• A Week to Remember

    December 5, 2014. Volunteer Coach, Keren Lavi, from Israel partner, Mifalot, joins CAC On-Field in Iringa, Tanzania and write about her first experience with CAC outside of her country. 

    I always knew my first time to Africa would have to be an unforgettable one, after traveling around 3 continents “IT’S TIME FOR AFRICA”.  I arrived to a motel in Dar es Salaam where I waited for Nico (CAC’s local partner and first ever Community Impact Coach) to pick me up for an amazing field week at the new ‘Football for Hope Center’ in Iringa. The morning we left to the bus I happen to fall down the stairs with my suitcase and twist my ankle! How am I going to get through this week now?! I stood up and walked with Nico to the bus, I was ok. The bus station was full with people and buses, I have no idea how he found the right bus but I guess every country has its own order they follow. We get to the bus and Nico goes down to find a cold water bottle for my ankle, after a few seconds I realize the bus starts to leave with no sign for Nico! “Nico, where is Nico” I shout in the bus, the bus has already left the station, I get to the driver “please stop! Nico is missing!” as if he knows who is Nico and that this is my first time in Africa and I have no idea where and how to get to the place I am supposed to get to. The bus driver stopped on the side road, meanwhile I start to panic and cry having no idea what to do. After 5 minutes of total panic Nico arrives hitchhiking on a motorcycle sweating with a cold water bottle in his hand!

    I started my visit at the peak which only continued to climb higher and higher. I met Kelly and Marcus, CAC’s team, when we arrived to Iringa – both seem to be born to the field of football for social impact! I was honored to see them coach and to coach with them! They immediately made me feel part of the team and I am thankful for that! As I already mentioned Nico took great care of me, I must say he is the best local partner an organization could ask for, not only does he organize the coaching seminars and talks to all local partners he is an inspiring coach and person that really connects with CAC’s vision! Working with such awesome people this week was a real treat! The local coaches we met were all part of Iringa Development of Youth, Disabled and Children Care (IDYDC) which hosts the FIFA Football for Hope Center. We had a week full of games, laughs, serious talks, coach-backs, and dancing mingle mingle at any chance of the day! One of the most memorable parts for me was having kids around the field almost 24/7! They will not leave the place till it was dark! It is amazing to see how a football field becomes the center of a community and the safest place for kids to play. I am loaded with energy to get back to my organization in Israel –

    My name is Keren Lavi and I work for Mifalot Education and Society Enterprises which is an NGO located in Israel. We also work globally in order to create social change via the football field. After training with CAC twice in Israel it was my time to join them in another country in order to learn and feel the work CAC does across the continents… My role at Mifalot is to develop the international programs. We provide educational curriculums and share our best practices, this is why partnering with CAC in order to exchange knowledge about football for social change is not only a privilege but an opportunity to grow and spread the love we share to the game and to the impact it can have on people all around the world. Mifalot share with CAC this vision and I can only hope for both organizations to keep growing and touch many coaches around the world.

     

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  • SDL in Israel

    October 28, 2014. Coaches Across Continents develops self-directed learners through sport. We want to create critical thinkers who are able to construct solutions to local problems. We encourage people to question tradition, culture, history, and religion so that may understand why there are certain problems and how solutions to these problems can be constructed and implemented.

    For the past 5,000 years various groups, religions, and nations have controlled the country now known as Israel. Within its borders there are conflicting ideologies, religious influences, and historical precedents. It is not possible to understand all the factors that comprise Israel in just one short week. But hopefully by working with great local partners and coaches we can help them to have the skills to deal with these issues in the best way possible.

    This past week CAC worked with Mifalot. They are a nation-wide organization that impacts 30,000 children using sport. In fact, they also reach out internationally to work with other groups, so their reach continues to grow beyond their borders. This is our second trip to Tel Aviv, but actually we work with them all over this beautiful country, seeing many places and coaches from all walks of life during our week On-Field.

    Our partnership took a big step forward this past year with Mifalot in reaching self-directed learning status. We were able to work with three separate groups of coaches, each with various levels of experience of using sport for social impact. Overseeing everything were three of their senior staff who have also worked (or will work) as coaches with CAC at other partner programs through our CIC program. Earlier this year Tom and Yael traveled for two weeks to Rwanda, and next month Keren will work alongside our team in Tanzania.

    These three coaches help guide Mifalot in curriculum development and implementation. What they have learned abroad is evident when you see their curriculum in action. Many of the their games are based on CAC games, and the theory and methodology looks very similar, albeit with a Mifalot flavor to it. After three days of training their coaches myself, I watched Tom teach a group of new coaches who work with people with special needs. One of the games that he reviewed was Nawal Leadership Lines, something that he and Yael learned in Rwanda.   The ease with which he explained the game shows that our curriculum has been accepted, adapted, and utilized – exactly what we want to see at CAC.

    Ultimately this is the success that we want to see with our partner programs. We want them to be able to choose what their own curriculum looks like, and have the skills to be able to create their own games that teach valuable lessons to the next generation.  This is applied demonstration of self-directed learning. Achieving SDL with local coaches, teachers, and leaders will allow them to come up with their own solutions to issues specific to their own communities. Hopefully it will help the various groups in Israel reach peaceful solutions as conflicts arise.

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