• 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.

    P1110652

    P1110595

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

  • Corporate Social Responsibility Partnership, Tanzania

    photo-1February 26, 2014. It was Monday 17th of Feb 2014. I arrived at Benjamin Mkapa Secondary School and all the teachers asked me where is Brian Mingle Mingle? It is simple question to me, I answered that I am Impact coach from Tanzania country and CAC decided to choose me to represent in running this program and they believe one another teachers from your group will also be Impact coach.

    After few minutes of introduction why Tanzania got the opportunity to run this program for refresh day from the Group of Champions from Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania (SCB), Juanita Mramba represented SCB to open the refresh days in Dar [es Salaam]. She addressed more than 50 teachers, 10 champions from SCB and 7 coaches from Tanzania Football Federation who coach children in different clubs in Dar. They said SCB had their goal to reach 15,000 children at the end of this year. So the teachers are responsible to implement this knowledge back to their school.

    DSC_0592

    I started our program by giving the chance to the teachers to review the games they learned last year. They remembered the games although they forget what we learned through those games. I am the one who tried to explain each game and how to connect what we learn to our daily life and address that CAC are using their curriculum to change the life of children through soccer. And I also explained that we are using females as the role models in order to empower females in our country. After two days in Dar, on the last day, CEO (Liz  Lloyd) from SCB came to see what is going on and participated in playing Mingle Mingle (see photo). At the closed celebration few champions, teachers and me, we got gifts for hard work during the training.

    I then went to Arusha to meet with 36 teachers. It was fantastic session because when I arrived in Arusha School, I saw the teachers had revised all the games themselves and explained what we learned in each game. Arusha is the best for the teachers to run this program. They are ready to run this program.

    When I was leaving Arusha at airport it happened one problem with Airport Official who wanted to know why our balls travel with air. So it took time to explain the types of balls [One World Futbols] but then they agree to carry my bag in the flight.

    Last I finished with 46 teachers in Mwanza, which also is very fun to me to run this program alone as Impact coach. I thank CAC and SCB to trust me as a Tanzania citizen to run this program on behalf of Coaches Across Continents.

    DSC_0335

    Community Impact Coach, Nico Pota, who was part of our very first program in Kigoma, Tanzania in 2008, has been instrumental in every program we have run in the country during the last 6 years. Over the course of this week Nico ran refresher courses in three locations on behalf of SCB Tanzania and CAC. Sustainability in action. CSR in action. A beautiful partnership and an incredible role model and member of the CAC family. Thank you Nico!

  • 2013: Off the Field

    423806_468199913262760_1689631232_nJanuary 1st 2014. Happy New Year! Coaches Across Continents have had an incredible 2013 both with the programs all over the world and with the development of the organisation to ensure the quality and consistency of the work that is done. Across the board CAC have worked in more countries with more community partners, coached more local coaches and reached more children through the program. This operational growth is not possible without constant work behind the scenes to ensure that CAC adapts and improves to solidify its spot as global leaders in sport for social impact.

    Coaches Across Continents is based on collaborative partnerships which are used to ensure the greatest impact for the communities in which we work. From on field partnerships with all 51 of our community partners to off field partnerships which strengthen the organisation they are integral to our success. In 2013 we continued to develop our partnership with One World Futbol, the maker of the virtually indestructible ball. These sustainable balls are now being used at most of our programs with many of our community partners gaining access to the ball. Our network of NGO’s benefits One World Futbol and the balls add great value to our program. We filmed a program in Brazil for One World Futbol/ Chevrolet and ESPN which resulted in some inspiring footage for all parties involved.IMG_6936

    Our work with Standard Chartered bank led to many incredible programs in 2013 in Ghana, Tanzania and Indonesia highlighting the potential for successful non-profit and corporate partnerships. The Standard Chartered/ Women Win/ Coaches Across Continents GOAL female empowerment program also succeeded by reaching thousands more young people. CAC also demonstrated our ability to engage employees by running training for a large number of Standard Chartered employees in Indonesia. We have worked closely with other partners such as XL Soccer, and Harvard University in 2013 while our membership within the Street Football World and Beyond Sport networks continue to be invaluable.

    CAC have also had a strong presence off the field at global conferences and workshops which highlight the importance of sport and its ability to positively impact communities. In April we attended the Soccerex event in Manchester, UK. Combining with OWF we had a booth and were able to generate exposure and meet with many influential people in the world of sport. This was followed by Nick Gates, the founder of CAC, speaking at a Soccerex convention in Brazil in June. In September CAC participated in the Street Football World North America workshop in Philadelphia. This involved high level meetings focused on strategic direction, monitoring and evaluation and human resource. Following this workshop Nick spoke at the Beyond Soccer and Beyond Sport events in Philadelphia.

    93c5e16fae671c1a3bd9f0d655da3cf3e1519f9dThis meant that CAC were represented on panels concerning monitoring the success of the program and curriculum development demonstrating the high regard with which CAC is held in the sport for social impact community. Throughout the year CAC has been recognised in the field with requests to both speak and to attend events such as the Doha Goals Forum in December and the Social Venture Network convention in Baltimore. As sport for social impact grows it is clear that CAC has been recognised as a global leader in terms of programming, strategic growth, evaluation and curriculum. This standing in the community has already continued into 2014 with Nick scheduled to speak at a conference in India in February.

    The on-field growth over 5 years has precipitated a development and growth in the organisation off the field. There are now more staff to run and develop CAC with more needed in 2014 to continue the previous years successes. Our coach advisory board constantly work to develop our curriculum to be at the forefront of international issues such as child protection and women’s rights. While the business advisory board are key in allowing these programs to run smoothly through their improvement of organisational policies and practices. Our award winning WISER monitoring and evaluation system is regularly tested and adapted to stay ahead of the curve.999186_499738880108863_715460694_n

    We understand the importance of an innovative and relevant organisation and therefore have been undergoing an in depth brand refresh process with the help of the Taiji brand group. In the coming weeks and months this process will be finalised with positive implications for Coaches Across Continents, our community partners and participants. Moving into 2014 CAC will be growing, having impact and having fun with our proven concept of using soccer to create social change in communities across the world.

  • GOAL Rocks the Rock City

    July 26, 2013.  The GOAL Tanzania program finished its three-city training tour here in Mwanza, Tanzania.  Mwanza is also known as the Rock City for the boulders that surround the landscape and also punctuate the surface of adjacent Lake Victoria.  In this smaller up-country city, 43 teachers and Standard Chartered employees turned out at Kirumba Stadium to undergo three intensive days of GOAL training.  The teachers represented 33 schools which house over 28,000 students.  The teachers are now prepared to pass along the lessons learned in the GOAL curriculum to their students.

    IMG_4921The GOAL curriculum, championed by Standard Chartered, brings important life lessons onto the soccer field.  Boys and girls will learn lessons in order to Be Healthy, Be Empowered, Be Yourself, and Be Money Savvy all while having fun playing games on the pitch.  During the training the teachers had great fun as well, enjoying playing the games under the bright Tanzanian sun on a great grass field.  In fact, the first day of training was delayed slightly while we waited for the Tanzanian Men’s National Soccer Team to conclude their training in preparation for an upcoming match against Uganda.

    IMG_4989The GOAL program has been sponsored it its first year in Tanzania by Standard Chartered Bank, joining other on field GOAL CAC countries of Ghana, India and Indonesia.  Overall the GOAL Tanzania training educated over 150 teachers, coaches, and Standard Chartered employees who represent 63 different primary and secondary schools.  It is expected that the impact of students taught the GOAL curriculum in the next few months will be in the tens of thousands.  The effects of the GOAL training has also extended to the teachers who have rediscovered their love of sport and the positive energy derived from being healthy.  We can’t wait for them to get started in their schools and pass it on to their students.

    IMG_4811

  • GOAL Tanzania Heads to Arusha

    July 23, 2013.  While most people took the weekend off, Standard Chartered’s GOAL training continued in Arusha, Tanzania.  After a successful training and launch of the program in Dar es Salaam last week, Coach Nico and Coach Brian traveled up country to the tourist town of Arusha.  Although it has a smaller population than the capital, 47 teachers came out which is the same number who attended last week.  The teachers were enthusiastic about their new training, with some traveling up to one hour from the nearby town of Moshi to spend the last four days with us.

    IMG_4643The GOAL program was created by Coaches Across Continents and championed by Standard Chartered as a means to teach children through sport using four main topics: Be Healthy, Be Yourself, Be Empowered, and Be Money Savvy.  The teachers are now prepared to coach these games in their schools and have their students learn outside the classroom as well as inside.

    IMG_4630Besides the normal antics of a CAC training, there was a lot of comaraderie as many coaches bonded with fellow Tanzanian Nico Achimpota, a CAC Community Impact Coach.  At the end of the training the local Sports Officer showed his appreciation by giving coaches Nico and Brian (as well as Standard Chartered manager Beda) our own Maasai Matavuvale (clothes).  The traditional Maasai adumu is a dance which consists of jumping, with recognition going to the person who gets highest.  Coach Brian shows that he still has it as the photo below shows!  The final training site for the Standard Chartered GOAL program will begin in Mwanza on Wednesday.

    Coach Brian gest a quick jump on Nico and Beda

    Coach Brian gets a quick jump on Nico and Beda

  • Setting the Standard in Tanzania

    Dr. Fenera Mkangara and Liz Lloyd officially launch the GOAL program in Tanzania

    Dr. Fenera Mkangara and Standard Chartered CEO Liz Lloyd officially launch the GOAL program in Tanzania

    July 19, 2013.  Yesterday marked the official launch of the GOAL program in Tanzania.  Sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, the launch of GOAL Tanzania was a tremendous spectacle with impressive entertainment and highlighted by the speech from the honorable Dr. Fenera Mkangara, the Tanzanian Minster of Information Youth, Culture, and Sport.  Introduced by Liz Lloyd, the CEO of Standard Chartered Tanzania, Dr. Fenera Mkangara spoke to the hundreds of school children and assembled media about the importance of the GOAL program for Tanzania.  She stressed the importance and need to increase the participation of girls in sport, and that, “sports is a strong linkage and important in raising children and the development of the nation at large and can improve child health and develop their studies.”

    Championed by Standard Chartered, the GOAL program teaches young boys and girls social lessons through football-based games over four main modules: Be Healthy, Be Empowered, Be Yourself, and Be Money Savvy.  Earlier in the week 64 teachers, coaches and Standard Chartered employees from the Dar es Salaam area went through an intensive training program to learn and be able to teach twenty GOAL games.  They will now implement these games with boys and girls in their respective schools who are aged 9-14.  The impact in Dar es Salaam alone is expected to approach 10,000 students.

    A snake performer was part of the festivities during the ceremony

    A snake performer was part of the days festivities!

    The launch moment came after a fun-filled day that included a DJ, dancers, a contortionist, a performer with a 15-foot snake, stilt-walkers, and a short demonstration of one of the GOAL games which included participation by Dr. Mkangara, Ms. Lloyd, and Rehema Tunzo the Headmistress of Zanaki Secondary School where the festivities took place.  Shortly thereafter the trio walked down the red carpet to cut a ceremonial ribbon under a shower of confetti to mark this monumental moment.  Make sure to check out our facebook page to see albums from both the Launch Day and the Teachers Training.

    The CAC team of Brian Suskiewicz and Tanzanian Community Impact Coach Nicolaus Achimpota now head to Arusha and Mwanza to train even more teachers in this valuable program.

    Teachers and coaches pose alongside the guests of honor with their certificates.

    Teachers and coaches pose alongside the guests of honor with their certificates.