From Jakarta TuBaba
Over the next 3 weeks, the CAC team are working in collaboration with Uni Papua – an Indonesian partner for over 6 years. Last week we were in the community of TuBaBa, a short one hour flight from the metropolis of Jakarta, TuBaBa is a quiet and rural community on the island of Sumatra. During our five day Education Outside the Classroom program, we used #PurposefulPlay to engage with 80 children and 30 teachers, where we in particular focused on UNSDG #10 ‘Reduced Inequalities’. The Indonesian government also outlawed Child Marriage whilst we were there, making the legal age limit for marriage 19 – a fantastic step forward and one that has been long overdue.
Our program in TuBaBa consisted of two parts – the first was working with the teachers, where we played games from our ASK for Choice curriculum to not only discuss how we could reduce inequalities as a whole but also to talk about gender discrimination. A highlight from one of the conversations was that some men in the group were saying women can’t/shouldn’t play football. One of the female participants said to the group that this was an ‘ancient and outdated’ idea and we need to move forward with the times. This was powerful as it must have taken great courage to stand up in front of people with differing opinions and share your own beliefs, which are not the current norm in her community.
The second part of the program was with the 80 children and young people – this gave Community Impact Coaches, Chester (Phillipines) and Frans (Indonesia) an opportunity to lead and run their own program with the support of CAC staff members. The valuable experience they gained from this benefit them greatly over the next 3/4 weeks as we continue traveling and running Education Outside the Classroom programs across Indonesia. Reducing Inequalities also comes in many forms, and one form is the inability to access sport due to financial restrictions and costs. This was a free, high-quality and most importantly fun program for these children, many of whom come from disadvantaged and poor backgrounds.
To round off our week we met with the leader of the Department of Education, Budiman Jaya, who was very impressed with CAC and will now look to continue to support and roll out these types of programs across the Sumatran Island.
Impressions For A Lifetime
November 6th, 2018. Global Citizen, Moritz Guertler from Germany reflects on his time working with CAC On-Field with Community Partner Uni Papua F.C. throughout Indonesia over the past month!
I had the opportunity to be part of the ‘Coaching for Coaches’-team (further including Charlie and Jesse from the US, Frans from West Papua, and Peter from Burkina Faso) in five different locations within Indonesia over four weeks: Jakarta, Lampung Timur, Pekanbaru, Bali, and Tangerang. Since it is close to impossible to put all these impressions into one article, I decided to share with you my list of the most incisive moments and impressions, both, positive and negative:
- The first and most overwhelming: getting picked up from Jakarta airport on a scooter (two guys, three backpacks) driving through the ultimate Asian urban jungle of vibrant, noisy, and dirty Jakarta, for 1h 30min after a 17-hour trip from Munich via Doha.
- The most difficult pitch: definitely in Tabanan, Bali – where the pitch was more of a sandpit than anything else with even a road for cars and scooters running THROUGH the pitch.
- The most beautiful: Lampung’s countryside with jungle and clean rivers we got to swim in.
- The most surprising: the professionalism of staff and facilities of Tiga Naga Football Academy in Pekanbaru, Sumatra – a far above standard institution for young boys striving for a professional career in football in Indonesia.
- The strangest: witnessing a trance ritual (called Kuda Lumping; translated to ‘crazy horse’) in Lampung Timur, Sumatra: two women dressed up as animals in wooden masks and a tamer with a whip gave a very intense performance while a repeating series of drums, flute, and spell singing completed a dramatic and vibrant atmosphere, which causes form of trance for members of that ‘cult’. As the intensity and excitement rose among the audience, suddenly, spectators jumped into the circle obviously not being themselves, pretending to be animals crawling through the sand receiving higher spirits into their bodies. At the end of the ritual, the tamer lifts the spirits from the bodies and “brings them back”. They do not remember what happened afterwards.
- The most disappointing: missing three out of five days program in Bali due to one of Bali’s classics: the ‘Bali belly’ basically not allowing you to leave the bathroom for a couple of days.
- The happiest: being able to leave the bed again after almost missing out on the whole Bali project.
- The culinary highlight: definitely Pekanbaru, Sumatra, with its spicy and sweet-sour crab and shrimp, deliciously marinated fish, and the best grilled chicken I had in a very long time.
- The most nerve-wrecking: the roads between Lampung airport and the village where we coached that hardly deserve any name related to street, road, path or track – more potholes than actual road surface – in the complete darkness of the night.
- The best project: the last one in Tangerang Seletan, Java, since participants were so creative and fun to work with.
- The most touching: at the end of the last session in Jakarta, Benjamin, one of the participants, thanked me for the effort and heart I give to his country.
- The most impressive human being: Coach Frans from West Papua as the eldest of seven kids who volunteered many years for Uni Papua as a coach and, after he became a paid coach, financed his first brother’s university studies until he graduated with a bachelors degree just recently.
My overall takeaways are the smiles of the people and the fun they had while playing these games. Don’t get me wrong here: I love football and enjoyed it all my life. But for me it was the first time to play games of football where the competition is not at the core like it has been throughout my football career. It is all about the social impact and the fun; and the fun is present every second – always! I definitely understand now better why football is called ‘The Beautiful Game’ – for me personally, football just gained a whole new dimension after these intense weeks.
October 5th, 2017. Self-Directed Learning Educator, Emily Kruger, writes about her on-field experience working with Uni Papua in Sorong, Indonesia.
Now that CAC has existed for almost a decade, we have a handful of implementing partners who have been with us for many years. A few weeks with these coaches and leaders feels much different than time spent with a brand new partner. These humans have met almost every single CAC staff member, they have played almost every game in the CAC curriculum, and they have already made a deep impact on the children in their weekly programs.
For us, the next progression is to challenge these leaders to do as CAC does and work with other coaches, which is different than coaching their young players. I’ve had this experience now in Haiti with Haitian Initiative, Cambodia with IndoChina Starfish, and again this week with Uni Papua in Sorong, Indonesia.
Coach Frans grew up in Sorong, on the island of Papua. He moved to Jakarta in 2013 to study at the University Multimedia Nusantara, and soon after became a player on a Uni Papua team. In 2015, he encountered the CAC curriculum and methodology for the first time, at a program in Jakarta with Charlie and Turner. He was convinced of something new: football is a tool with which people can learn off-field skills and knowledge. He was excited at the prospect of teaching about the negative impacts of abusing alcohol and cigarettes (as many of them were doing), about their right to good health and where to access care, about the positive implications of inclusion and equity…all through engaging activities with the ball!
Shortly after that training, he was hired by Uni Papua as a full-time head coach. Throughout 2016, he began to not only coach his youth team but also to work with coaches. When he is called upon, he leads coach trainings for new Uni Papua chapters, where the coaches do not yet know about using football for social impact. We agreed that he would like to do more of this (for CAC this is what sustainability looks like!!) so for our program in his hometown of Sorong, the foreign CAC team took a major step back so that Frans could step in and be the leader he wants to be. His two younger brothers were at the training, his Uni Papua colleagues were at the training, even some of his former players were in attendance. From the sidelines, it was evident that they all look up to him. While I am not sure what exactly they were discussing (after 3 weeks, my Bahasa is still not where it would need to be to catch the quick on-field conversations), I could see that Frans was asking them thoughtful questions, challenging them to think for themselves and solve their problems as a team.
At the end of the week, the participants expressed their gratitude for Frans and his passionate leadership, while I expressed my excitement for the future of Uni Papua…with homegrown leadership comes a kind of deeper, sustainable impact that a foreigner cannot replicate.
All the Happiness Around Me is Worth Living For
October 3rd, 2017. Community Impact Coach and Founder of Coaches Across Continents Community Partner Sparky Football, Tejas, writes about his time in Atambua, Indonesia with partner Increase Foundation and the Bintang Timur Football School.
Our time in Bali was blissful. Every day at the field I could see the lovely kites flying in the mighty blue sky while it shared many reflections from the ocean close to us.
As I wished goodbye to these kites and my new friends from the Bali program, I hoped to cherish something similar in Atambua with Bintang Timur- know as ‘East star’ in Bahasa!
The small flight to Atambua gave me a rollercoaster ride. I experienced turbulence close to 30 minutes from the 1 hour flight journey. I even remember the woman who seeked air sickness bag in the flight- it was a rollercoaster in its own way!
Atambua was very hot and dull as I looked outside the car. My location on the GPS muddled my thoughts and I said to myself, “I am very far from India”. I regained my sense of belonging when I arrived at the Bintang Timur academy- I saw a huge football field and a futsal pitch surrounded with many mountains. Alma, our coordinator from the program showed us the academy with a small tour. In the evening, I had the opportunity to share some of my freestyle football skills with children also got to play 11-aside football with them. After Sun went behind the mountains Emily, Frans, Alma and I sat down at the dining table to plan for the day one on-field.
The Government head arrived an hour late delaying the morning session and some more with his speech. He said a lot about becoming the best football coaches but nothing he knew of the program being football for social impact. We turned that frustration into motivation for running the best social impact program possible. There were about 50 coaches, 4 soldiers and 5 Government officials in the hall. The session kicked off at 10am with Circle of Friends and all the coaches carried great energy in the intense heat. They celebrated ’ole ole’ and ‘mingle mingle’ for a long time but games like Marta for conflict resolution, know your rights, old Trafford tag were thought provoking.
Alma was a great host; late in the evening he took us to eat corn. He has charming Italian accent for English. He spoke 8 languages including Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and some local. He was raised in Atambua, where once he was forced to be a church priest but escaped from the situation to be a university professor. The night at the dinner me, Emily and Alma shared our thoughts on the idea of religion and I was pleased to know that we all were to lean on the same belief that higher spirit is same for all and we share the same air, Sun, moon, water, star and things like that. This was some thought provoking to me in a way.
On the second day, participants addressed their local social issues such as alcohol abuse, gambling, trafficking, stealing etc. Emily, Frans and I took responsibilities to adapt CAC games to help them solve/tackle these problems. I strongly believed that we three were a good team. Frans spoke less English but tried his best to participate in our off filed meets. He also supports us and takes responsibility in times like photography, airport check in, finding a taxi or a hotel. Emily and I call him ‘dad’ often for that. He always laughs at it!
Some of the games which we chose to address their social issues were Gazza support system, Indonesia for choice, Say no to trafficking and Emily’s new dice game- it’s a cool one!
By the third day, participants continued to sing mingle mingle as nasi nasi (rice) has their humming song. There was laughter everywhere and the expression of wisdom from the after game talks. The ambition to learn and to make a difference was quite evident. I see them has the change makers, very few of them spoke English but they listened to us, smiled often and participate with their entire being in the heat. While English didn’t help them much as a language they instead took pictures with us- a lot. I have heard somewhere that “We can’t build a society purely on interests but we need a sense of belonging” and I think this is what I found in here.
After a intense three day coaching program, Alma had planned to take us and the academy staff to a picnic on the mountains which was a 2 hour drive from the academy. We went with the academy minivan and a car. The roads were slushy, curvy and hilly but the drive was very thrilling. As we reached the location, we could see the wide mountain plains and with a small hike, we were able to identify the border of the country, East Timor. The place was wide and beautiful. Everyone was excited and took a lot of pictures together. Surprisingly the staff had carried lunch for 20 people. We all housed under a tree and feasted the delicious food with the beautiful Mountain View.
After we were back, we played some more football with children in the evening and settled for the next day’s agenda which was to visit two schools from which teachers participated in the program.
In the morning, we visited Don Bosco and SMP Negsi School. The purpose of the visit was to meet the School head, watch the sport teachers implement the games with children and if they needed any help with it. They did a good job on coaching. As the sport teachers introduced us to children, Emily, Frans and I had the privilege to share our journey and the importance of education outside classroom. It was motivating to have us say this to them. I also took the privilege to showcase some of my freestyle football skills to give them a new perspective on football learning. I received some great response and cheer for this!
The week was very tiring, however the sense of satisfaction to keep up the week productive and to make an impact in the Atambua community is a fulfilment.
At the end of the day, I recapitulate the week in my mind- my heart fills up with all the sincere laughter and joy participants shared on the pitch. Sometimes, I miss being a kid and that little happiness from the PE classes in school.
As we grow up things change, we change and start to like that way.
My personal reflection is to love what I do every day and to be grateful for all the happiness around me that is worth living and fighting for.
TERIMA KASIH (Thank You)
Driving Social Impact Through Sport
September 20th 2017. CAC program participant and coach JohnPaul McTheophilus wrote about experiencing CAC for the first time in Bali, Indonesia with Uni Papua.
I had never heard of ‘Coaches Across Continents (CAC)’ until last week when my friend (Bationo) invited me to take part in a 5 day Coaching Clinic by CAC. So, I looked up on the internet and a quick glance at their website raised my curiosity.
As a football player I’ve had the opportunity to work with different coaches at training grounds and listen to all kinds of tactical instructions, and motivational speeches on the sidelines as well as in the dressing rooms. I’m always fascinated at how these coaches create their programs and plans that keep players physically and mentally fit to perform at the highest level. So, my view of football has always been on the professional level. I’ve never looked at football as an important tool to drive a social impact movement.
First, I was happy and motivated to work and learn from people who are genuinely happy in what they do and are committed to helping others especially young people. From Emily’s enthusiasm and excitement, and Tejas’ creativity, the atmosphere was positive and there was never a dull moment. I witnessed the essence of using football as a tool to develop coaches and kids to become critical thinkers.
Innovative ideas were shared through drills and games like:
– Circle of Friends
– Marta for Conflict Resolution
– Messi For Healthy and Awareness
– Gaza Support System
– Stamford Bridge Tag,
– Games For Children,
– Scary Soccer, etc
I was impressed at how each of these football drills and games presented us with several options to tackle social challenges like drugs, alcohol, smoking, sexual molestation or harassment, bullying etc. Information about health related problems like malnutrition and diseases (e.g HIV/AIDS) can be passed and made accessible to children and communities using sport. The games not only revealed social problems and their causes but they also proffered solutions as well as preventive measures.
At the end, It was the most rewarding experience I have ever had, and I realized that empowering people with knowledge and skills is the key to driving social impact, and we can comfortably inculcate this message through sports. I’m grateful to CAC, especially the coaches Emily Kruger and Tejas, for their positive energy, time and patience throughout the program. I’m very keen to use this experience as a guide to creating social impact anywhere I go.
September 27th 2016. CAC volunteer Alicia Calcagni gives a shoutout to the coaches of Sorong, Indonesia and our partnership with Uni Papua.
My shoutout this week goes to all of the coaches I have worked with in Indonesia. My partner, Mark Gabriel, started ending our sessions with a “shout out.” Which includes all of us standing in a circle while he screams, “I have a shout out,” and us yelling back, “shout out!” Then, he recognizes the exemplar leader of that day. After that, we huddle around him or her and do a cheer. This ritual isn’t designed to single one person out as the best, but to appreciate someone for being a good person. I have noticed it also drives the other participants to improve. For example, at our first session in Sorong we gave a shoutout to a coach named Aroses. We chose him because he came prepared with a notebook and wrote down every game played and the social impact of it. He also had an answer for every question, while encouraging others to speak up as well. Following his lead, two aspiring coaches came ready to play with a notebook in hand the next day. No matter the age, shining someone in a positive light (even for the little things) boosts their confidence and pride. Which has the ability to boost the confidence and pride of the whole group. Creating this ritual developed a personal connection with the coaches, making our differences fade away. Mark also started ending every session with a handshake. The coaches ticket to leave was giving us a high five and a fist bump. It is difficult going into a community as an outsider and talking about specific social issues, especially since we only have a limited number of days. However, these little acknowledgements builds trust and comradery. Thank you Uni Papua for embracing CAC’s work and making a difference.