• CAC does Netball for Social Impact

    December 3, 2013. Sorry did I say netball? I meant foot… no, no, netball. That’s right. CAC coaches Sophie Legros, Nora Dooley, Sarah Brown, and CIC Homkant Surandase from Slum Soccer, stepped off the football pitch and onto the netball court for two weeks working with NAZ GOAL (nerd-alert! not be confused with the hobbit-hunting ring-wraiths in Tolkein’s classic). These two trainings in India were spent in Mumbai and then Delhi with two great groups of young leaders having a real impact on their communities.

    mumbai scaryOur first week in Mumbai stands as the second year we have sent coaches to work with this team from NAZ. Our staff were very impressed by the manner in which this group presented themselves to us – who they are, what they currently do, what they want to do, and what they need from our team to make the most of our time in Mumbai and to have the greatest possible impact on the communities they work in. The communication was refreshing and the week kicked off – or should I say passed off? – to a great start.

    IMG_0254The participants consisted partly of peer leaders from the GOAL program. These are young female GOAL participants that are emerging as leaders among their peers and are pursuing the opportunity to play a more active role in their community. The rest of the group was made up of Community Sports Coaches (CSCs) and Senior Coaches. The CSCs are girls who have developed from peer leaders into coaches, and the Senior Coaches are young women – and one man! – who have come into their own as role models to the others, leading all things NAZ GOAL throughout Mumbai and beyond.

    sophie and coachThe priority for this week, as communicated to us by the NAZ senior leaders, was for us to go through each GOAL game thoroughly to ensure that all participants understand how the game connects with the social message, and how to balance the dynamic between GOAL games and GOAL classroom activities. To assist in this effort we asked to be taken to a GOAL classroom session at a school so we, CAC, could better understand that aspect of the program. Our team started the day off by coaching the GOAL participants, a large group of giggly young girls, in one of our Be Money Savvy games called Budgeting with Yelena. This is a game of tag where the taggers represent things we should not be spending our money on, or “wants”, and we ask the players to come up with examples. This group thought of makeup, fast food, parties, and jewelry to begin the game. We play the first round where the  “wants” chase everybody else and if they tag somebody they give them the cone and that person becomes the “want”. Then we add netballs. The netballs represent money. If a player has a ball she is safe and they must pass to each other to keep each other safe from the “wants”. But, if they drop a ball, or it goes out of bounds, they’ve lost the ball, the money. The players are forced to make smart, quick decisions to stay away from the “wants” and not lose their money. In life we must make good decisions and not spend our budget on the things we want but the things we need. We ask the girls after the game about “needs” and to give us examples of things in life that we need. This game corresponds with the classroom session “Wants and Needs” that we observed afterwards led by some of the CSCs. This activity expands on the differences between the things we want and those that we need, giving more examples, as well as giving the participants a sample budget and asking them how they would spend it.

    After this day we really understood what the NAZ Mumbai team needed and how we could best help them. The rest of the week was terrific and both groups left feeling satisfied that we accomplished our goals, enabling each other to do our jobs and achieve maximum impact.

    As we bid farewell to the heat of Mumbai, the wonderful YMCA where we stayed, and that incredible group of game-changers, we set our sights on Delhi, and prepared for the sensory overload that comes with the capital city.

    Same organization. Same country. That’s about all that was similar between our two weeks with NAZ GOAL.

    Delhi was a different state, different city, different group of participants, and a vastly different week overall.

    And that’s the beauty of Coaches Across Continents.

    homkant and naz goalInitially the program was to be the same with both groups, as we had previously planned with Senior Coaches from both cities. But just as we discover with every program, in every city/town/village, in every country we work in, plans change, adapt, transform as we begin to understand who we are working with, the dynamics of the group, the unique situation they are coming from, working in, striving for. It is all part of that magical CAC equation that yields success worldwide.

    NAZ GOAL Delhi is where NAZ began in India, and it was obvious from the outset that this program was farther along in terms of organizational structure, management and sheer size. A larger group of participants, made up mostly of peer leaders and CSCs, the priority for this group was for the younger members to step up as coaches and practice their leadership skills.

    Built in to the week were two of the regularly planned GOAL sessions where peer leaders and coaches run games and classroom activities for about 150 students from the school where we were working. The plan for these sessions was for the GOAL team to assist the CAC team with one game, and then run the second on their own. Our team decided to play Mia Hamm Communication in one massive circle with 150 screaming, hormonal teenagers. Good idea? Great idea! Chaos ensued, naturally, but who doesn’t love a bit of mayhem at the office? The students went absolutely nuts, especially the boys, but they were so happy, so excited to play, so eager to learn and listen to every single word we had to say, and spoke great English so we actually managed to get bits of the social message across – wow! That was a ton of fun.

    The young leaders were great all week. At each and every session they could not wait to play, learn netball skills (from our CAC master netball coaches, of course), and participate in discussions about everything from the importance of budgeting and saving money, to keeping our bodies healthy and how important it is for women to empower each other, for men to empower women, and for women to empower men.

    Another great week with NAZ GOAL, a long blog, and our last stop in India as we say bye to CIC Homkant and coaches Sophie, Nora, and Sarah finish up long trips on the field for one last program in the beautiful mountains of Nepal – jealous? Yep.

    20131127_132850

  • Futsal for Social Impact

    IMG_4168September 25, 2013. Coaches Brian Suskiewicz and Nora Dooley finished the GOAL program last week in Jakarta, Indonesia. After the first three days of training approximately 150 Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) employees in games from our GOAL curriculum, the CAC team set their sights on working with 400 junior high and high school students. SCB staff volunteered their time to coach the youth in CAC games over the course of three days. Not one of the employees had coached before meeting us on the pitch.  Yet when it was their turn to coach they impressed the CAC staff immensely, nailing their coaching points and imparting valuable social impact messages.

    The first day of implementation saw about 25 SCB volunteers coaching just shy of 100 junior high school learners. On two futsal pitches this was a very manageable number, and the first group of volunteer coaches were terrific. Brian and Nora found themselves doing much more managing and logistics and very little coaching! The second day was a bit more hectic as nearly 200 high school boys and girls streamed onto two small fields. The 35 SCB employees who coached the second day deserve an award for the way they handled this mass of adolescents. The third and final day of implementation was also Peace One Day, September 21st, and 98 more junior high school students joined 59 bank staff on just ONE futsal pitch. The CAC team had it under control, however, and a would-be chaotic day went very smoothly. In honor of Peace One Day Brian and Nora held a juggling competition, crowning one girl and one boy as champions.

    Reflecting on the overall program with CAC partner, SCB, training volunteer employees in about 13 games from the CAC and GOAL curriculum and welcoming nearly 400 students to Grand Futsal locations in Jakarta, the CAC team could not be more satisfied with the week. Three great groups of bank staff showed up physically and mentally for both their Train the Trainer day and their volunteer implementation day.IMG_6936 The CAC team is optimistic about the future with SCB and hopes these newly trained coaches will continue to pay it forward with youth from their community.  Already SCB has reached out to four local NGOs who are adopting our curriculum including the Helen Keller Foundation and Mitra Netra (visually impaired foundations), Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (for underprivledged children), and the HIV Foundation.  SCB Indonesia is also looking into continuing more implementation at schools around Jakarta and throughout Indonesia.  Stay tuned for more from our GOAL program in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank. Until next year, Jakarta!

  • GOAL Rocks the Rock City

    July 26, 2013.  The GOAL Tanzania program finished its three-city training tour here in Mwanza, Tanzania.  Mwanza is also known as the Rock City for the boulders that surround the landscape and also punctuate the surface of adjacent Lake Victoria.  In this smaller up-country city, 43 teachers and Standard Chartered employees turned out at Kirumba Stadium to undergo three intensive days of GOAL training.  The teachers represented 33 schools which house over 28,000 students.  The teachers are now prepared to pass along the lessons learned in the GOAL curriculum to their students.

    IMG_4921The GOAL curriculum, championed by Standard Chartered, brings important life lessons onto the soccer field.  Boys and girls will learn lessons in order to Be Healthy, Be Empowered, Be Yourself, and Be Money Savvy all while having fun playing games on the pitch.  During the training the teachers had great fun as well, enjoying playing the games under the bright Tanzanian sun on a great grass field.  In fact, the first day of training was delayed slightly while we waited for the Tanzanian Men’s National Soccer Team to conclude their training in preparation for an upcoming match against Uganda.

    IMG_4989The GOAL program has been sponsored it its first year in Tanzania by Standard Chartered Bank, joining other on field GOAL CAC countries of Ghana, India and Indonesia.  Overall the GOAL Tanzania training educated over 150 teachers, coaches, and Standard Chartered employees who represent 63 different primary and secondary schools.  It is expected that the impact of students taught the GOAL curriculum in the next few months will be in the tens of thousands.  The effects of the GOAL training has also extended to the teachers who have rediscovered their love of sport and the positive energy derived from being healthy.  We can’t wait for them to get started in their schools and pass it on to their students.

    IMG_4811

  • It’s a GOAL in the Ashanti Region

    April 19, 2013.  Coaches Across Continents has just completed our first program in the Ashanti region, working in Kumasi, Ghana.  The program focused on teaching the GOAL program to nearly 100 coaches during the week.  The GOAL program has been championed by Standard Chartered bank.  The 100 participants were youth coaches, physical education teachers, and other local leaders.

    IMG_0982The GOAL program has both on and off field components.  Coaches Across Continents is teaching the On Field modules of Be Healthy, Be Yourself, Be Empowered, and Be Money Savvy.  The lessons learned by the coaches can be easily taught through football-based games to their players in order to create improved footballers and future leaders of Ghana.

    More important than the fun week of training are the over 5,000 players who will benefit directly from their coaches teaching them this new curriculum.  Coaches Brian, Emily, Nico, and Earl had a great time working each morning, battling the crowds and noise of Kumasi in the afternoon, and saw what damage a fierce tropical rain can do each evening.  One morning coming to the field a giant African Tulip tree was found uprooted (see our pictures on FB!) Earl 067

    In addition to Standard Chartered Bank, we received a great boost from One World Futbol, the Ghana Football Association, and Youth Icons who all helped to make sure that this week was a success.

    IMG_0992

  • Here For Good – Standard Chartered in Ghana

    April 12, 2013. This week was a perfect score.  In 100˚F heat we worked with 100+ coaches at the Kaneshie Sports Complex in Accra, Ghana.  Despite the warm temperatures, the coaches were playful and enthusiastic as we learned games from the GOAL curriculum.  This curriculum, championed by Standard Chartered Bank, teaches young players, especially girls, four main themes: Be Healthy, Be Empowered, Be Yourself, and Be Money Savvy.  The Standard Chartered motto, “Here For Good”, perfectly states their mission to improve the communities in which they work.

    IMG_0779This week’s collaboration between Coaches Across Continents, Standard Chartered Bank, Youth Icons, and the Ghana Football association highlighted what can be accomplished at the grass roots level through football.  GFA coaches Daniel Mensah and Carl Lokko helped to bring in over 100 youth coaches from the greater Accra region. These coaches came from a variety of backgrounds including former Black Stars (Ghana National Team), youth team coaches, and even some physical education teachers.  These coaches have pledged to CAC that they will teach these GOAL games and messages to their approximately 8,000 boys and girls players over the next year.

    IMG_0688From the outset the coaches eagerly jumped into our soccer-based games, sometimes getting into great competition with each other.  Laughter and dust flew easily as the coaches put in a great effort into all of the games they learned.  It is clear that Ghana will continue to be a power in Africa on and off the field because of great coaches like these.  They are interested in making great footballers as well as great future citizens, and are the type of strong coach role models that are necessary to make this happen.  Next week the GOAL training will continue in Kumasi, Ghana, as we work for the first time in the Ashanti Region.

    Over 100 coaches learned the GOAL program championed by Standard Chartered Bank

    Over 100 coaches learned the GOAL program championed by Standard Chartered Bank