2018 Global Citizen Application Released!
September 6th 2017. We are delighted to officially release our 2018 Global Citizen Application Form! Now you can apply to be a 2018 Global Citizen and join Coaches Across Continents as we continue to travel the world, working in communities with partners from 6 different continents, while using sport for social impact.
Here are some highlights from our 2017 Global Citizens:
“The work of CAC is powerful – both in the vision and execution. I am very proud of the time I spent volunteering and of the valuable things I learned. I have the utmost respect for those working in social impact. Thank you for letting me be a small piece of the team for a few weeks – I hope to be involved again soon!”
- Nicole Slevin, South Africa & Zimbabwe Team
“I will never forget the moment when a prince said, ‘Now, you are one of us. Don’t be afraid of exploring our village. You are one of us, and we will take care of you.’
The capacity of their love is so big that I want to have them around me all the time. I now have a Malawian family in Chituka village. Hoping to come back to this beautiful place some day, I said goodbye to the warm heart for now.”
- JK Cho, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya Team
“I will miss the people – how they are the real life “energizer bunnies,” never getting tired, always ready for the next task, how they fed me food until I couldn’t possibly take another bite and then proceeded to look at me as if I barely ate anything, and how they welcomed me into their home and country with open arms. I am leaving Uganda with opened eyes, a full stomach, and a happy heart. All I have left to say is: “Webale Nnyo” (Thank you very much)!”
- Kimaya Cole, Uganda Team
Create your own Global Citizen Legacy.
Write your own stories.
Join us in 2018!
Connecting Kenya and Ghana
June 13th. CAC Community Impact Coach (CIC) Charles Otieno writes about working with DUNK Grassroots in Accra, Ghana. Charles, a long-time CIC from Kenya traveled to Ghana to help us run the programs.
In our last week in Ghana we visited DUNK Grassroots, an organization located at Jamestown, Accra. The town is one of the oldest places in Accra and it’s known for fishing and colonial history. The light house is the land mark of the place and if you climb to the top you will have a glance of the capital city, Accra and the fishing harbor.
The organization has a center that acts as a safe space for many kids, since they have opportunities to play, learn and grow to be change agents in their respective communities. The organization main sport is basketball, so we (Jordan, JK and I) had to be creative enough to play the games using basketball skills. It was a week of fun and learning moments for the participants and the organization coaches. It was my first time to teach games to participants who are basketballers. We delivered the curriculum to the U12, U14 and Girls teams and had a cohort of coaches who were the key part of the training.
Though we are not professional basketball players we aimed at achieving our goal using thematic games to teach our participants. It was a success since the participants were able to learn and have fun. Looking at the smiles in their faces and how they responded to the open questions really made me happy because I believe there is nothing better than putting a smile on someone’s face and adding knowledge to them.
In the end the participants were able to review and reflect the games we played in the real life situation and the majority promised to share what they have learnt. And that was my last work in Ghana as I had to say good bye and leave the Ghanaians with a big smile and knowledge. I hope they will take it to the next level by teaching more people and making Ghana an even better place.
It was exciting travelling with CAC miles away from my country Kenya. I learnt lots of things personally. Coaches Across Continents has really made me grow. I want to thank CAC for this life changing opportunity to go to a different country to teach sport for social impact games. Not forgetting the wonderful team that I worked with; CAC staff Jordan Stephenson and Global citizen JK Cho.
Planting Self-Directed Learning Seeds in The Garden City
June 5th 2017. CAC Global Citizen JK Cho writes about working with Rescue Sports Foundation in Kumasi, Ghana.
Growing up obsessed with superhero comics, one of my favorite characters was “Mimic” from the X-Men who possessed the power of learning other superheroes’ powers instantly. I was fascinated by the limitlessness and versatility of Mimic to any problematic situations. Self-Directed Learning is not exactly about copying somebody’s ability quickly but is similar to Mimic’s ability in that it’s not limited to a single skill, but it’s a skill of learning to cope with the constantly changing environment. A Self-Directed Learner can resist the bias against doing new things, continuously scan the horizon for solutions and opportunities, and push oneself to acquire radically different capabilities.
CAC believes installing a Self-Directed Learning mind is the most effective and sustainable way to bring social change rather than teaching a single life-skill to a student or bringing a limited amount of resources to a developing community. CAC strategically teams up with local charities that maintain networks with local teachers and community leaders. CAC trains them how to help their own students become Self-Directed Learners. The training is mostly of using games of football. CAC uses football as a teaching vehicle because it’s universally transportable to any culture and also because it’s fun. When something is fun, people open their mind and ready to soak it all in. Thus, children play games of football and organically become Self-Directed Learners. I have faith in the cause and how CAC is doing it and decided to join the Global Citizen volunteer program to Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya during the summer.
The team Ghana consists of me as a Global Citizen and the two other veteran coaches: Jordan from U.K. and Oti from Kenya. We met on Saturday in Accra, the capital of Ghana and left for our first destination, Kumasi. Kumasi means the Garden City. When Ghana was colonized by Great Britain (1867 – 1957), Queen Elizabeth visited Kumasi and named so because of its many beautiful species of flowers and plants. When we arrived in the town, our charity partner, Rescue Sports, warmly welcomed us and provided a great accommodation. The training venue was a very notable private senior high school called Prempeh College. We could not ask more in terms of the training equipment that they arranged and their respect towards the coaches. We spent Sunday making a game plan for the week and getting familiar with the neighborhood where we stayed. We immediately discovered that there were so many churches around, and it is an extremely important attribute in their lives. We anticipated that we would have to be careful and work around the strong religious lifestyle to bring social change to the community without serious adverse reaction.
My very first social impact coaching session began on the next day with 23 participants. Among them, three were disabled teachers. Going into the coaching session, we were expecting 60 participants to show up. However, during the week there was another social event for the same demographics, which inevitably split the potential participants. On the field, my first impression was that the participants were very shy although they could hardly hide their feelings of friendliness and curiosity. The weather was brutally hot and humid, and it took not that long to roast my skin and spirit that were not used to the African sun and heat. I thought California had a strong sun. Following the lead by coach Jordan and Oti, I was able to manage to complete the first day of social impact coaching. Although coaching is not my expertise, social responsibility and change management are something that I had been passionate and knowledgeable about. I gave my best to support my team and facilitate the training session.
As we proceeded with demonstrations of different games of addressing social issues such gender equity, child labor, conflict prevention, and health and wellness, the participants became more active and confident gradually. I could see in their faces joy and excitement coming from the enlightenment towards a new way of “learning to learn” effectively and sustainably. Each day after coaching session, we visited the participants’ schools and monitored/evaluated how they transferred to their children the knowledge that they gained from us. It was amazing seeing the chains of social impact through the CAC’s impact model. We estimated total 2292 children (608 girls/ 1684 boys) in Kumasi would benefit from our coaching session. On the final day, the participants were asked to create their own games and demonstrate them in front of the coaches and other participants. I was surprised how well the participants understood the purpose and dynamics of the curriculum and how creative they designed their games. It was my aha moment – “yes, this thing is working!”.
It was bitter-sweet on Saturday when we left Kumasi. For the 7 days in Kumasi, we built an incredible friendship with the participants and Rescue Sports and suffered from endless diarrhea caused by trying many different exotic foods. I wanted to stay longer in the beautiful Garden City, but we had to move on to the next location to discuss Self-Directed Learning. Above all, I was happy that the first-week coaching went successful and excited to do better as a coach in the following week. Additionally, as an MBA graduate, I was thinking in the bus to the next location what I could do to make this impact even bigger and how I could contribute to making U.S. corporations involved in this meaningful work.
From Buckingham Palace to Gomoa Palace
June 2nd 2017. CAC’s Jordan Stephenson blogs on working with Gomoa Sport for Change in Gomoa, Ghana.
This week the training took place in a tribal village of Gomoa Benso within the Central Region of Ghana. The partner we are working with is Gomoa Sport for Change who are based in a government school and specialize in Football, Handball, Volleyball and Athletics. Among the team from CAC was myself, JK (one of our Global Citizens this summer) and Oti (a legend within the CAC community and a Community Impact Coach for the Ghana partners this year).
Upon arrival we were welcomed by the Queen Mother of Gomoa at the Palace where we would be staying. She sent her apologies that the Chief was out of the country and therefore would not be able to welcome us personally. Within the Palace there were staff to cook our Ghanaian traditional food (fu-fuo and banku were our particular favorites), the family of the chief and the queen mother as well as ourselves. It was tough to get a moments rest as after two minutes of arriving back at the palace we have dozens of children outside of our room wanting to hang out with us!
The day before the training we were taken to watch an FA Cup 4th round match between local team Proud United FC and national giants Ashanti Ktoko, we were hoping to see a giant killing game typical of that of the English FA Cup however that was not to be the case. For the second half we stood next to a commentator for a National Radio Station: Accra FM and he asked myself and Oti to be pundits and comment on the key moments of the game, which was something we grabbed at the chance to do! The experience of exiting the stadium whilst negotiating our way past the disappointed and frantic home supporters was something I will never forget – somehow it is always the referee’s fault!
During the training we had a combination of coaches and teachers as well as Mr Afried who is the Director of Physical Education within the Ministry of Education for the region of Gomoa Central who has jurisdiction over 250 schools. He was very interested in the work we were doing and will subsequently write a report of his findings to share with the Director of Education – a great advocate of the use of sport for social impact within physical education.
A big highlight of the training was delivering on Thursday when we showed that being exposed to the elements (heavy heavy rain) was no obstacle for playing sport and being active; especially in a country which has a rainy season lasting for 7 months!!
A big focus of the training was looking at traditions, and which traditions have been in place for a long period of time which hold the community back. Therefore it seemed quite ironic that we were staying with the Chief and Queen mother (the cultural leaders of the community) at the palace, whilst at the same time asking what they thought the impact of having cultural leaders was on their society.
The training was a success and resulted in more coaches and teachers who are highly motivated and upskilled to start to be an agent for social change through sport; whilst being supported by Gomoa Sport for Change who can support them to achieve community change.
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!
2013: Off the Field
January 1st 2014. Happy New Year! Coaches Across Continents have had an incredible 2013 both with the programs all over the world and with the development of the organisation to ensure the quality and consistency of the work that is done. Across the board CAC have worked in more countries with more community partners, coached more local coaches and reached more children through the program. This operational growth is not possible without constant work behind the scenes to ensure that CAC adapts and improves to solidify its spot as global leaders in sport for social impact.
Coaches Across Continents is based on collaborative partnerships which are used to ensure the greatest impact for the communities in which we work. From on field partnerships with all 51 of our community partners to off field partnerships which strengthen the organisation they are integral to our success. In 2013 we continued to develop our partnership with One World Futbol, the maker of the virtually indestructible ball. These sustainable balls are now being used at most of our programs with many of our community partners gaining access to the ball. Our network of NGO’s benefits One World Futbol and the balls add great value to our program. We filmed a program in Brazil for One World Futbol/ Chevrolet and ESPN which resulted in some inspiring footage for all parties involved.
Our work with Standard Chartered bank led to many incredible programs in 2013 in Ghana, Tanzania and Indonesia highlighting the potential for successful non-profit and corporate partnerships. The Standard Chartered/ Women Win/ Coaches Across Continents GOAL female empowerment program also succeeded by reaching thousands more young people. CAC also demonstrated our ability to engage employees by running training for a large number of Standard Chartered employees in Indonesia. We have worked closely with other partners such as XL Soccer, and Harvard University in 2013 while our membership within the Street Football World and Beyond Sport networks continue to be invaluable.
CAC have also had a strong presence off the field at global conferences and workshops which highlight the importance of sport and its ability to positively impact communities. In April we attended the Soccerex event in Manchester, UK. Combining with OWF we had a booth and were able to generate exposure and meet with many influential people in the world of sport. This was followed by Nick Gates, the founder of CAC, speaking at a Soccerex convention in Brazil in June. In September CAC participated in the Street Football World North America workshop in Philadelphia. This involved high level meetings focused on strategic direction, monitoring and evaluation and human resource. Following this workshop Nick spoke at the Beyond Soccer and Beyond Sport events in Philadelphia.
This meant that CAC were represented on panels concerning monitoring the success of the program and curriculum development demonstrating the high regard with which CAC is held in the sport for social impact community. Throughout the year CAC has been recognised in the field with requests to both speak and to attend events such as the Doha Goals Forum in December and the Social Venture Network convention in Baltimore. As sport for social impact grows it is clear that CAC has been recognised as a global leader in terms of programming, strategic growth, evaluation and curriculum. This standing in the community has already continued into 2014 with Nick scheduled to speak at a conference in India in February.
The on-field growth over 5 years has precipitated a development and growth in the organisation off the field. There are now more staff to run and develop CAC with more needed in 2014 to continue the previous years successes. Our coach advisory board constantly work to develop our curriculum to be at the forefront of international issues such as child protection and women’s rights. While the business advisory board are key in allowing these programs to run smoothly through their improvement of organisational policies and practices. Our award winning WISER monitoring and evaluation system is regularly tested and adapted to stay ahead of the curve.
We understand the importance of an innovative and relevant organisation and therefore have been undergoing an in depth brand refresh process with the help of the Taiji brand group. In the coming weeks and months this process will be finalised with positive implications for Coaches Across Continents, our community partners and participants. Moving into 2014 CAC will be growing, having impact and having fun with our proven concept of using soccer to create social change in communities across the world.