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.
2018 Global Citizen Application Released!
September 6th 2017. We are delighted to officially release our 2018 Global Citizen Application Form! Now you can apply to be a 2018 Global Citizen and join Coaches Across Continents as we continue to travel the world, working in communities with partners from 6 different continents, while using sport for social impact.
Here are some highlights from our 2017 Global Citizens:
“The work of CAC is powerful – both in the vision and execution. I am very proud of the time I spent volunteering and of the valuable things I learned. I have the utmost respect for those working in social impact. Thank you for letting me be a small piece of the team for a few weeks – I hope to be involved again soon!”
- Nicole Slevin, South Africa & Zimbabwe Team
“I will never forget the moment when a prince said, ‘Now, you are one of us. Don’t be afraid of exploring our village. You are one of us, and we will take care of you.’
The capacity of their love is so big that I want to have them around me all the time. I now have a Malawian family in Chituka village. Hoping to come back to this beautiful place some day, I said goodbye to the warm heart for now.”
- JK Cho, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya Team
“I will miss the people – how they are the real life “energizer bunnies,” never getting tired, always ready for the next task, how they fed me food until I couldn’t possibly take another bite and then proceeded to look at me as if I barely ate anything, and how they welcomed me into their home and country with open arms. I am leaving Uganda with opened eyes, a full stomach, and a happy heart. All I have left to say is: “Webale Nnyo” (Thank you very much)!”
- Kimaya Cole, Uganda Team
Create your own Global Citizen Legacy.
Write your own stories.
Join us in 2018!
Webale Nnyo, Kampala!
June 30th 2017. CAC Global Citizen Kimaya Cole blogged about our partnership with Watoto Wasoka in Kampala, Uganda.
Traveling away from the roosters and fresh fruit in Ndejje, we found our way in the roaring streets of Kampala. Very quickly we learned that once the thick, gray cloud moves overhead and drops a few raindrops, it’s time to run for cover to escape the heavy down pour that will soon be upon us. Fortunately, the storm only lasts about twenty minutes, and despite the newly formed mini mud rivers in the streets, the town resumes their hustle and bustle.
Our partnership with Watoto Wasoka would kick off the first year program in Kampala, Uganda and I was excited and ready to start coaching games on my own. But, I was not prepared for how much of an impact the participants would have on me. While hearing their answers and explanations to one another, I found myself being challenged as well. One woman in particular was very tiny, but her voice was powerful. She was not afraid to stand up for herself and the other few women there, reinforcing that women are just as strong and capable as men. Without even knowing it, she inspired me to have more confidence in my voice and abilities as a woman and encouraged me to take advantage of the opportunities I have as a global citizen to try and make a difference – whether that is in the world or just impacting one person in my community.
I had an amazing, unforgettable time in Uganda as a first time CAC global citizen. Since it was my first time traveling outside of the United States, and especially to a low income economy country, I had no idea what to expect, nothing to compare my experience to. And even after having time to digest my weeks in Uganda, I still cannot fully describe all of my emotions. Besides the periods of no running water and unreliable electricity in our hotel, most importantly, I will miss the people – how they are the real life “energizer bunnies,” never getting tired, always ready for the next task, how they fed me food until I couldn’t possibly take another bite and then proceeded to look at me as if I barely ate anything, and how they welcomed me into their home and country with open arms. I am leaving Uganda with opened eyes, a full stomach, and a happy heart. All I have left to say is: “Webale Nnyo” (Thank you very much)!
When a Participant Breaks his Gender Role in Front of the Whole Group
June 23rd 2017. What’s Not Said Founder Sarah Sedlack joined our recent program with Ndejje University in Ndejje, Uganda to deliver additional sessions to some of the group.
Neck deep in a class discussion around male victims of rape and a participant raises his hand to speak.
When it’s his turn, he begins to reveal an incredibly personal story about sexual issues in his own marriage.
“My wife rapes me.” Certain members of the class, both women and men, giggle, some of them in
disbelief. I then address the entire class, “we need to all be respectful and listen quietly. He is trusting us
with something very personal and showing a lot of courage right now.” Then, talking directly to him I say,
“if you feel comfortable, please continue.” He explains that his wife not only ignores him when he
communicates that he doesn’t want to have sex, but laughs at him and proceeds to mount him anyway.
Here we have a Ugandan man, showing emotion and expressing pain in front of other men and women in
the community. Specifically, this community was a product from our partnerships, with Ndejje University
hosting the event, Coaches Across Continents (CAC) implementing their programs with Mark as the
primary coordinator and coach, and What’s Not Said (WNS) with getting to hop on for a few days and
provide supplementary training. The participants were passionate about playing soccer, coaching it, and promoting
community leadership. Mark and I piggybacked on each other by referencing each other’s skill building
exercises during our respective training sessions. For example, I facilitated discussion around consent and
he created a game to illustrate how understanding is impaired without consent. For the sake of adding
value and meaning to our discussion, this Ugandan man risked social rejection for the remainder of the
training sessions on the field. Showing emotion not only goes against his gender norm as a man
(expressing and communicating feelings and victim-hood in public), but it could be interpreted as a sign of
weakness. I felt honored to witness this level of empowerment. Both as a sex educator of What’s Not Said
and as a person in the world, I see the positive impacts being vulnerable can have in our relationships and
communities, especially as a man in a society where men hold overt, systemic privilege and power.
Showing vulnerability happened both on the field and off the field. Off the field, trainees showed humility
and emotions and on the field trainees enthusiastically participated in games designed for children, which at
times meant acting like a frog and chanting silly sounds in front of everyone. Off the field, the
vulnerability allowed the conversation to organically move in directions I would have only dreamed of
going. For the first time in What’s Not Said history, we were discussing the importance of sexual
negotiation in relationships and marriages and the need for teaching about pleasure in conversations around
consent and sexual assault prevention. And let me remind you, this all happened at a University in Uganda.
I was warned by everyone, from Kenyans to westerners, to be careful and perhaps censor what I talked about, in Uganda. Uganda is known for being a bit more closed when it comes to sexuality, much of these attitudes being based on current laws (for example, homosexuality is illegal). And I have to admit that made me a bit nervous. But through my vulnerability and the vulnerability of our partners, remaining shame free about my work, active listening and keeping the discussions participant-focused, Uganda surprised me for the better.
My name is Sarah Sedlack and I am founder of a culturally adaptive, comprehensive sex education program
called What’s Not Said (www.whatsnotsaid.org). I discovered CAC through networking in Kenya and
immediately developed both a mentoring and professional relationship with the organization. That relationship brought me to a CAC partnership in Uganda, where I facilitated discussions on Ugandan current events and taboo topics with community leaders from all over Uganda. The intentions of the forums were to empower more responsible community leadership, teaching skills in developing self awareness and empathy. These very skills were practiced in sport as part of CAC on-field games and reviews.
This class goes down as one of the most memorable sessions because the participants were willing to explore
openly together, which made it easier for all of us to learn from each other. A 39 year old male participant
reveals what he thought was most meaningful about the forum, “WNS gave us the confidence to be free to
be who we are and create new friendships among other participants.” As for myself, I feel thankful I got
this opportunity to explore Uganda in such an intimate way, both on and off the field. I deeply respect the
conversations shared and look forward to more to come.
Until next time!
Help Celebrate An Unsung CAC Hero
October 31st 2016. If a picture is worth a thousand words then how many words is a video worth? For CAC the value of a video is immeasurable. It is a universal problem for non-profit organizations all over the world- how do you tell the story of your work simply. Without question the best way, without actually taking people directly to our programs, is through video. That is why the importance of CAC resident videographer Kevin O’Donovan can’t be underestimated. Kevin (or OD as he is commonly referred) brings CAC to life through his inspirational vision and ability. Every year OD leaves his regular life for 2 weeks and traipses to whichever far-flung location CAC request his presence. In the past this has meant charter planes in Kenya, 10 hour bus journeys to rural Uganda, bumpy roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and filming in some of the most disadvantaged areas of India and Cambodia. The destination of the CAC films in 2016 has still to be revealed…
Now we are delighted to say that OD has been recognized for his incredible work by the Charity Film Awards who have nominated his film about our ASK for Choice initiative. BUT, we need your help to ensure he is rewarded further! We NEED you to go online and vote for this film to win the award! Click here to vote. With your help we can fully celebrate an unsung hero of CAC’s success.
Watch the nominated video below. For more of OD’s work please go to our videos page.
Today Is Peace Day!
September 21st 2016. Today is Peace Day. This UN recognized day, facilitated by Peace One Day, is a day to promote peace and international cooperation through events and activities. One of the key Peace Day initiatives is One Day One Goal. This initiative uses the power of soccer to unite people, strengthen peace-building efforts and educate about social inclusion. Some of the biggest supporters of One Day One Goal include global sporting ambassadors Gary Lineker, Victor Wanyama and Fabrice Muamba. As part of One Day One Goal over the past few years, we provide a Peace Day resource packet to organizations in over 130 countries. This packet helps them play games to teach youth about understanding forms of violence and avoiding stereotypes. To see a recent example of the reconciliatory nature of the CAC curriculum and sport check out this recent blog from Indonesia which united two conflicting communities. This topic is especially important in the current global climate of ethnic divisiveness often stoked by fear and paranoia. No matter your medium, promoting peace and social inclusion for Peace Day will send an important message of unity.
Today and over the next week organizations will be running events and activities using sport to promote peace. For example, our partners in DRC Malaika, ran sports sessions, dance events and theater at their community center. Training4ChangeS our partner in South Africa ran problem solving games on Peace Day with key community leaders. In Uganda, Soccer Without Borders Uganda had their children, many of whom are refugees; sing songs; play sport; and make crafts. Naz Goal in India ran events to promote peace between their young people. This is just a small sample of the Peace Day activities- there will be many more over the next few days. If you are running Peace Day 2016 events please send the pictures and stories to and we will promote your inspirational work.
Who will you make peace with this Peace Day?