• Piloting the GOAL On field Program with Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI) – Part 2

    September 12, 2012: (Part 2 of 2) For ten days the CAC staff worked with HODI coaches for three hours in the morning, covering CAC’s Chance to Choice curriculum as well as teaching a coaching style that correlates with football for social development, and then in the afternoons piloting the new GOAL games that addressed themes such as self esteem, confidence in voice, health and hygiene, community support and many others. In the afternoons coaches also participated in GOAL classroom activities where movement, group work and collaboration were the priorities.

    With each new GOAL game a female athlete role model’s story was shared, opening up the coaches minds to the possibilities that existed in the world for females. It was a great time to share especially considering the London 2012 Olympics had just ended and the majority of coaches didn’t see any of the events and were unaware of the incredible female athletes that had competed for their respective countries. It was a great opportunity to also share about the female Muslim athletes that had taken great strides to compete or the African female runners that had made their countries proud. Coaches held on to the stories and even quizzed each other during the weeks based on the information shared.

    After 45 hours on the field, Coaches Across Continents congratulating the coaches at the certificate ceremony.

    HODI coaches were proud to be the first group of coaches who were taught the GOAL games and always participated with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Mia Hamm Communication, Sawa’s Rights and Nicola’s Expressions became favorites as each game gave a role model’s story, practiced an important life skill and was competitive and fun. All of the GOAL games are consistent to Coaches Across Continent’s approach to football for social development, in that the games are used to teach the life skills and the coaches’ role includes creating the learning environment for the youth on the field. Coaches have to be trained to deliver games, be capable of finding the teachable moments and then connecting the skill on the field with the youth’s life off the field. Practicing healthy behaviors on the pitch like using one’s voice, communicating with teammates, solving problems and dealing with cheating are all skills that run throughout Coaches Across Continents curriculum and now new skills are being introduced that will be taught to many more coaches and participants through the GOAL On Field Program!

    In fact the HODI program directors and head coaches were so impressed by the GOAL On Field Program that they committed to running the 24-week curriculum with their 6,000 HODI youth participants. HODI is also interested in implementing the GOAL curriculum in the classroom after seeing the response from the female participants and realizing that as a combination, the in classroom skills and the on the field skills can help to address local issues facing female youth in Marsabit. The interest in the GOAL curriculum would introduce Women Win to the partnership, which are well equipped to teach the coaches and program directors of HODI to deliver the many activities that complement the GOAL On Field Program. GOAL aims to reach 100,000 young women in the next 18 months. With the new GOAL On Field Program GOAL participants will be able to learn, become aware of important issues and practice life skills in both the classroom and on the football or sports field.

  • Piloting the GOAL On field Program with Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI)

    Coaches Across Continents departing from Marsabit on the the European Union’s Humanitarian Flight service- ECHO.

    September 6, 2012: Upon mentioning to a Kenyan in the last two months that I would be heading to Marsabit to work with a football for social development program, there was an immediate reaction of disbelief then followed by the comment that it would be very hot and hard to reach. The part about Marsabit being hard to reach was certainly accurate, seeing that it is a town in northern Kenya, located 170 km east of the center of the East African Rift, and of which is almost surrounded by the Marsabit National Park and Reserve. The town is inhabited by various tribal groups as well as being home to Somali and Ameru traders and migrants. The town is also home to Horn of Development Africa Initiative (HODI), which is what prompted our team to search for days to find a humanitarian small airline nonprofit group to help us reach our final destination.

    Before leaving for Marsabit we met the director of HODI, Fatuma Abdulkadir, who gave us more of a detailed background of the organization, which she has started, with the support of family and community members in Marsabit She explained to us more about the coaches we would be working with, many of them whose realities included little choice, early marriage and female genital mutilation. Although young in age, these female leaders were looking for skills to become better coaches and to use football to create social change. She also explained that many groups that she had reached out to wouldn’t make the trip because of the challenges in getting there. We also experienced some challenges in arranging for our transportation, however, after many calls, emails and visits to Wilson Airport in Nairobi we secured a way to arrive in Marsabit.

    Apart from better equipping the coaches with games to address social issues and imparting key coaching skills, Coaches Across

    The GOAL Program

    Continents also chose HODI as the organization for the pilot project of the GOAL On Field Program. Standard Chartered created the GOAL program with the support of Population Council and other development organizations with a mission to reach young females to teach them life skills relating to communication, rights and responsibilities, health & hygiene and financial literacy. Standard Chartered approached Coaches Across Continents to be involved with their GOAL program because of their interest in creating an on field component to the GOAL curriculum. The sports component was secondary in the original GOAL curriculum and Standard Chartered asked CAC to create a GOAL On Field Program to deliver to the coaches and teachers of young female participants. This educate the educator approach is fundamental to CAC’s work and it has been effective and sustainable in programs all around the world. Additionally upon arrival at the HODI office in Marsabit, it became clear that HODI was a perfect place to pilot the GOAL program considering the majority of the 45 coaches were females, ages 13-20 and were dealing with issues related to the GOAL curriculum. Additionally, of the 6000 youth in the HODI program, half are young females.

    StreetFootballWorld, a network which both CAC and HODI are actively involved, also encouraged the partnership between HODI and Coaches Across Continents. As an affiliated partner of StreetFootballWorld, Coaches Across Continents partners with many of the organizations in their network and delivers programs teaching football for social development games and a style of coaching that sees the football environment as a teaching platform. When StreetFootballWorld advocated that Coaches Across Continents partner with HODI, CAC couldn’t have been more thrilled with the request. HODI is using football to create peace in their community through inclusion of all participants to hosting Shoot to Score Not to Kill football tournaments to giving young males and females a safe place to learn new skills.

    Women Win is another instrumental player in the GOAL partnership as they are the group that helps to deliver the GOAL curriculum. Coaches Across Continents has worked in the last three months to develop the GOAL On Field component for the GOAL curriculum which includes developing on field games that complement the in classroom activities but which are made for the sports field. For example, GOAL in classroom activities focuses on teaching the participants ways to effectively communicate. The GOAL On Field Program includes games that create an environment on the field where participants have to use their voice, communicate with others make and communicate their decisions.

    part 1 of 2.

  • Soccer for Change, Soccer for Life

    Mario Kurki at Coaches Across Continents training in Marsabit, Kenya

    August 20th, 2012:  By Mario Kurki, freelance journalist, participant in Horn of Africa Development Initiative partnership with Coaches Across Continents

    Soccer is now a game for all in the world. Its through my first encounter with Coaches Across Continents that my initial view about soccer skills had entirely changed where simple soccer skills had turned to a tool of change in our society.

    In a delightful tone I am glad to be part of training session facilitated by Coaches Across Continents. It was until then that my perspective about soccer had really get a new meaning. Rather than playing soccer for fun and professionalism now soccer can be a fundamental tool of change to transform lives and livelihood in our society.

    Through soccer we speak what is in our mind, we communicate and act as a team hence settling our problems like conflicts, tribal clashes and social disputes amongst us, irrespective of our ethnic differences, culture, attitude and level of understanding and now soccer skills are applicable in solving problem in real life situation.

    Its only soccer that players of different ethnic background can browse shoulders where ball turn to be a common interest for the teams and now a channel of communication is created for the togetherness of the players. Where the disparity between them is forgotten and virtues are nurtured and vices are eroded for a peaceful co-existence.

    GOAL program is another flipside of the coin as a part of training sessions delivered by Coaches Across Continents and we are grateful as Marsabit people to be part of the marvelous program being the first in Africa, the program addresses the issue of women and girl child empowerment through soccer where confidence, healthy living, role modeling, conflict resolution, happy and holistic life for positive change in our society through soccer.

    Its from the life skills acquired from Coaches that inspired many to change their ways of life, where gender sensitivity in society is an important aspect in sustainable development since everyone has the ability to change his/her own society and world around. Soccer for change, soccer for life.

  • Meet the Coaches heading to Kenya and Zimbabwe

    Meet Micaela Harms
    Favorite soccer team: FC Barcelona
    Favorite player: Messi
    Favorite movie: The Bourne Trilogy
    Favorite food: Chipotle burrito or salmon
    Who will win Euro 2012? Spain
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: Probably when I accidentally scored a goal off my face this past season.
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? Seeing firsthand the positive changes that I have made in people’s lives.
    Interesting fact(s) about you: I love to sail!

    Micaela will be traveling to work with several partner programs in Kenya.

    Meet Tim Wheaton

    Tim will be traveling to work with partner programs in Zimbabwe.

    Favorite soccer team: Bayern Munich
    Favorite player: Beckenbauer
    Favorite movie: its a wonderful life
    Favorite food: peach pie
    Who will win Euro 2012? Spain
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: going to help am injured player off of the field, bending to help her up and splitting my pants open. Had to walk helping her across the field. I Kind off turned sideways and used her to cover my butt
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering?
    Experiencing new cultures and spending time with my daughter
    Interesting fact(s) about you: in addition to soccer, coached lacrosse at Harvard and Princeton

    Tim will be working with partner programs in Zimbabwe.