• On the Sandy Grounds of Maramba

    Community Impact Coach Frank Chivawura, from Zimbabwe, writes about his work with CAC and New Hope Waves in Livingstone, Zambia.

    July 5th 2016. The amazing thing about sport is that despite our differences, it brings us together. I was privileged to meet with Nora, Carrie and Nico, the CAC coaches at Harare’s Prince Edwards Boys High where they were facilitating a Coaches Across Continents (CAC) training in Zimbabwe, in conjunction with Sports Recreation Commission of Zimbabwe. The experience in Zambia would not have been the same without this vibrant group.

    It was a long journey from Zimbabwe, Harare to Livingstone, Zambia. Nico and I left for Zambia at 17:00hrs only to arrive in Livingstone, Zambia at 07:30 the following morning. This was my second time as a Community Impact Coach (CIC) but my first time travelling internationally with Coaches Across Continents.

    It was an exciting week in Livingstone. CAC was working with the New Hope Waves in the sandy Namatama grounds of Maramba. Being the second time as a CIC, the first time being in my country Zimbabwe, I had thought that all was going to be the same as the last time, but I was wrong. It was a different country, place, ground, different CAC coaches, and even the way the curriculum was delivered was different and more exciting.

    I had the opportunity to train more than 30 community coaches who were a delight to work with. They were passionate and very eager to learn more games.  What excited me the most was the feedback we had every morning when the coaches came to the field for training. From the day we started training with the few games that the coaches learnt, the games were already being implemented. Some of the coaches had teams they were training in the afternoons and the CAC games were already being used. It made me feel so warm inside. I felt so much confidence and it made me realise that it can only take but a few to change the way people think in life. Already, I could see change in the coaches. Coaches started coming early and could not wait to start training. And in the afternoons they implemented what they had learnt. All this made me recall this statement from one of the CAC leaders Adam Burgess, “being on the field when you see children and coaches smiling you know that learning is taking place”.  Coaches were smiling and so excited to know what was coming next which was a good sign. Even When Nora, who was leading our group, asked for the coaches to go for water breaks, on several occasions you would hear the coaches saying ‘no no let’s move on we need more games’.

    Nora made it all easy for me as she was supportive and was always encouraging coaches. Her ways of coaching were different and yet educating and very exciting. She made coaches laugh doing her cuckoo dance which was hilarious. CAC volunteer Carrie Taylor was calm and firm. She made the whole week wonderful with the unique way she used Children’s Rights in coaching games. And CIC Nico from Tanzania was full of fun. This team was great and I learnt a lot through each and every game they taught.

    On the last day of training during the coach backs, I was so impressed by the way the games were being adapted. One of the groups led by Musso performed the Children’s Rights game in a different way. They had four areas that represented different child rights and what was beautiful and touching was that the group changed the way the game was played and brought in hand ball. In the game they used hands instead of feet. The rule was before passing the ball you should first touch the ground with the ball then pass. The team would score points by receiving the ball in the grid and the whole team has to shout the type of right the grid represented together.

    I was very excited to be part of this group and am so thankful to the organizers of CAC who made it possible for me to travel to Zambia which made me feel important and useful in the community. Sports for social impact will go a long way in changing people’s lives. Though there is still a lot of work to be done in our communities, this initiative will help a lot of people, teachers, coaches and students play their part in their communities.

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  • A Vision for Local Sustainability

    August 14th 2015. Léogâne to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Nairobi to Marsabit, Kenya. Tacloban to Baybay, Philippines. Nyanza to Kigali, Rwanda. Tanzania to Uganda. Uganda to Kenya. Cambodia to Philippines.

    These are some of the movements of our Community Impact Coaches (CICs) so far in 2015. We have had 16 CICs from 9 countries, directly impacting 28 CAC programs, and consequently nearly 100,000 children.

    The locations and numbers are compelling, but the stories behind those facts and figures are far more inspiring.

    So who are these CICs? How have they enhanced our work? And what have they brought back home to their communities?

    The CIC program pulls in the best of the best from our implementing partners. These are the coaches who have demonstrated their commitment to using sport for social impact at home with their local organizations, On-Field during past CAC trainings, and in year-round communication with CAC staff. These coaches, once selected as CICs, are part of On-Field teams for 1-3 weeks in various locations in their country or internationally. They assist us with the training of other leaders while learning more from our SDL Coaches, and soaking in everything they believe will empower them back home.

    We kicked off the year with a CIC exchange of sorts. Our 3rd-year partners, GOALS Haiti in Léogâne sent two coaches to work with our team in Port-au-Prince with 2nd-year partners The Sanneh Foundation’s Haitian Initiative (HI). The following week two coaches left the city to join our staff for the third year of the On-Field component to our partnership with GOALS. These two weeks are a great representation of what the CIC program is all about. The GOALS coaches were essential in helping us train 173 leaders in Cité Soleil. The HI coaches visited Léogâne and were able to see how far along a third-year partner is, while learning from them and being challenged to advance beyond the work we had done in their community.

    2015 also saw the return of our first-ever CIC, Nico Pota, who traveled from his home in Tanzania to help us run three programs in UgandaWhile in Uganda, Nico met the second-longest serving CIC, Salim Blanden. Soon after the Uganda programs, Salim traveled to meet our team in Kenya where he helped us train two sets of leaders. After his final week with us, one of the participants had some encouraging words to say about the CIC program: “It is very good for us participants to learn about other cultures and it can help to improve the life of the people in the community. It also encourages members of our community to try to achieve that as well, because when you have been in another community you come home with new ideas. To see Salim also encourages me to do my work and help to improve my own community in Rapogi.” – Michael Ouma, Migori County, Kenya.

    In early May we had some fiercely empowered Filipino women join us for our first time working in Baybay, Philippines after our second year with partners Football for Life in Tacloban. Hazel and Patty were running the show with a group of physical education teachers, and we hope to get one or both of them assisting us internationally in the near future.

    One of our Zimbabwe partners has finished the Hat-Trick Initiative, and after the third year several of the coaches applied to the CIC program. Of these candidates, Frank Chivawura was selected and joined CAC On-Field near his home in Harare with a first-year partner, helping us introduce our methodology to the new participants.

    One of the most incredible stories from our CICs takes us back to Kenya. David Mulo and Charles Otieno have been CICs with us for two years, helping us train leaders in various parts of their country. These inspired leaders work with long-time partners Vijana Amani Pamoja in Nairobi, and since joining us as CICs, they’ve wanted to do more. They started their own NGO called Green Kenya where they use CAC games to teach youth about all sorts of social issues, i.e.: “teaching participants how to conserve the environment using CAC environment games.” Another such issue is the empowerment of women. We have just been informed by David that they recently launched their new Girl Up initiative where, among other things, they are having men go out and buy sanitary towels to better understand and support women. David was part of our training in Marsabit, Kenya with Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI) – a program that needs little introduction when it comes to empowering women and girls.

    An excerpt from David’s blog sums it up beautifully. After witnessing the gap between men and women in Marsabit and learning of certain human rights violations, David writes:

    I decided that I want to do something for the girls when I get back to Nairobi… I will assemble the girls in my community and let them talk about the issues that they are facing and how they think we can tackle them. I want to let them have a voice to be heard. This idea would not have grown in my head if I did not get the chance to be a Community Impact coach (CIC).

    And now Girl Up is born.

    This is just one example – albeit amazing – of the work that our CICs are doing with us, and more importantly, without us. As David and many others have taken the time to thank CAC for the opportunities we present to them – I’d like to take this moment to thank our Community Impact Coaches across the world: Thank you for taking advantage of this opportunity and owning it; thank you for being exactly who you are and allowing it to inspire so many people; and thank you for not being afraid of the unknown.

    With a packed program schedule for the remainder of 2015, we cannot wait to unleash more CICs onto our partners. And moreover, we cannot wait to unlock more of these stories that are waiting to be lived by people who continue to dream despite overwhelming obstacles.

    To find out how you can support the Community Impact Coach program please go to this page or contact us.

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