• Thank You CAC: Humbling Words From a Pemba Participant

    May 18th 2016. This blog comes to us from the words of a participant (Hassan) in his speech to CAC staff and guests during the certificate ceremony in Pemba, in partnership with the Zanzibar Football Association, the Ministry of Sports, and Save the Children.

    Honorable Minister of Sports, Assistant Minister of Sports, Our coaches Mr. Nick and Madam Nora:

    First of all we would like to thank all of you for conducting good, well and enjoyable training for one week. Apart from that we make a promise in front of you that we will protect children and we will stand in front of any who struggle for their rights.

    Our trainers:

    We have special thanks to you for your cooperation during training and general speaking we can’t deny that we enjoy your tactics, techniques, and your innovation. You have bring us in a safe space and now we will use your knowledge and experience we get from you and impart it to our children.

    Uncountable thanks should be received to the first coach in the world, Mr. Nicky, for organizing us and make us to feel free all over the time during the training. Throughout the training we learned that:

    • Women can do well in sports if they will be supported
    • We understand that children have knowledge
    • We learn that we should give our children choice
    • We learn that we ought to talk with children and not talk to children

    Frankly speaking we have learned a lot and we will use all them for social impacts.

    Special thanks I send it as my reward to Madam Nora – for teaching us Kuku dance, a lot we may forget… but never Kuku dance.

    We have nothing to give our coaches for excellent work they have done to us except to tell them: Thank you very much for what you have done and we will use knowledge for social impacts.

    Thanks; Goodbye; See you again; Relax and have a safe journey.

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  • The Future of Women’s Rights in Islam and Zanzibar

    May 12th 2016. MJPT young leader, Fatma Said Ahmed, answers CAC questions about our recent training in Unguja, Zanzibar in partnership with the Ministry of Sport, the Zanzibar Football Association, and Save the Children.

    • How did you get involved with CAC?

    I first heard about Coaches Across Continents from Zanzibar National Sports Council and I got involved with CAC as a volunteer helping translate English to Swahili during the one week training at Unguja, Zanzibar. I was lucky enough to meet the amazing Coaches and learn from them, thanks to Nick and Nora. I also learnt CAC activities through website.

    • Tell us about your work and activism in Zanzibar:

    I work at Stand For Humanity as the Founder and Managing Director. Stand For Humanity is a Non-Profit Organization. The mission is to serve and provide humanitarian actions to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures and to call the stakeholders and other people of good will to do the same. Vision: “Having a youth that is dynamic, active, responsible and committed in the development process”. I have done and organize different activities such as Online Campaigns on Child’s rights and development, joining the joint events (International Women’s Day, International Midwife Day, World Read Aloud Day, Earth Day etc.) and outreach programs.

    I work as a volunteer in youth development organizations. I once started to volunteer at Zanzibar Youth Forum around 2013 and got the chance to join the UNFPA Youth Advisory Panel on communications and host the Facebook closed group of YAP (Youth Advisory Panel). YAP was established to give young people the right to advise UNFPA on issues concerning adolescents and youth. I have take part on relevant issues such as capacity building, advocacy, policy dialogues and outreach.

    I also volunteer at AfriYAN (African Youth and Adolescents Network on Population and Development) as the Secretary General of AfriYAN Tanzania Chapter.

    • What did you learn from the week of training with CAC in Unguja?

    During the week of training with CAC I’ve learned so many things on how sports can bring positive social change such as:-

    Child rights (Freedom of expression, right to information and responsibility to the community)

    Gender equity + Female empowerment (ASK for choice)

    Skills for life – problem solving

    Conflict prevention

    Sports skills

    • What do you think needs to happen in order for women and men/girls and boys to be treated equally in Zanzibar?

    Awareness about gender equality must be raised at schools so that children and young people could be aware that girls and boys/men and women have equal rights that what men can do women can do. Breaking the social and cultural barriers that hinders girl’s empowerment. Also raise awareness to public; show and tell; engage with influential leaders and community members.

    • What are you most excited about for your upcoming week in Dallas?

    I’m so excited about my upcoming week in Dallas; I can’t wait to start my once-in-a-lifetime journey and get to learn from the Olympic Legend Michael Johnson at the performance center.  Learning and sharing ideas, experiences. I also expect to get mentored to become a future leader.

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    Zanzibari women and men design a local women’s rights policy.

  • Commitment and Creativity – Pemba coaches are becoming Self-Directed Learners

    May 21, 2014.   A long way from Germany, CAC Coach Markus Bensch describes our work this past week on Pemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania).  When Sophie and I arrived on Sunday morning in Pemba we went straight from the airport on an island tour. The whole vegetation was lush green and everything flowered. It felt a bit like paradise and our accommodation was right next to the ocean which gave us a very nice rest in the afternoon, before we started with the program the next day.

    On Monday morning we would welcome 41 coaches to our training of which were 32 returners which means they had participated in our training last year. That made us very happy, because it is exactly what we want, coaches that take part all three years in our Hat-Trick Training and change things in their community step by step for better. We were also very impressed by their commitment during the week. Some of the coaches came earlier to the venue to write up the games we played before the training started, most of the coaches were on time so we could start punctually and the number of participants stayed constant over the week and could work with more than 40 coaches every day.

    Throughout the week we played games that focused on different topics, i.e. how to resolve conflict without using violence, how to find solutions for problems without asking for the answer and how communication and cooperation can help to overcome challenges, both individually and as a group. We also addressed different social issues like environment pollution, gender inequality, violence against children, HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy. The group did a great job when they adapted our “Adebayor makes good choices” game which is about HIV/AIDS prevention into a game that teaches about prevention of early pregnancies.

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    Playing football in pairs needs a lot of coordination and communication

    On Friday we had our coach-back day as usual. For us coaches it is always a lot of fun because we can act like participants and even take part in the games and leave the stage to participant coaches to practice the games they invented. We saw great coach-backs from nine different groups and it showed us that each of them made a big step during the last year and throughout the week towards the goal of becoming a self-directed learner. We’re very curious to follow up and hear about their progress throughout the year and we are looking forward to come back in 2015 for the final year of our Hat-Trick Curriculum to support the coaches in developing a more open community that respects and supports the rights of children and woman and that addresses existing issues openly to discuss them and find ways to solve them.

    The two successful weeks on Zanzibar would not be possible without the excellent cooperation with all the implementing partners. We’re happy to say ‘Thank you!’ to Save the Children, The National Sports Council, The Zanzibar Football Association and The Ministry of Education for two wonderful weeks with more than 100 coaches in total that surely will make a difference in the community and in young people’s live that are in their care. We hope that this partnership last for a very long time and we are happy to come back on Zanzibar next year.

    We left Pemba on Friday afternoon to land after a wonderful half an hour flight on Unguja again, because we wanted to go swimming with dolphins on Saturday early morning. We left the hotel at 6am and one hour later we sat on a boat to reach out to the dolphins. The beaches and the water are so beautiful that it felt again like paradise. After a while we spotted the first dolphins. After our driver brought us in position we could even jump into the water and marveled them swimming right next to us. It was wonderful to see the elegance with which these creatures ride the waves and swim through the ocean. Compare to them our movements in the water seem like clumsy movements just to save us from drowning. This experience was a great finish of our two weeks on Zanzibar and I already want to submit a request to Brian our Chief Executive Strategist that I want to come back next year.

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    Coaches Across Continents “Lines Game” always causes a lot of confusion and conflict resolution opportunities

  • Do You Know Your Rights?

    May 15, 2014. What an exciting and fun week it has been! Although it started raining heavily from the very moment the shores of Stone Town were in sight and it has not stopped since (I guess that is why they call it the rainy season), it did not discourage the 55 coaches and teachers to show up on Monday, ready to participate in their second annual training with Coaches Across Continents.

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    Local coaches invent a game to raise awareness about blind people’s challenges

    The program in Unguja and Pemba, Zanzibar’s two largest islands, stems from an interesting and dynamic partnership between the Zanzibar Football Association, the Zanzibar Coaches Association, the Zanzibar National Sports Council, the Ministry of Education, and Save The Children. All partners were represented at the opening ceremony where the importance of protecting children from abuses was emphasized (violence against children is still the norm). This was perfect since CAC has recently finalized a brand new child rights curriculum and has started to incorporate child protection training as a core part of every CAC program.

    We had the chance to run the training at Amaan stadium, playing games in the mornings on the beautiful turf field with some of Zanzibar’s 20,000 One World Futbols and reviewing games in the classroom in the afternoons. After a quick refresher course of Messi games and Mingle Mingle we gave participants the opportunity to decide what they would be learning during the training, selecting to focus on nutrition, drug abuse, including children with disabilities, and the importance of education and child rights which then became our focus for the week.

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    What a great stadium for Coaches Across Continents to work!

    Although all days were comparable to one another in terms of the liveliness, engaging discussions and participants’ good-natured spirit, Wednesday was my favorite day of the week: it was entirely dedicated to child rights and child protection. The morning session games teaching about different child rights preceded an engaging hour and a half long discussion in the afternoon about how we could work together to protect children from suffering abuses on the sports field. The games played in the morning certainly helped fuel the discussion and one teacher even remarked that playing those games with the children could be a solution to protecting their rights.

    The child rights game that is quickly becoming one of my personal favorites is ‘Know Your Rights’.  Players from opposing teams in the center circle have to run to cones representing different child rights. The coach yells out two rights and players from the first team run to the first cone, the others to the second one. The game requires speed but also quick thinking and reaction. For some reason, this game seems to trigger the competitive spirit of even the most reserved players. After a couple of rounds, there was shouting, yelling, encouraging and cheering from all sides. It is hard to describe the exuberance and feeling of pure joy that emanated from the game, but I can easily say that this was one of the most euphoric and energy-filled 30 minutes that I have experienced with Coaches Across Continents. I think that everyone would have been happy to continue on for three more hours. It was a close contest between Belgium and Germany but I have to admit that Germany might have come in victorious.

    Another one of my favorite aspects’ of the week was the presence of strong female leaders who also happened to be excellent football players. Many of them come from the ‘Women’s Fighters’ team and they have been working hard to make female football more popular in Zanzibar: it is now a usual occurrence to see boys and girls playing together around Stone Town. They explained that today, when a girl decides to play football, “it feels normal to her, she does not question it.

    The training came to an end on Friday afternoon, after participants coached games they had invented about nutrition, what makes a healthy life, making good choices, including blind people, and safe spaces in the community. TV, radio and newspaper journalists were present to show the Zanzibar community what wonderful work these local educators are aspiring to. We leave for Pemba, our heads filled with countless memories of laughter and joy, and energized by the motivation and passion of these inspiring coaches; but also convinced that this next week of the partnership will be just as rewarding!

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    Unguja (Zanzibar) coaches celebrating after a great week working with Coaches Across Continents!

  • The Power of Soccer Reaches Pemba Island, Zanzibar

    DSCF4364 May 27th 2013: Coaches Across Continents have wrapped up our first year in Zanzibar with Save the Children, the Sports Council and the Zanzibar Football Association. This week was on the smaller Pemba island 30 minutes north of Unguja with around 50 local coaches. Like the first week we were given access to the local stadium with an artificial pitch installed and many One World Futbol’s as part of their significant partnership.

    There is currently a great push by Save the Children to stop violence against children in Zanzibar and the distribution of One World Futbol’s is part of this. Therefore we focused throughout the week on differents forms of violence against children including physical, verbal, sexual and emotional. Many of the children which these coaches work with have very difficult childhoods at home, at school and in the community where they do not feel comfortable and safe. It is important that the soccer pitch is a safe space in which children can relax, have fun and gain confidence in themselves. The coaches in Pemba are all committed to being positive role models in their team’s lives and providing them with this safe space.

    Along with violence against children we addressed disparities between male and female soccer on the island. Due to religion, culture and tradition there are currently few opportunities for girls to play the game in Pemba. At a local school game we witnessed first hand the passion for soccer from the girls on the island whDSCF4584o cheered and sang for their male school mates.We were very encouraged by the willingness of the coaches by the end of the week to work with female players in the future.

    The two weeks in Zanzibar have been an incredible success with the local organisations focused on social impact through soccer and a reach of 3500 children through the coaches. Their hard work and passion for development, along with the coaches willingness to learn and teach through soccer, suggests that this partnership can continue to have real impact as we build on the last two weeks over the coming years. As we left the Sports Council representative asked to confirm the dates for next year….

  • Using Partnerships for Impact in Zanzibar

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    May 21st, 2013. Coaches Across Continents have just finished their first week in Zanzibar with 58 coaches learning how soccer can be used to have social impact on the island just off Tanzania. The first week of the program was on the biggest island on the archipelago, Unguja, with the second week on nearby Pemba island.

    The program is the result of many important organisations who have collaborated successfully to develop soccer in the community. Together the Ministry of Sport for Zanzibar, the Zanzibar Football Association, the Sports Council, One World Futbol and Save the Children have been able to bring soccer to life in a sustainable way for both Unguja and Pemba. Their work has led to the delivery of 20,000 One World Futbol’s to Zanzibar, 1 for every 60 people here. An incredible push has been made to distribute the indestructible ball to all districts of the islands. As a result we saw many balls on the beach everyday, had the opportunity to give balls to a rural community in northern Unguja and were able to give a ball to each coach at the end of the program.

    Being the first year of the program, the ability to partner with organisations who have achieved success throughout the island allowed us to generate the largest impact possible. Many of the coaches had never experienced training where the focus was social impact and as a result we were able to confront significant local issues such as girls in soccer and resolving conflict by ending all forms of violence against children through soccer. They enjoyed the opportunity to coach our games on Thursday and demonstrated their strong coaching abilities. At the end of the week we had speeches from a minister in the government and were featured on local television and newspapers which created great excitement amongst the coaches.
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    After a busy week it is obvious the passion for soccer which is present not only in local communities in Zanzibar but in the partner organisations who believe in the power of soccer to have a significant social impact throughout the island. With this support and the combination of One World Futbol and Coaches Across Continents, Zanzibar will not only be one of the most beautiful islands in the world but also at the forefront of soccer for social impact globally.