eye view of our program. We gained valuable learning experiences, from working with youth leaders, to networking with other coaches, to handling unforeseen situations.This year will mark the 5th year since Green-Kenya was founded specifically to implement CAC Curriculum in Nairobi (especially addressing UNSDG13: Climate Action) and the experience that we have gained from the training is very important in the next phase of the organization. Aside from the lessons learned in on-field training, the Green-Kenya team had valuable discussions with Jamie to reflect on the last 4 years since G-K was founded – what worked well, what did not work, and what can be done to improve the delivery of our sessions to meet the needs of our participants. I am confident that the on-field games and off-field reflection with CAC will enhance Green-Kenya’s ability to help youth discover and develop their potential by teaching them to set goals and make effective decisions.
Bus-Bound for Busia
July 15, 2019. Long-time Community Impact Coach Salim Blanden from Mbrara leads a CAC training for the first time.
I jump on a Kenya bound bus, but my final destination is Busia near the Uganda-Kenya borders. On the bus with me is Jamie Craig Tomkinson who I have ran a program with in Jinja with X-SUBA. Very tired from the last program we both slept off immediately once we entered the bus and within just two hours we had reached our destination (Busia).
On the first day in Busia, we thought it was a local market day as we experienced a big crowd but we were told it’s a normal day because Busia is a very over populated area being a business area because of nearing the Uganda-Kenya border.
Jamie and I are both ready to run our programs with YES Busia, one of the organizations that is partnering with CAC to implement Purposeful Play. We are supposed to run separate programs on two fields in Busia; one of the programs on the nearby local field at a primary school to be run by me and another in Masafu village to be run by Jamie. YES Busia is the only organization in Busia that is using sports to reach out to the local community to teach about the most pressing social issues which include on HIV (UNSDG3: Health & Wellness), education (UNSDG4: Quality Education), poverty (UNSDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth), and the environment (UNSDG13: Climate Action). Ongatai Amosias, the leader of YES Busia, is working with young leaders in his office to bring about the positive social change. On the program with me is Mary, Moureen, Flavia and Dorcas who are acting as co-facilitators and also helping on other logistics. Mary and Moureen are helping out in running some games because they have been teaching CAC games in primary schools that work with YES Busia.
First day for me to run such a program on my own is an interesting day for me. There are so many women on the program compared to men, something that is not so common in most communities I have worked with. Most of these are teachers from nearby primary schools and others are locals from the nearby villages.
Being the second year CAC is running programs in Busia, there are some returnees from the last program and they can quickly understand the games, and some teachers have knowledge about the games because Mary and Moureen, the YES facilitators, have been running these games in different primary schools. Dorcas is also one of the facilitators of YES Busia and works with Mary and Moureen to run games in schools. Dorcas is helping out with making sure we have balls, bibs and cones for use at the pitch and takes care of everything but also joins in to play with other participants after to participate. She asks questions and is very confident and in our afternoon meeting, Jamie thinks she can be a potential CIC from YES Busia.
The participants loved the games and wants CAC to come back next year. My highlight was when we played a game about HIV Myths (Ballack Clears HIV Myths). We had a lengthy discussion about HIV after the game to learn about the myths and also teach about HIV and people requested we talk a lot about HIV. My wish to the organization to help mobilise and educate more people about HIV in the villages of Busia.
Coaches Across Continents worked with 156 participants over 5 days, impacting 18,000 children in the Busia district of Uganda.