• 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.

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  • T-HO: The Message of Social Inclusion at Work in Migori County Kenya

    CAC volunteer, Mackenzie Jones writes about her two week experience with first year CAC partner, CREATA (Center for the Regeneration and Empowerment of Afria through Africa), in Rapogi, Migori County, Kenya.

    A great two weeks with first year CAC partner, CREATA! Over the course of two weeks, the coaches participated in many hours of CAC training, applied their training on the field with their teams and children, and at the finale, graduated into official CAC coaches.

    Throughout the first week of training the CREATA coaches did an amazing job learning the games in the early half of the day, and then got great practice by playing them with children in schools in the afternoon. Thursday we introduced the CAC Tim Howard (T-HO) skills along with the Tim Howard curriculum that included games for female empowerment, conflict resolution, fun, etc. This day stood out to me, partly because of my love for goalkeeping (although my expertise is in lacrosse goalkeeping), but mostly because of the inspiring connection between the social messages of the Tim Howard Curriculum and the manifestation of this in the afternoon session where the coaches played with the children. The main message of our day as a part of the Tim Howard curriculum was social inclusion and current USA National Team and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard is the perfect role model for that message.

    Through all of his successes in football, Howard has had to overcome many difficulties as well. As a young kid, Howard was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, but he was not forgotten about because of this diagnoses, at least not in the world of football.  His talent was spotted by a coach who took Howard under his wing and helped him develop as a player, regardless of his Tourette’s. The acts of this coach not only helped Howard develop into the player he is today, but have created a platform  to show that all coaches can and should include others, especially children, regardless of differences.

    After learning the story of Tim Howard, and the games earlier that day, the coaches took these games and the messages directly into their on field work later that afternoon with children from Piny Owacho Primary School in Ragogi. At Piny Owacho Primary, one of the CREATA coaches, Kate, took action when she saw two young boys with disabilities sitting on the side not being included in the games. One of the boys had a mental disability, while the other had a physical disability and was bound to a wheel chair. Together the coaches decided to choose games that would allow these two young boys to play, particularly the boy in the wheel chair. Games like the Tim Howard skills that the coaches learned earlier in the day not only carried the important message of social inclusion, but also allowed the young boy in the wheel chair to actively participate, since these skills are goalkeeping skills and use only your arms.

    This was an amazing sight to see, as both CAC Senior Staff, Nora Dooley and I noted following the end of the day. Including others and treating them equally regardless of their differences, that was the message of the day and it transcended the training that the coaches received in the morning and took action directly on the field with the children; now that’s social impact!

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