• A Programme That Packed SWAGA

    This week, we worked with Sports with a Goal Africa (SWAGA) in Mogotio, Kenya. Although we had an abbreviated program, we played a total of 22 games that reinforced #EducationOutsideoftheClassroom and #PurposefulPlay through on-field training sessions, game reviews, game creation, and off-field discussions. Most of the games focused on two UNSDGs, UNSDG 5 – Gender Equality and UNSDG 10 – Reduced Inequality. We also had an impactful discussion about Child Rights and debated local opinions about corporal punishment. This discussion concluded with a Child Rights Policy that each participant signed, which outlined how they, as teachers and coaches, can help to protect the rights of children in their communities.
    We spent a total of 3 days on-field with SWAGA participants, most of them were teachers in the girls’ boarding high school where the training was taking place, Kimng’orom Girls Secondary School. It was a positive opportunity for the pupils to see their teachers learning new games and wonderful to see the teachers engaging the students and coaching the games that they had learned. I feel that Kimng’orom is in a good position to impact the lives of the community around it through #PurposefulPlay since now we have worked with many of the teachers to share knowledge about sports for social impact.
  • Empowering Child Rights in Nairobi

    July 17, 2019.  CAC’s Jamie Tomkinson (and Michael Johnson Young Leader) is leading programs this month in East Africa.  Follow along as he implements Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom in Uganda and Kenya.

    Fun fact #1: Beyond Hoops are a Sport for Development organisation based in Nairobi, Kenya, however they started out in Vancouver, Canada!

    This was a great first year programme with there being many highlights – from the crazy dances we learned together to the thought-provoking conversations. We emphasised a focus on Child’s Rights and building self-esteem and confidence in children, particularly young women and girls. The group learned how to use Purposeful Play to discuss these topics and were very appreciative even after the first day. A real highlight for us was just how engaged and involved the participants wanted to be – they were open and honest that they were sceptical at first about how we could use play and physical activities, to address such important issues – but they kept an open mind and left upskilled and with a new sense of enthusiasm, proclaiming that they couldn’t wait to play the games in their own communities.

    We also delivered a very worthwhile session using the Coaches Across Continents ‘Child Protection Guidelines’. Half of the room were split on should corporal punishment be illegal or not in schools? We therefore facilitated a 50/50 debate on the matter. The coaches mentioned four types of Child abuse – physical, emotional, sexual, and verbal abuse. After a lengthy discussion, some of the coaches who thought corporal punishment was the right way to discipline a child agreed that there are other ways to communicate to children without using force or methods that may harm them physically and mentally.

    Fun Fact #2:  CAC is a global leader in Child Protection working with UNICEF as a pioneering member of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport, and publishing last month the Community Empowerment to Ensure Human Rights Guiding Principles.

    34 participants joined us throughout the week and will be using our curriculum to impact 1.3K children and young people in Nairobi.  #WhatsYourLegacy?

  • Bus-Bound for Busia

    July 15, 2019.  Long-time Community Impact Coach Salim Blanden from Mbrara leads a CAC training for the first time.

    I jump on a Kenya bound bus, but my final destination is Busia near the Uganda-Kenya borders. On the bus with me is Jamie Craig Tomkinson who I have ran a program with in Jinja with X-SUBA. Very tired from the last program we both slept off immediately once we entered the bus and within just two hours we had reached our destination (Busia).

    On the first day in Busia, we thought it was a local market day as we experienced a big crowd but we were told it’s a normal day because Busia is a very over populated area being a business area because of nearing the Uganda-Kenya border.

    Jamie and I are both ready to run our programs with YES Busia, one of the organizations that is partnering with CAC to implement Purposeful Play. We are supposed to run separate programs on two fields in Busia; one of the programs on the nearby local field at a primary school to be run by me and another in Masafu village to be run by Jamie. YES Busia is the only organization in Busia that is using sports to reach out to the local community to teach about the most pressing social issues which include on HIV (UNSDG3: Health & Wellness), education (UNSDG4: Quality Education), poverty (UNSDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth), and the environment (UNSDG13: Climate Action). Ongatai Amosias, the leader of YES Busia, is working with young leaders in his office to bring about the positive social change. On the program with me is Mary, Moureen, Flavia and Dorcas who are acting as co-facilitators and also helping on other logistics. Mary and Moureen are helping out in running some games because they have been teaching CAC games in primary schools that work with YES Busia.

    First day for me to run such a program on my own is an interesting day for me. There are so many women on the program compared to men, something that is not so common in most communities I have worked with. Most of these are teachers from nearby primary schools and others are locals from the nearby villages.

    Being the second year CAC is running programs in Busia, there are some returnees from the last program and they can quickly understand the games, and some teachers have knowledge about the games because Mary and Moureen, the YES facilitators, have been running these games in different primary schools. Dorcas is also one of the facilitators of YES Busia and works with Mary and Moureen to run games in schools. Dorcas is helping out with making sure we have balls, bibs and cones for use at the pitch and takes care of everything but also joins in to play with other participants after to participate. She asks questions and is very confident and in our afternoon meeting, Jamie thinks she can be a potential CIC from YES Busia.

    The participants loved the games and wants CAC to come back next year. My highlight was when we played a game about HIV Myths (Ballack Clears HIV Myths). We had a lengthy discussion about HIV after the game to learn about the myths and also teach about HIV and people requested we talk a lot about HIV. My wish to the organization to help mobilise and educate more people about HIV in the villages of Busia.

    Coaches Across Continents worked with 156 participants over 5 days, impacting 18,000 children in the Busia district of Uganda.

  • X-cellent X-SUBA (Jinja, Uganda)

    July 13, 2019.  CAC’s Jamie Tomkinson (and Michael Johnson Young Leader) is leading programs this month in East Africa.  Follow along as he implements Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom in Uganda and Kenya.

    X-SUBA is in their first year of partnership with CAC, and as such our first visit has everyone full of enthusiasm. During the programme we adapted many traditional CAC games to use hands rather than feet, as most of the coaches were from a netball or basketball background. They were thankful for this and it has helped them see how they can use CAC curriculum more in their day to day sessions.  From the start, we developed a coach personal development policy which brought up some really good discussions about self-reflection and improving our own practice.  Throughout the week we focused on coaching guidelines, feedback during practice coaching sessions, and learning how to use CAC’s Workplace platform to continue developing throughout the year. We also had a great session on creating and adapting games and it’s fantastic to hear that X-SUBA will be delivering these in their own communities in the near future!

    My personal highlight was during one of CAC’s environment games addressing UNSDG#13: Climate Action called “Pick up and Get Clean.”  Once all the cones etc had been picked up, they then stated running around the field collecting actual trash from all over. While this was no doubt down to competitiveness, we used this demonstrate the impact this game can have and provide and enthusiasm to kids to ‘pick up and get clean’. Everyone was running around collecting trash, we then referenced this back to our own lives and how often do we daily walk past rubbish and not pick it up because it ‘isn’t our job’, when in fact, it’s everyone’s job. We then collected all the trash and put it in a nearby rubbish bin!  #WhatsYourLegacy?

    A total of 30 participants had their first experience of Purposeful Play and will now go onto to deliver Education Outside of the Classroom to 1.5k in the beautiful town of Jinja, Uganda.

  • CAC Delivers Purposeful Play in Paris Refugee Centers during the Women’s World Cup

    July 11, 2019. CAC’s Nora Dooley writes from Lyon, France where she watched USA vs. England in the World Cup semifinals after finishing On-Field trainings for CAC partners in Paris.

    Six years of working with Coaches Across Continents and our incredible partners have given me the most unimaginable (at least to my adolescent brain!) education in empathy. From mid-May to mid-June I traveled from Brazil to México to Colombia to the USA to Tanzania and landed in France just in time for the most important football event in the world.

    I list these travels not to boast my privilege nor shame my environmental footprint, but rather to share facts about the access that I have to the world because of the circumstances of my birth. Access granted to some people, denied to more people, and likely never even to be pursued by most people.

    Then I think about the humans I shared space with in Paris for 8 days of Purposeful Play trainings with CAC partners who serve refugee and displaced communities across the city. Long-time partner, Fútbol Más France, and new partner, Kabubu, run different types of programs for refugees and migrants from dozens of countries including Yemen, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Congo, Romania, Angola, Eritrea, Senegal, Mali, Sudan, Tibet, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and others who are living in mostly short-term refugee centers in the south of the city. Fútbol Más runs weekly sports sessions for girls and boys of all ages as well as separate sessions for adult women and men. Their unique challenges include communication across language barriers, gender inequalities arriving from different cultures, and building an adaptable set of activities that can be used in different contexts and especially as participants come and go from the short-term establishments. CAC supports Fútbol Más and now Kabubu to integrate Purposeful Play methodology into their sessions to address these challenges and more intentionally educate and empower using play-based activities.

    Through this work in Paris – and generally with CAC – I have shared and played with humans with stories I will never be able to fully understand, histories that bounced them across borders and oceans in search of safe, welcoming homes. I think about them as I bounce around this world searching for something else, while finding a humbling fulfillment in knowing that people from perhaps the most challenging, conflict-ridden circumstances find joy, safety and identity through CAC games.

  • All-Star team impacts Bangladeshi and Rohingya

    This past month CAC headlined phase two of our Bangladesh initiative as the Official Social Responsibility Partner of the Asian Football Confederation.  Along with professional coaches from the English FA, Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz delivered coaching education and Football Fun Festivals in three locations in Bangladesh, including the Kutapalong Rohingya Refugee camp, home to nearly 1,000,000 individuals including 500,000 children.

    “We are using football to ensure and protect the rights of some of the most vulnerable individuals, children in refugee camps and underserved Bangladeshi children throughout the country.” – Brian Suskiewicz, CAC CEO

    This initiative provides grassroots coaching expertise to both Bangladeshi and Rohingya coaches, aligning with CAC’s new Community Empowerment to Ensure Human Rights Guiding Principles, which were released on World Refugee Day.  In addition to the aforementioned refugee camp, training sites included the town of Cox’s Bazar and the Bangladesh Football Federation House in the capital, Dhaka.

    Along with Alena Moulton, Kevin Coleman, Taff Rahman, and Anwar Uddin, the CAC/English FA team educated 174 coaches who will impact 21,390 children, while also hosting three Football Fun Festivals around the country.  This is the second phase, concluding the first year of the initiative. Further plans will continue the partnership well into 2020.  Other partners include the Jaago Foundation and the UNHCR in Bangladesh.  Of special note, the Jaago Foundation had 50+% female participation during this initiative, which was the first time over 90% of them had played football!

    For further information, please read the project overview from December, 2018 or contact CAC at .