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?
Olympic Legend Michael Johnson Unveils New Initiative
May 3rd 2016. Olympic legend Michael Johnson recently announced the launch of his Foundation. The Foundation’s initiative, spearheaded by the four-time Olympic gold medal winner, aims to provide young people from around the world with the tools they need to fulfil their potential through sport. By developing an in-depth, sustainable programme focusing on sporting performance, leadership development and community engagement, the Michael Johnson Foundation will give specially selected young people – all of whom come from a diverse range of challenging backgrounds – the confidence, skills and resources to make a positive impact on their futures.
The young leaders once-in-a-lifetime journey will begin with an intensive course at the Michael Johnson Performance Center, Michael’s one-of-a-kind training ground in Dallas, where they will be provided cutting-edge support to enhance their sport performance skills, receive in-depth leadership training and get time and support to develop their ideas about how they can contribute to their communities and make a genuine difference for fellow young people back home. The young leaders will be travelling to Dallas this month from all over the world – Mexico, Nepal, UK, Cambodia, Armenia, Kenya, Uganda, India, Brazil and Tanzania – and were carefully selected not only for their potential to develop sporting talent but their capability to lead and a desire to contribute to their community.
Regarding the desired outcomes for the young people on the programme, Michael said: “It’s not about finding the next Gold Medallist – although if someone has the potential then Michael Johnson Performance will identify and nurture that talent. It is our hope that successful young people from the course will become community leaders, or be the first of their family to go to college, or start their own sports charity or clubs. Success here means that every single young person who has gone through the course will have the skills and opportunity to achieve a better future.”
Participant Freya Levy from the UK, who overcame muscular dystrophy to represent GB at wheelchair basketball, said; “I feel incredibly honoured to be chosen to be part of the program. To go to an elite top level performance centre and learn from a former Olympic Legend such as Michael Johnson is an incredible opportunity. I’m hoping the lessons I can learn will help me as I continue to pursue accessibility for disabled sport back in the UK. There is so much more I want to do in this area and I am so excited that the Michael Johnson Foundation will help me achieve it.”
Coaches Across Continents is delighted to be a part of this initiative. As a global leader in sport for social impact, the organization was honored to be asked to facilitate the recruitment and selection of qualified young leaders for the project as well as supporting them before, during and after they take part in the course in Dallas. We are pleased to have been able to work with some of our implementing partners and offer this opportunity to their most promising young leaders. The selected young leaders have the capacity to become strong role models in their community and make the most of this life-changing project. We are extremely grateful to Michael Johnson, Beyond Sport and others who are helping these young people reach their full potential.
Thanks to project partner Beyond Sport for the majority of this post.
The Universal Language
April 5th 2016. CAC Community Impact Coach Charles Otieno blogs about his second week On-Field with CAC in Mbarara, Uganda with Mbarara Sports Academy.
It was a four hour bus ride from the capital city of Kampala to Mbarara, a beautiful town located in the west of Uganda. I liked the environment that the Mbarara Sports Academy created there. Being the second town I visited in Uganda, it was another good experience. I met new people and the fun of it was people speaking a different language from what I speak in Kenya, but we had one thing in common, and that was soccer. Soccer plays a vital role and it made the communication easier, as we all know soccer is a universal language.
The turnout of the five-day training was high and fairly well gender balanced. The active coaches were very interested in playing soccer so we got to play some of our more competitive games this week. It took a while for some of the coaches to realize that you can use soccer to teach on how to combat social issues, but it was impressive to see once they did. The highlight of the week was playing ASK for Choice games with female coaches for two days consecutively. The women were really committed. They arrived early in the morning at a different training field and then continued on with the rest of the coaches in the original site for extra hours of CAC games. The majority of the girls were students in college and were studying in different fields so that they can have as many opportunities as men. They believe that women should have equal opportunities as men and through that, the community will grow economically and socially. They want to be more independent, have more freedom to play sport, to education, to employment, to property ownership, and to make personal choices.
The One World Futbols have played a big role in the On-Field sessions. I have been able use them to train and create a learning environment for young men and women. Having soccer balls is one of the challenges communities face and these ultra-durable balls have been the answer because they last longer and can be played in any type of pitch be it grass field, turf field or dusty field. With the One World Futbol’s being all over the world, it tells us how soccer speaks to people in a language they can all understand.
They say “play with the best and be the best”. I take this opportunity to thank CAC for the great opportunity and also the gentlemen that have been my backbone for the two weeks here in Uganda. It has been great working with David Neaverth, Markus Bensch and Charlie Crawford and I’m happy I managed to grasp some On-Field and Off-Field skills from the team.
One Football…. One Game….One Goal…. One language…. One World.
Uganda Is Promising
March 29th 2016. CAC Community Impact Coach Godfrey “Moogy” Mugisha talks about working with CAC at Ndejje University in Uganda.
Our first week in Uganda brought together the Kenyan CAC dream-team of Markus, David, Charlie and Nico Achimpota. After Nico’s first trip to Ndejje as a Community Impact Coach last year he ended up enrolling in the school himself. Because of this, we were able to reunite on his campus and were joined by another CIC, Godfrey “Moogy” Mugisha.
Thinking about this week, Moogy writes, “Today Marked my 7th year working with Coaches Across Continents and 3rd as a Community Impact Coach. I was so pleased with the number of participants and that they showed up each morning on time and with a good attitude towards the whole session. The CAC team woke up early and cracked jokes with each other on the way to the soccer fields, is there really a greater joy?”
Working with over 90 participants is always interesting. Working with over 90 participants organized by a quality University is just a delight. Our coaches were eager and punctual. Probably two of the most appreciated qualities in our line of work. Combine this with one of the best CAC teams and I couldn’t ask for a better start to a new country. Each morning we had a breakfast of champions (rolled up chapatti with an omelet concoction) and a few evenings we had post-dinner board games with our wonderful German family neighbors. Uganda is promising.
Soccer Is More Than A Game
It was a long journey from Nairobi to Kampala. I left Nairobi on Friday at 7.30pm only to arrive in Kampala at 10am the next morning. This was my second time in Kampala, but it was my first time traveling internationally with Coaches Across Continents to teach games to coaches. It was an exciting week in Kampala since it meant meeting coaches who were welcoming and eager to learn. Some of them traveled from far to the training venue, only to be part of the training in a dusty field, under the hot sun. Their commitment and hard work really inspired me. I also got a chance to visit the Kampala based CAC partner organization Soccer Without Borders .The organization works in the Nsambya neighborhood of Kampala. Through soccer and educational programming, SWB creates a space for urban refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, and Somalia to integrate with their Ugandan peers.
As a CAC Community Impact Coach (CIC) I had the opportunity to engage with more than 20 community coaches who are leading incredible organizations and soccer teams making a difference through sport. Being a CAC Community Impact Coach has really influenced my personal journey in life. What I think makes soccer so incredible is its potential to help change the world outside of professional leagues and international tournaments. Also Coaches Across Continents brings out the picture clearly with the games that we learn, adapt and create. CAC helps grow the game by creating a platform for us to be more creative and come up with games that directly impacts our own communities and the rest of the world.
I felt happier when on one of the training days I got a chance to play a game I had created. It was my highlight of the week and I thank Coaches Across Continents for their Online Education Program that has really shaped me as a CIC and the first hand experience I have gained from working alongside many CAC teams. Football has provided me the self discipline, leadership skills and confidence that continue to shape my life on and off the field. I feel fortunate to be a Community Impact Coach in Kampala. With this role I have been able recognize the power of sport to make a difference, and would like to be defined not only by my knowledge, but by my ability to bring out the best in every partner organization I go to. It is our duty to attempt to make the world a better place than it was when we found it. To realize this dream many of us are happy to go through endless hours of traveling and personal sacrifice. I love soccer but the side of the sport that I love most is one in which success isn’t defined by goals or medals, but instead by community impact and social change.
CAC’s World Celebrates International Women’s Day
March 9th 2016. Yesterday was International Women’s Day. We sent a packet of gender equity games to over 1000 organizations in 90 countries. Here is just a small sample of activities which these incredible organizations ran to celebrate International Women’s Day.
In Uganda, Buwate Youth Sports Academy, played the games with a group of girls in their community. They discussed the types of discrimination women suffer from and the benefits to society of investing in women and girls.
In Indonesia, coaches from our partner Uni Papua ran a session with both boys and girls and focused on the integration of girls into all sporting activities as a way to show society that women can do everything men can.
In Kenya, CAC staff joined an International Women’s Day parade and played games from our new ASK for Choice female empowerment curriculum which brings gender policy to life all over the world with a community partner.
In Pakistan, Muslim Hands Mirpur and Mirpur University of Science and Technology organized a seminar within the campus which was attended by a huge number of female students. They also ran a session using our Overcoming Discrimination game with students at a blind school. Incredibly, 2 of the female participants biked 135KM to attend the seminar!
In Brazil, CAC staff, alongside our partner Futebol Social, played ASK for Choice games. They discussed practical solutions for equality and finished with the men cheering on the women during an all-female game.
In Nepal, our partner Childreach Nepal played ASK for Choice games at a local school to encourage girls to have a voice when they are wronged.
In the USA, The Sanneh Foundation encouraged girls to come down to their Conway Community Center to get assistance on their school work and play sports.
In India, Foot and Boot delivered sessions which highlighted and discussed the safe spaces for women and women’s rights. They finished by talking about how investing in women leads to a better all round future.
In Haiti, CAC recently ran ASK for Choice games with a group of young women as part of our partnership with GOALS Haiti.
In Singapore, SportCares’ tennis coaches put education into action using themes like gender equality and safe spaces for girls who attended their sessions.
We want to say well done and thank you to everyone who ran events on and around International Women’s Day. Your commitment and efforts are creating choices and opportunities for women and girls in your community.
The fight goes on with increased exposure and knowledge…