• From Phnom Penh to the Philippines

    May 6th 2016. CAC Community Impact Coach Makara Sopheak from our partner ISF in Cambodia writes about his time with CAC and FundLife International in the Philippines. Thanks to ISF who first published this blog.

    My name is Makara Sopheak. I am one of the senior coaches at Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF). I always dreamed of being a football coach and developing football in Cambodia. I used to be the leader of my high school football team and then I was a volunteer coach. I have learned many things since I came to ISF in 2011, I got to know many other football organizations and worked closely with them, especially Coaches Across Continents (CAC). For some years, CAC has been working with ISF to teach coaching and football for social change. They also do international exchanges when coaches from different countries train each other. This month, I was selected to be a Community Impact Coach in CAC’s program in The Philippines with FundLife International.

    After working with CAC for a few years, in the coaching program and doing the Online Education initiative, I was thrilled to hear that I was selected to join the program in The Philippines.  I immediately started to prepare documents and exercises to do during the training. The CAC program in the Philippine is similar to Cambodia and they organize an exchange to share sport for social development skills with other coaches.  The training is based on doing fun games to teach about social issues. In this case, the CAC program was focused on child rights and gender equality.

    The reason that I wanted to be part of the program was because I want to work closely with CAC in order to learn more about football and share it to other coaches both in Cambodia and other countries. Charlie from CAC and I provided training to 82 coaches in Tacloban and BayBay. First they learnt about some of the games we developed and then they got to create games by themselves. Some Filipino Community Impact Coaches helped us with the sessions.

    Besides sharing and coaching them, I also learned a lot from the Filipino coaches. They taught me some English football terms and new methods to create football games about social issues like HIV. Joining this program taught me about being flexible and improved my communication skills with foreigners. I also learned a lot more about football for social change.

    It was the first time for me to travel abroad and I really like The Philippines: the green environment, nice food and very friendly people. Even though some things (like flying for the first time) were a bit challenging, I would like to work with the CAC team in the future to do more training abroad. After coming back, I talked to our coaches about what I learned in The Philippines and what skills they need to also do an international exchange. On top of that, I will talk to our Football Programme Manager to arrange a training course that I have done in The Philippines to share with other coaches.  I hope other coaches will get the opportunity like me to work with the CAC staff and exchange ideas with others coaches.

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  • Baybay: Sweeter the Second Time Around

    May 5th 2016. CAC Community Impact Coach Hazel Cerena writes about her week with CAC in Baybay, Philippines.

    On its second year, Coach Patty and I (from Football for Life) helped lead the CAC training alongside Coach Charlie and Coach Makara (a Community Impact Coach from Cambodia). There was a mix of excitement and fear since Charlie told me and Coach Patty that CAC Chief Executive Strategist Brian wanted to push us (not literally) during the seminar. We would lead most of the drills so I was hoping I could make it interesting for the participants.

    First day came and while we were waiting for the participants, it was a bright sunny day in Baybay National High School. As the participants arrived I was told that most were PE teachers but upon their arrival, I noticed some of them were hardly fit and never played football. The teachers from the school made a small opening ceremony to formally introduce us and each of us coaches gave a little speech for the participants. All I really wanted was for them was to promote football for social change within the city, learn from the seminar, but mostly, to have fun.

    I volunteered myself to do the Messi Skills for Life game which was a relatively easy game because it was more on technical skills than the other games. As I have said earlier, it was a bit challenging for some of the participants since most of them weren’t football players but never they never gave up which I really found inspiring. Day one was well spent and on the way to our hotel, we passed through a shortcut which revealed a rice field with the view of the mountains. It was too beautiful to not notice.

    On the second day, the participants were more confident and more active on the games. There was one particular participant who was very enthusiastic, he was bringing more colour to the games and immediately became the star of the group (not that I’m being biased but he was really cheerful!).

    Early evening we had a nice swim at a resort inside Visayas State University, where we held the first CAC training. Coach Patty, Coach Charlie, and I were practicing our Frisbee skills in the swimming pool while coach Makara was on the side, happily taking pictures of us (unfortunately he doesn’t know how to swim).

    We had more challenging games on the third day, where their creative juices were being brought out and truthfully, they never failed to deliver. Everyone was actively participating and enjoying the games.

    There were two highlights of the seminar, each of them came from the female coaches who shared their experiences. On our talk about gender equity in Baybay, one female coach was very emotional when she was sharing her childhood experience to the group. It wasn’t how she was mistreated about being a girl but how her childhood disposition made her into what she is right now. The other female coach who delivered her speech towards the end of the program said she was expecting the usual, boring seminar but to her surprise she had never sweated that much in a seminar! And for that, she was very thankful to us coaches for the knowledge we shared with them for the past four days plus a promise to promote football for social change in their community.

    The experiences I had with Baybay was definitely sweeter this time around.

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  • A Vision for Local Sustainability

    August 14th 2015. Léogâne to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Nairobi to Marsabit, Kenya. Tacloban to Baybay, Philippines. Nyanza to Kigali, Rwanda. Tanzania to Uganda. Uganda to Kenya. Cambodia to Philippines.

    These are some of the movements of our Community Impact Coaches (CICs) so far in 2015. We have had 16 CICs from 9 countries, directly impacting 28 CAC programs, and consequently nearly 100,000 children.

    The locations and numbers are compelling, but the stories behind those facts and figures are far more inspiring.

    So who are these CICs? How have they enhanced our work? And what have they brought back home to their communities?

    The CIC program pulls in the best of the best from our implementing partners. These are the coaches who have demonstrated their commitment to using sport for social impact at home with their local organizations, On-Field during past CAC trainings, and in year-round communication with CAC staff. These coaches, once selected as CICs, are part of On-Field teams for 1-3 weeks in various locations in their country or internationally. They assist us with the training of other leaders while learning more from our SDL Coaches, and soaking in everything they believe will empower them back home.

    We kicked off the year with a CIC exchange of sorts. Our 3rd-year partners, GOALS Haiti in Léogâne sent two coaches to work with our team in Port-au-Prince with 2nd-year partners The Sanneh Foundation’s Haitian Initiative (HI). The following week two coaches left the city to join our staff for the third year of the On-Field component to our partnership with GOALS. These two weeks are a great representation of what the CIC program is all about. The GOALS coaches were essential in helping us train 173 leaders in Cité Soleil. The HI coaches visited Léogâne and were able to see how far along a third-year partner is, while learning from them and being challenged to advance beyond the work we had done in their community.

    2015 also saw the return of our first-ever CIC, Nico Pota, who traveled from his home in Tanzania to help us run three programs in UgandaWhile in Uganda, Nico met the second-longest serving CIC, Salim Blanden. Soon after the Uganda programs, Salim traveled to meet our team in Kenya where he helped us train two sets of leaders. After his final week with us, one of the participants had some encouraging words to say about the CIC program: “It is very good for us participants to learn about other cultures and it can help to improve the life of the people in the community. It also encourages members of our community to try to achieve that as well, because when you have been in another community you come home with new ideas. To see Salim also encourages me to do my work and help to improve my own community in Rapogi.” – Michael Ouma, Migori County, Kenya.

    In early May we had some fiercely empowered Filipino women join us for our first time working in Baybay, Philippines after our second year with partners Football for Life in Tacloban. Hazel and Patty were running the show with a group of physical education teachers, and we hope to get one or both of them assisting us internationally in the near future.

    One of our Zimbabwe partners has finished the Hat-Trick Initiative, and after the third year several of the coaches applied to the CIC program. Of these candidates, Frank Chivawura was selected and joined CAC On-Field near his home in Harare with a first-year partner, helping us introduce our methodology to the new participants.

    One of the most incredible stories from our CICs takes us back to Kenya. David Mulo and Charles Otieno have been CICs with us for two years, helping us train leaders in various parts of their country. These inspired leaders work with long-time partners Vijana Amani Pamoja in Nairobi, and since joining us as CICs, they’ve wanted to do more. They started their own NGO called Green Kenya where they use CAC games to teach youth about all sorts of social issues, i.e.: “teaching participants how to conserve the environment using CAC environment games.” Another such issue is the empowerment of women. We have just been informed by David that they recently launched their new Girl Up initiative where, among other things, they are having men go out and buy sanitary towels to better understand and support women. David was part of our training in Marsabit, Kenya with Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI) – a program that needs little introduction when it comes to empowering women and girls.

    An excerpt from David’s blog sums it up beautifully. After witnessing the gap between men and women in Marsabit and learning of certain human rights violations, David writes:

    I decided that I want to do something for the girls when I get back to Nairobi… I will assemble the girls in my community and let them talk about the issues that they are facing and how they think we can tackle them. I want to let them have a voice to be heard. This idea would not have grown in my head if I did not get the chance to be a Community Impact coach (CIC).

    And now Girl Up is born.

    This is just one example – albeit amazing – of the work that our CICs are doing with us, and more importantly, without us. As David and many others have taken the time to thank CAC for the opportunities we present to them – I’d like to take this moment to thank our Community Impact Coaches across the world: Thank you for taking advantage of this opportunity and owning it; thank you for being exactly who you are and allowing it to inspire so many people; and thank you for not being afraid of the unknown.

    With a packed program schedule for the remainder of 2015, we cannot wait to unleash more CICs onto our partners. And moreover, we cannot wait to unlock more of these stories that are waiting to be lived by people who continue to dream despite overwhelming obstacles.

    To find out how you can support the Community Impact Coach program please go to this page or contact us.

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  • The Future of the Philippines

    May 18th 2015. Community Impact Coach (CIC), Patty Caceres from Football for Life, joined CAC in Baybay, Philippines to assist in the training of educators as sport for social impact coaches. As she breaks down the program, we get a true snapshot of a CAC training from the perspective of an incredible CIC.

    A week ago today was the conclusion of an intensive two and a half day sport for social impact coaches’ seminar by multi-award winning Coaches Across Continents (CAC) in Baybay City, Leyte.  The seminar was made possible by the Football for Life (F4L) Program from Tacloban City which has, since August 2014, used football as a tool to rebuild the lives of children and youth of Tacloban after typhoon Haiyan.  Coaches Nora Dooley, senior development lead coach of the CAC and Charlie Pomroy of CAC’s Cambodia implementing partner Globalteer were the tandem coaches who visited the Philippines this year.

    In October of last year, CAC came to Tacloban featuring the first year of their Hat Trick Initiative to teach coaches, educators and leaders on how to use sport as a tool to educate about different social issues and to teach life lessons (shout out to coaches Brian and Kelly, hello!)  This year, after the second year seminar in Tacloban, CAC and F4L went on a two plus hour ride south to Baybay City.

    And we from the F4L were accompanying the CAC not merely as staff to handle logistics but we were tasked to assist them by coaching and sharing our coaching experiences and learnings from the two CAC seminars we’ve already attended to the participants.  (Challenge accepted!)  Here is an account of the four days spent in the very scenic Visayas State University (VSU):

    Day 0 (May 6)

    Today, coaches Nora and Charlie and we F4L staff and coaches Paula, Hazel and I travel to Baybay.  We waited for the van to be filled up by other passengers, since we arrived way ahead of schedule in the terminal.  We left Tacloban at around 5:30 in the afternoon.  I was unusually awake the whole time of the trip, nauseous as I often am on landtrips, I just couldn’t sleep (cue music, “I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it”).  We arrived in Baybay before 8 p.m. and our gracious host Dr. Aleli Villocino, VSU’s Institute of Human Kinetics Director greeted us at the terminal.  She brought us to a fancy café resto downtown to purchase to-go dinner.  She bade us farewell and we headed off to VSU where upon arrival, IHK staff assigned us to our accommodations. (Tomorrow is going to be a long day!).

    Day 1 (May 7)

    We had breakfast at 7 a.m., a minibus was waiting for us at 7:45, we had to be transported to the upper campus, the venue of the seminar, since our accommodations are in the lower campus.  Participants registered and came in, filling up a tiny portion of the IHK gym (the unfilled space intimidates me, this is not good but still, game face on!)  By 9 a.m. the opening program started with a prayer, the Philippine National Anthem was sung next, then Dr. Aleli gave her warm words of welcome.  Then I spoke to talk about who we from the F4L are and what we do in Tacloban before I gave the floor to the coaches to start the session.  (I stuttered a little bit, I am more used to giving speeches with notes but when I took a deep breath and just talked with passion, I stuttered no more).

    We then went outside to the wide football field, where the CAC staple, Circle of Friends, as a warm-up was introduced.  Then still in the circle, Ronaldo Skills were taught.  The eagerness to learn and the group’s fun disposition made for a morning filled with laughter.  Ronaldo Tag was played next, then Ronaldo for Health and Wellness.  And when time came to go in groups, (cue music, “mingle, mingle, mingle) we all danced to Mingle Mingle.  Ronaldo for Gender Equity was up next.  Then the football games, Ronaldo for Conflict Resolution and Ronaldo for Fun.  By lunchtime, the group had decided to transfer to the lower campus, where the cafeteria is located and our accommodations too (yehey!).

    Before heading onto the field, Coach Nora discussed about the differences between sport and sport for social impact.  The participants were attentive and yes, some were skeptical as to the how’s and why’s of sport for social impact.  But I’m sure that in the culmination of the seminar, the skeptics will be believers.  On-field, Marta Skills and Combination skills were done.  Jaguars vs. Blackbirds was next then Marta for Conflict Resolution was played.  Coach Hazel and I then introduced Old Trafford Tag, one we learned from last year’s seminar.

    The day was capped off with the Marta for Gender Equity and Marta for Fun games.  Though some participants are not football players, it’s amusing how they try their best to do the tasks with perseverance and enthusiasm.  After the activities and some rest, the three of us, Paula, Hazel and I went to the beach for a swim, to watch the beautiful sunset and just talk and relax after a strenuous day.

    Day 2 (May 8)

    The day started with a review of yesterday’s drills and activities.  Participants went in groups to make visual aids of the games played yesterday, each group had representatives to discuss the drills most especially, explain on the social impact of the drills. We then proceeded to the activities, starting off with Tim Howard “T-Ho” (goalkeeping) skills and T-Ho for Conflict Resolution.  Coach Hazel and I led the Pair Scrimmage.  Watching the participants play like kids and having fun humbles me.  T-Ho for Gender Equity and T-Ho for Fun were the last activities for the morning.  After returning from lunch, a Child’s Rights discussion was led by Coach Nora.  The afternoon was spent on games discussing HIV as a social issue as well as the Right to Family and the Right to Education games.  CAC and F4L then spent a delightful dinner with the VSU President, Dr. Jose Bacusmo, and IHK workforce.  A healthy exchange of thoughts occurred.  (I think that happens when you all had a nice meal!)

    Day 3 (May 9)

    Today, we spent half a day doing drills and discussions.  We were set to go back to Tacloban later in the afternoon.  The drills and games included that tackled on Child’s Rights, What Makes a Good Leader? And Ideal Man and Ideal Woman.  Some of these games were rather a source of discourse, especially the notions on women and their role in society.  Do you have that thing that ticks you off? For me, it’s the fact that some men still think that women are not as good as men, and they’re better off at home.  It’s just sad that the men of today are or will be fathers of daughters and if these men don’t learn to respect women as equals, how backward our society will be.

    Lesson learned: Always have that patience for those in darkness.  In the end though, the discussions clarified everything and seeing those people who were closed-minded in the beginning “evolve” into more empathetic people makes me look at the future with hope.  I just wish everyone would be as open-minded to the fact that when we empower women in our society, the better our society will be.  Remember that old adage that goes, “Two heads are better than one”?  We need just that, woman and man helping each other to achieve real progress in society.

    The two and a half day of games and discussions ended with distribution of certificates and souvenir t-shirts to the participants.  Short talks were also given by Prof. Aleli, some of the participants, me and coaches Nora and Charlie.  In his speech, Coach Charlie quoted Steve Jobs who said, “The people who think they are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do.”  I love this quote a lot and it really reminded me that the impact we can have on the lives of the people we associate with are enough to change the world.  Out of college, on to my first interview for a teaching position which I totally aced, I told the dean that I have this personal motto of “Helping change the world, one student or class at a time.”  I hope that in one way or another I am doing just that with coaching and educating.

    Passion is the thing that should drive us to be of impact to others and to be the best versions of ourselves, and I am thankful that the CAC seminars I’ve attended and assisted just made that passion burn all the more. Snapshots were taken as souvenirs and new friendships blossomed.  We then went to our accommodations to pack our bags.  We left Baybay in the afternoon today but the memories of fun and the learnings are sure to stay.  Arriving in Tacloban though, the day was far from over, Coach Nora spent her birthday last May 7 coaching so we had dinner of barbecue and cake plus Philippine exotic food, balut, to truly celebrate.  (I know coaches Nora and Charlie didn’t enjoy the balut, but at least, you’ve really been to the Philippines because you tried, haha!)

  • Pacquiao Loses, Tacloban Wins

    May 13th 2015. Community Impact Coach, Charlie Pomroy, from Cambodia implementing partner, Globalteer, gives us the play by play for our second year with Football 4 Life in Tacloban, Philippines.

    Day One

    I would consider myself somewhat of a traveler. I have traveled to many countries, seen amazing places and met amazing people along the way. I have also had my fair share of mishaps but nothing could have prepared me for my first away trip with CAC. With what should have been a routine journey from Siem Reap in Cambodia, where I have been based running a sports programme for the past three years, to Tacloban in the Philippines, turned into one of the longest journeys of my traveling career. After several cancellations and delays, a missed boat, and a nap outside a Wendy’s at Manila airport, my trip had racked up 37 hours. This was only bettered by Nora who had traveled for 50 hours from Indonesia.

    In true CAC style, fresh from the boat and with luggage in hand, we landed in Tacloban and got straight onto the soccer field. With half the day behind us, Nora and I quickly got stuck in and began with the warm up game; Circle of Friends, followed by the Messi games. First impression of the group in the Philippines is a good one. The group is enthusiastic, eager to learn and ready to have fun. I coach my first CAC game: Messi for Conflict Resolution. I have been eager to get my hands on the group and enjoy the session. What strikes me when I am coaching is just how open the group is. This throws me ever so slightly. When coaching in Cambodia it can sometimes be like pulling teeth to get them to talk and open up, so discussion time is hard. Cambodians are shy. It feels like they don’t want to trouble anyone with their problems, so they suffer in silence. What really hits me about this group, in the Philippines, is that they are so open and confident. They are aware of their issues and are ready to find ways to solve them. It’s really refreshing. The rest of the afternoon flies by.

    Despite being so very tired, working with a group like this gives you so much energy. You want to work harder because you can really see, instantly, the right notes are being hit. Nora and I discuss the next few days and become really excited about the prospect of challenging this group. Their surface answers are fantastic but can we get a little deeper? As coaches this is the kind of stuff you live for. This is why we do what we do. This is why it is the best job in the world. Roll on tomorrow!………. Oh there is the small matter of Mayweather & Pacquiao, not that anyone here in the Philippines has mentioned it…hehehe…!!!!

    Day Two

    The world title fight lost us most of the day, the Philippines came to a complete stand still to watch their national hero Pacquiao lose on points to Floyd Mayweather. It wasn’t the result we had hoped for. The whole country was upset. Some were angry, others were crying. This was a massive blow.

    Nora and I knew the group would be down so wanted to be high energy and give them lots of fun games to play. The group turned up on the field still visibly upset about the morning’s events. We started with a financial literacy game so that we could get the energy up from the off. It worked. We then launched into Perpetua Skills for Life followed by two more games.

    It was during Perpetua for Conflict resolution that something struck me and as I began to think about it further it brought a smile to my face. One of the female coaches, Patty, was moving the ball from one end of the field to the other using a very unorthodox method (the challenge of the game being to find different, creative ways to move the ball). The smile on her face was electric. She was beaming from ear to ear. I looked around and everyone was doing it. The weight of the loss that morning had gone. I was then reminded of a film I had watched about the Typhoon that had hit Tacloban in 2013, which featured Patty. She said in the film that soccer had helped her through that. Soccer had given her the strength to begin rebuilding and to begin dreaming again. This made me smile from ear to ear. This beautiful game has the power to change lives. No matter the loss, no matter the heartache there are some of us that are lucky enough to be able to turn to soccer and let that help us through.

    Tomorrow we go deeper and begin to challenge the group.

    Day Three

    It was our first full day with the group and as we arrived at the pitch Nora and I were very excited. We opened the day with Jack Wilshere. The group was in tip-top form and getting through the games very quickly. I coached three games with my favorite being Wilshere for Conflict Resolution. This game really focuses the group and they are forced to work together to find a solution to their problem.

    The group has some really strong female leaders here in the Philippines. It’s really refreshing to see. However, the most notable thing about today is the young boys, from a local drop in center, coming to life. They’re growing each and every session and it’s a wonderful thing to watch. At the beginning of the week they were unsure of their surroundings and very reluctant to get involved but as the days have gone by and as the games come thick and fast they are really beginning to get a sense of what sport for social impact means. The coach-backs tomorrow should be a lot of fun.

    Day Four

    Today was coach-backs and by far my favorite day so far. This is the day we really get to see how much has sunk in and we can begin developing social impact coaches. The coaches have an excellent morning. What I really love about the group is they are challenging themselves. They are not choosing easy games and just copying what they have been taught, they are really trying to adapt the games. The girls in particular today are excelling. As I mentioned before the group here in the Philippines has some extraordinary girls and some fantastic role models for the next generation.

    During lunch Nora and I watch one of the younger girls in the group spend the whole lunch break kicking a soccer ball against a wall. She is having a great time. What is wonderful about this moment is outside of the soccer field this girl is so very shy. She is nervous talking to people, she was reluctant to be part of photos and rarely interacts with other people. Put a soccer ball at her feet and she comes to life, her confidence grows, she takes on players and she runs at full speed. This girl doesn’t have a care in the world when she has a football at her feet.

    It is a great moment for Nora and me and one we enjoyed watching.

    Day Five

    Today was a day off. Nora and I used the time to get our admin work done and so forth. The highlight of the day though was not the fantastic hot chocolate I had or not having to set an alarm. It was the moment when Nora and I were walking to an ATM and across the road were three of the coaches from the course coaching a group of children. The young girl I mentioned from yesterday came running out and gave us both a giant hug.

    You cannot buy moments like that!!!

  • Rebuilding Tacloban with F4L and UNICEF

    October 15, 2014.  Most people have only heard of Tacloban, Philippines because of Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines) which struck on November 8th, 2013.  It was one of the strongest tropical typhoons ever recorded to strike a populated area with the official death toll reaching well over 6,000.  However, if you ask any local, they will tell you that the actual numbers are much higher; some bodies were still being found two months after the storm had passed.  Just under a year has passed, and we have found ourselves working alongside many other aid agencies in Tacloban. Partnering with Football 4 Life, UNICEF, and the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), we have come to Tacloban to provide sport for social impact training to coaches and teachers as they continue to rebuild their community.

    Yolanda has left most of the worlds’ consciousness as we start thinking of more immediate global concerns, but in Tacloban they are still recovering and will continue to rebuild for years to come.  The visits of celebrities like David Beckham have passed, but tens of thousands still live in temporary bunkhouses, buildings (including schools, hospitals, and businesses) are still being constructed, and neighborhoods are adjusting to their new daily lives.  It is because of this rebuilding that we were so excited to work alongside three great partners who see sport as an avenue to restore normalcy to daily life but also to use it as a tool for education and social empowerment.

    Football 4 Life has started operating in eight locations around Tacloban, targeting the most in-need children.  They run football sessions for them in this basketball-mad country, but see the opportunity to use sport to empower these children who have been marginalized.  F4L also brought together over 50 school teachers to participate in our training, knowing that these sport teachers are crucial to the use of sport as an active tool for social change and development of their community.  These coaches and teachers lived through Yolanda, and are the best people who have the vision and enthusiasm on how Tacloban should be rebuilt.  One of the F4L coaches, Margarette Susing, is featured in this video showing the process of rebuilding the community is undertaking and is a perfect example of the effect that a natural disaster can have on a community and on individual lives (4:18 minutes).

    We knew on our first day that this group of teachers and coaches, as well as the experience itself, would be special.  Meeting in a room that still utilizes a warped, water-damaged floor, we began our journey with them.  In fact, there are still very few structures which do not show the lasting damage of the storm.  On-Field our first game is always Circle of Friends.  It is used both as a physical warm-up, but also to get coaches and children to use their voices (and be comfortable with their voices) in a variety of ways.  On the first water break it was explained to me by a teacher that he preferred the students not to speak, so that he could maintain control.  After resuming Circle of Friends and Ronaldo Skills (another game which stresses voice), the same teacher came up to me to tell me that he was wrong, and that these were two of the most fun games he had seen.  And we had just gotten started!  By the end of the week these coaches and teachers now have an arsenal of fun games which address life skills such as developing children’s voices and confidence, but also games which educate about early pregnancy (a major issue in the Philippines due to cultural and religious influences), educating about the environment, and creating self-directed learners through problem-solving games.

    Although Yolanda only lasted one day, the effects will be felt for years.  Tacloban is still at the start of their rebuilding journey, but with dedicated teachers and coaches, as well as organizations like Football 4 Life, this process will be a success.  In total the coaches and teachers that we worked with will impact nearly 10,000 children around Tacloban through school and soccer activities.  These children will become the lasting legacy of Yolanda.

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    One of three large boats still grounded in the middle of Tacloban

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    Celebrating a great week with CAC!