• Confidence Across Continents

    November 15, 2014. Volunteer Coach Earl Strassberger writes about the first week of his second stint On-Field with CAC, last year in Cameroon and Ghana, this year in India.

    We are working in Delhi, with a group of 33 young ladies. They are of college age and are the most confident group of young people I have ever met.  They are energetic, athletic, and polite.  They speak up.  They listen to others.  They support each other.

    Coaches Across Continents (CAC) worked with most of these young ladies last year.  They clearly remembered much from last year.  I can see why.  When we are teaching in a classroom setting they have pencils and notebooks.  During water breaks they take out their notebooks and write down the names and descriptions of the games they just played.  They are able to concentrate.  In fact, as I am writing this we are having a discussion of a child’s rights in a school room that doubles as a gym.  There is a class of adorable six year-olds learning dance moves.  Our girls are not distracted.

    They gain their confidence in a number of ways.  One is by learning to speak up.  The girls all play netball.  As with any sport you must warm up.  We use a CAC game called Circle of Friends.  The game involves moving to the center of the circle and back out.  How they move is determined by the leader.  It could involve high stepping; running; side to side movement; etc:  But it is the other purpose that is so important.  When they go to another person they slap hands and scream out their names.  They use their voices authoritatively.  Note that the leader changes what they shout out:  For example; the second shout could be the name of their favorite team.  We may have them do a silly handshake instead of high fives.  But the most fun is having each pair jump, bump, and shout, ¨boom shakalaka¨.  They love it!  Last year I was in Cameroon with Brian.  We just arrived in Buea and were walking through town when a coach saw Brian and shouted, you guessed it, boom shakalaka!

    The second way these young ladies gain confidence is through learning how to play netball and being on a team.  They are good at it!  After one practice we played a game with them.  I repeat, these girls are good players.

    The third way they have gained confidence is because of the fantastic support from our partner organization; the Naz India Foundation.  These girls are lucky to be in this amazing program.  Naz uses games from CAC’s Goal On-Field curriculum developed in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank.

    The girls proved themselves over the last two days.  First they got into groups of four or five and then they spent an hour thinking of problems in their communities.  After that we asked them to create a CAC-like game to send the message about the problem.

    The next day we watched them conduct their games with the children of the school where we did our training.  Each group had its challenges.  One was a group of about 30 boys and girls about eight years old.  Another was a smaller group, maybe only 15, but all fourteen-year-old boys.

    The girls took charge.  They had the kids playing their games.  They held discussions about the problem and the possible solutions. It worked, the kids were engaged and our girls experienced more success.

    Note that Naz is much more than some games.  The girls start out as participants in a 10-month program.  It is a women’s empowerment program offering weekly sessions to adolescent girls who may or may not be in school and whose families have low income.  They learn netball and life skills such as health, rights, communication, and financial literacy.

    The second year they become peer leaders and community sport coaches.  They are assigned to a school and coach groups of kids; sometimes as many as 200.  They receive a stipend for this work.

    The third year a very few, the best of the best, get paid positions as netball coaches and life skills trainers.  We had Pooja and Amrita working with us.  They were professional in all aspects of the Naz and CAC programs.  Other graduates of the program have found jobs with Standard Chartered and other corporations.  By the way, Naz also runs an orphanage!  What a wonderful organization. Their participants will create positive change in India.

    On a personal note; I am a retired school teacher.  Working with young people always makes me feel younger.  Working with the CAC staff; Sophie and Billy, and our community impact coach, Guru, is terrific.  They make it easy to be successful.



    Self-Directed Learning in action as the girls Create games to address chosen social issues

  • Worldwide Women’s Day Celebrations

    1495116_638780162837889_1730077393_oMarch 19, 2014. Have we told you how fantastic, passionate, and committed our partners are to making a difference? Well if we haven’t told you lately, let us tell you now! Women’s Day was March 8th, and our remarkable partners took it on full force.  Working in over 20 countries at the moment, we had pictures and stories coming in from South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, and Haiti – and that is just the beginning.

    Our partners are not only top notch in the sport for social impact world, but they also host unique events when it comes to special dates like International Women’s Day. We have a partner in Dodoma, Tanzania who hosted an event with over 180 young girls participating, and played female empowerment games including Jackie’s Circle and Tegla identity from the CAC curriculum. Our partners in Uganda hosted events attended by numerous women’s charities where they touched on subjects ranging from gender equality to environmental conservation while celebrating women of all ages, and the importance of having female role models.IMG-20140308-00259

    One of our South African partners, WhizzKids United, celebrated Women’s Day focusing on specific issues for women in their community and having Gugu Mofokeng inspire the young women to stand up against violence. GOALS Haiti celebrated the day by hosting their second girls clinic educating young women about health, and making it a safe and comfortable place to communicate and ask questions.

    Our partner NAZ Goal from India took a different approach on Women’s Day inviting parents of youth from their foundation to come to their celebration, and have young girls teach female empowerment games. The girls taught their parents one of CAC’s favorite games, “Seles Attack”, and helped spread awareness on safe spaces in the community.

    IndoChina Starfish in Cambodia celebrated Women’s Day by highlighting their two incredible female coaches, and telling their inspirational stories. Working first hand with these coaches, and reading their personal stories that got them to where they are now is astonishing.

    Coaches Across Continents wants to thank our partners for the incredible difference they make every day in the lives of the people in their communities. Women’s Day was a huge success thanks to the passionate, hard-working local organizations we are lucky to work with around the world.


  • Naz Foundation empowers women throughout India!

    IMG_6912March 20th, 2013.  India along with many parts of the world is dealing with atrocities and continued violence against women. CAC started working with NAZ Foundation in India this past year, and we feel very lucky to work with them. They are leaders in teaching the Standard Chartered GOAL curriculum to women throughout three major cities in India; Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai. This year for Women’s Day they hosted events at all locations, believing India needs all the support and programs they can give at this very critical time in history for women.

    The NAZ Foundation Mumbai team hosted an event that embraced girls from both Hindi and Urdu languages that opened with a range of fun games. After playing games and getting the girls comfortable, Anjali Gopalan; Founder and Executive director of Naz Foundation, and Halima Fanibada; Headmistress of Trombay High school spoke to the group of young women.  The two speakers had very important messages for the young women, Halima explained the importance of educating women and the rights to education women have in India. While Gopalan passionately told the crowd, “ Don’t just focus on working with women; we must also work with men to further their understanding of women’s rights.” It will take both genders of race to change the violence against women throughout the world! Fantastic work Naz Foundation!

    For more information on other site celebrations for Women’s Day put on by Naz Foundation please, click here.

  • Our Last Program is Positively Different – It’s Netball Time!

    Naz 2012 dDecember 11th, 2012:

    Coaches Across Continents (CAC) has just finished our last program of the year, this one with Naz India. We could not have ended the year on a more positive note. One of our biggest principles at Coaches Across Continents is to promote female empowerment. We insist that our partner programs work with girls and bring female coaches into our training session. The Naz India program is different, in that they work exclusively with girls in the three cities of Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai.

    Girls at specific sites register for a ten-month program that includes classroom sessions of the GOAL curriculum, plus netball training. Yes, you read that right. Coaches Across Continents has now worked with its first non-football related program. Despite some minor differences between the two sports and being allowed to use your hands, netball (and almost any team sport) is very similar to soccer. All of our games translate easy to other disciplines, which allowed our partnership with Naz India to happen and be such a success this year.

    Both Naz India and Coaches Across Continents use the GOAL curriculum, which was championed by Standard Chartered Bank and developed in the classroom by Women Win and the field by CAC. Now with this first year of our partnership, these two elements have been combined. We had 35 coaches (almost exclusively 14-16 year old girls) participate in the training so that they can use the CAC on-field GOAL curriculum next year alongside the classroom curriculum.Naz 2012 b

    The reason for our almost exclusively female coaching participants is part of Naz India’s sustainability model. Girls who show promise and have finished the Goal Program can turn around in the next year and serve as the peer coaches, earning leadership positions and continued confidence in their abilities. After our last month around India, seeing many cultural difference which limit the ways in which girls dress, participate in sports, and engage in society, it was refreshing to see a group of girls that show confidence in themselves and power in their own abilities. Across the country the Goal Program educates 1,000 girls, with that number expected to double in 2013.

    We are thrilled that our 2012 year ended on such a positive note. A special thanks to all our partner programs for inviting us to their communities this year, plus all the coaches who worked for Coaches Across Continents. We look forward to starting strong in six weeks when we begin our first program in Haiti! If you want to be a part of the fun on the field, please contact us!

    “Naz India has been implementing Goal since the last 6 years using sport and life skills as 2 strategies and building the confidence in young girls. However, through the CAC training we realize the powerful value of integrating sport and the social messages. The Naz coaches benefited immensely from the CAC training; they learned simple and fun ways to deliver critical messages to young people!”

    –          Kalyani Subramanyam, National Coordinator, Goal India