Back On-Field With Green Kenya
Our longtime partners Green Kenya have been back on field impacting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) using CAC’s Purposeful Play! Check out the blog below written by David Mulo, Founder of Green Kenya, and part of the CAC Instruct team!
60 hours, this is the amount of time we have spent on field running Kenya programs. We have played at least 21 games with Green-Kenya, Far East Basketball and Futaball Mas addressing 7 different UNSDGs, that is, SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being SDG 4 Quality Education, SDG 5 Gender Equality, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities, and SDG 13 Climate Action. The programs took place in some of the most challenging environments, like Kibare, which is one of the largest Slums in Africa and Mathare where majority of residents live below 2 dollars a day.
The on field training took 3 days per organization unlike previously where we conducted training for 5 days, this was due to strict Covid-19 protocols. We facilitated education around the UNSDGs on-field by engaging coaches through discussions and having vital conversation through different games.
During the 3 programs, we had a huge number of youth leaders attending the program, out of 128 coaches who attended that training, 90 of them were youth leaders, the high number of Youth leaders was steady in all the programs.
We also had an emerging Community Impact coach during the on-field training by the name Titus Musyoka, who is a community Coach at Green-Kenya, Titus has been committed to impacting many Children in Mukuru Slums since 2019 and he has been part of CAC training in Kenya since then. The emerging young leader was part of the implementing team in Nairobi and we believe he learned new skills that he will use to impact many young people not only in Nairobi but in different parts of the world.
We believe that our partners, through the youth leaders, learned that they would have to apply what they learned during the training because they hold the key to the future of teaching through play in there communities, they would have to stand in the gap to be counted as change agents through the power of play.
The on-field in Kenya impacted 4512 Children directly, out of these 2915 were boys and 1597 were girls 128 Community Coaches, that involved Physical education teachers.
DREAMS In Nairobi
August 5th 2020. This last week CAC has been back On-fFeld, as we look to resume our programming after COVID-19 brought a halt to our Instruct schedule. Community Impact Coach David Mulo of Green-Kenya led the delivery, working in partnership with Beyond Hoops Africa and DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, AIDS-free, Mentored and SAFE).
Over the last several months, CAC has been in discussions with key partners and communities around the world, planning and waiting patiently to resume Education Outside the Classroom. One of those partners is Beyond Hoops Africa, a Nairobi based charity who use basketball to change peoples lives in and around the slums. Through these conversations we were introduced to DREAMS, and we learnt about 30 young mothers who have aspirations of being entrepreneurs. Thus, we created a programme that included COVID-19 education but also one with a large focus on financial literacy.
Through play, all 30 of the participants said they now felt more comfortable with the varying aspects of financial literacy and they now better understand COVID-19 and how to better protect themselves and others.
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.
The Universal Language
April 5th 2016. CAC Community Impact Coach Charles Otieno blogs about his second week On-Field with CAC in Mbarara, Uganda with Mbarara Sports Academy.
It was a four hour bus ride from the capital city of Kampala to Mbarara, a beautiful town located in the west of Uganda. I liked the environment that the Mbarara Sports Academy created there. Being the second town I visited in Uganda, it was another good experience. I met new people and the fun of it was people speaking a different language from what I speak in Kenya, but we had one thing in common, and that was soccer. Soccer plays a vital role and it made the communication easier, as we all know soccer is a universal language.
The turnout of the five-day training was high and fairly well gender balanced. The active coaches were very interested in playing soccer so we got to play some of our more competitive games this week. It took a while for some of the coaches to realize that you can use soccer to teach on how to combat social issues, but it was impressive to see once they did. The highlight of the week was playing ASK for Choice games with female coaches for two days consecutively. The women were really committed. They arrived early in the morning at a different training field and then continued on with the rest of the coaches in the original site for extra hours of CAC games. The majority of the girls were students in college and were studying in different fields so that they can have as many opportunities as men. They believe that women should have equal opportunities as men and through that, the community will grow economically and socially. They want to be more independent, have more freedom to play sport, to education, to employment, to property ownership, and to make personal choices.
The One World Futbols have played a big role in the On-Field sessions. I have been able use them to train and create a learning environment for young men and women. Having soccer balls is one of the challenges communities face and these ultra-durable balls have been the answer because they last longer and can be played in any type of pitch be it grass field, turf field or dusty field. With the One World Futbol’s being all over the world, it tells us how soccer speaks to people in a language they can all understand.
They say “play with the best and be the best”. I take this opportunity to thank CAC for the great opportunity and also the gentlemen that have been my backbone for the two weeks here in Uganda. It has been great working with David Neaverth, Markus Bensch and Charlie Crawford and I’m happy I managed to grasp some On-Field and Off-Field skills from the team.
One Football…. One Game….One Goal…. One language…. One World.
Soccer Is More Than A Game
It was a long journey from Nairobi to Kampala. I left Nairobi on Friday at 7.30pm only to arrive in Kampala at 10am the next morning. This was my second time in Kampala, but it was my first time traveling internationally with Coaches Across Continents to teach games to coaches. It was an exciting week in Kampala since it meant meeting coaches who were welcoming and eager to learn. Some of them traveled from far to the training venue, only to be part of the training in a dusty field, under the hot sun. Their commitment and hard work really inspired me. I also got a chance to visit the Kampala based CAC partner organization Soccer Without Borders .The organization works in the Nsambya neighborhood of Kampala. Through soccer and educational programming, SWB creates a space for urban refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, and Somalia to integrate with their Ugandan peers.
As a CAC Community Impact Coach (CIC) I had the opportunity to engage with more than 20 community coaches who are leading incredible organizations and soccer teams making a difference through sport. Being a CAC Community Impact Coach has really influenced my personal journey in life. What I think makes soccer so incredible is its potential to help change the world outside of professional leagues and international tournaments. Also Coaches Across Continents brings out the picture clearly with the games that we learn, adapt and create. CAC helps grow the game by creating a platform for us to be more creative and come up with games that directly impacts our own communities and the rest of the world.
I felt happier when on one of the training days I got a chance to play a game I had created. It was my highlight of the week and I thank Coaches Across Continents for their Online Education Program that has really shaped me as a CIC and the first hand experience I have gained from working alongside many CAC teams. Football has provided me the self discipline, leadership skills and confidence that continue to shape my life on and off the field. I feel fortunate to be a Community Impact Coach in Kampala. With this role I have been able recognize the power of sport to make a difference, and would like to be defined not only by my knowledge, but by my ability to bring out the best in every partner organization I go to. It is our duty to attempt to make the world a better place than it was when we found it. To realize this dream many of us are happy to go through endless hours of traveling and personal sacrifice. I love soccer but the side of the sport that I love most is one in which success isn’t defined by goals or medals, but instead by community impact and social change.
The Power of Passion
March 14th 2016. CAC Community Impact Coach David Mulo talks about his time with CREATA in Uriri, Kenya.
‘It was so exciting to work with CREATA as a CAC Community Impact Coach for the second time. This time around I didn’t require much information to locate Center for Recreation in Africa for Africa. I found my own way to Uriri centre where the CREATA office is. Even though I was with CREATA back in 2014, the memories are still raw and vivid. It seemed like it was yesterday.
One thing that amazed me this year was how Mr. Paul, the director of CREATA, was talking about CAC’s ASK for Choice program and its connection with International Women’s Day with so much passion, and how he rallied all the coaches and the community at large to support the initiative.
The On-Field training in the mornings were energetic, the local coaches were eager to grasp all that we had planned for. Most of our afternoons were challenging because as the day progressed, it would become hotter and hotter under the scorching 30 degrees Celsius Sun. This reduced the physical energy level of coaches & participants alike, but the zeal that I could feel on the faces of the local coaches to learn more, regardless of the little time we had, changed the mind set of almost everybody in the field.
There was this woman by the name Violet who came with her child every day in the morning and in the afternoon. Before playing she would breast feed the child before joining the training and when the child was asleep, she placed her where we kept our bags and the mother would join the rest of the coaches in the field. When we went to the afternoon session she would do the same but because it was so hot, Violet would remove the upper clothes of her daughter and place her on top of the blanket that she was using to cover the baby with and rush to the field. The whole scenario printed a picture in my mind of what women go through in order to be fit and be at the same level with the men. I had mixed feelings with what Violet demonstrated during the whole training. Not many coaches paid attention to what was happening, maybe because that was just part of a day in Migori. However, it was very significant to me and these are some of the precious memories I will carry with me forever as a Community Impact Coach. To me Violet has shown the strength of a Woman on and off the field.
We were also fortunate to celebrate International Women’s Day with CREATA coaches and pupils from different schools within Uriri Center. The celebration included a procession around the Uriri Market which surrounds the CREATA office just to sensitize the community on the importance of celebrating International Women’s Day and how it gives women an opportunity to be heard in the community. Later in the day, the local coaches were able to do their coach-backs with pupils from four different school, all the coach backs were conducted by women from the training and it was a fine way to conclude our week of training.
It was emotional for me to say goodbye again after awarding the certificates later in the evening, CREATA was able to offer the finest hospitality to us.
To all CREATA Coaches, the director Mr. Paul and his family, I would like to say thank you very much, you guys were the best. I will be following the progress of the local coaches on how they are playing the games and if they have created their own games…until we meet again, Happy Women’s Day.