• Global Leaders in Child Protection

    April 3, 2018. Children’s Rights are of paramount importance to Coaches Across Continents.   One of the pillars of our organization is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. But it is one thing to say that the protection of children is important, and another entirely to actively create policies and implement practices which change communities and cultures in the 50+ countries where we operate. But this is exactly what we are doing. Over 10,400 coaches have signed Child Protection policies because of their participation in CAC On-Field programming.  Our partnership work around the world includes addressing and changing some of the most difficult issues pertaining to child rights and protection, including trafficked children, child soldiers, FGM, restrictive and harmful cultural and religious practice, legal corporal punishment in schools, street children, and more.

    Today we are proud to announce the publication of a new document to further progress Child Protection policies and thinking, entitled “Peace and Child Rights.”  This document continues to frame our Child Protection policy creation and community development on two main fronts:

    1. The understanding that Child Protection is not just as an elimination of abuse, but also the creation of what children should experience in a healthy and happy childhood, namely physically and emotionally safe spaces where they are encouraged in their successes and allowed to constructively learn from their failures as they engage in our SDL environment.
    2. That the relationship between a teacher/coach needs to exist and be a healthy one that allows for a mentorship of children from adolescence into adulthood.

    Coaches Across Continents is already implementing these parameters with all our partner programs globally. Before working with CAC, only 18% of local coaches had received child protection training.  Now over 10,400 coaches at 100% of our programs have gone through Child Protection Training.

    This new publication initiative goes hand in hand with our ongoing work with UNICEF, where we are on three working groups including:

    1. Advocacy and communications on policy and practice;
    2. Quality assurance and access to training and support; and
    3. Research, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning and improvement of resources.

    These active workgroups continue to drive global policy in Child Rights and Protection policies, and came about from our work together as a Pioneering Member of UNICEF’s International Safeguards for Children in Sport.

    CAC also uses our curriculum to educate children and coaches about the rights guaranteed by the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.  Since it’s inception in 2015, our Child Rights curriculum has been used at 88% of our On-Field Programs.

    Coaches Across Continents will continue to be the global leader in Child Protection.  We are already working on ways to continue to eliminate all violence against children (sexual, physical, emotional, and verbal abuse) and to create partnerships and communities which focus on Child Rights advocacy, creating safe spaces, and building healthy mentoring relationships.

    #WhatsYourLegacy?

  • Protecting Street Children in Penha (Rio)

    May 29th, 2015.  Penha is a favela in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, located in the north zone.  It is a favela which has tremendous social problems including drug trafficking and seemingly weekly shootings often involving the ever-present police.  We are here with Street Child United which dedicates itself to improving the lives of street children and ensuring that they have access to the same rights as all other children.  You may also recognize them as the hosts of the Street Child World Cup, their flagship event where they bring teams of street children from dozens of countries together to compete every four years.

    However the impact that they have on the street children occurs daily, as they run training sessions with children in Penha.  Our award-winning partnership with Chevrolet FC and their #PlayItForward campaign has allowed our two groups to work together for the past two weeks, collaborating as we implement a training plan that highlights specific aspects of our curriculum – most notably Child Rights and Conflict Resolution.  It is easy to state that children should have certain rights, such as the right to education, the right to safe sport, and the right to a protected home – but if adults are not fighting to ensure those rights, how could they be ensured?

    Our curriculum specifically teaches both coaches and children about the rights afforded them under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Most important is that they are fun, extremely soccer-specific, and create a safe space for children to learn while they are playing (UN Child Right #31).  Street Child United will take our curriculum and implement it into their training to ensure that their goal to create a world in which street children are protected, supported and given opportunities to realize their potential is reached.

    Also joining the training this week were coaches from Favella Street and PlayLife, and our staff was joined by Camila, a Community Impact Coach from our São Paulo partner ACER.  These coaches (all women) and girls who participated in training made this one of the most gender-balanced training sessions CAC have had.  These powerful female role models are helping to ensure the rights of young boys and girls in Brazil and through Street Child, around the world.

    DSC02522

    The coaches of Street Child United, Favella Street, and CAC

    We enjoyed a weekend beach training session on the Copacabana!

    We enjoyed a weekend beach training session on the Copacabana!

  • #PlayItForward in Bangkok

    April 25, 2015.  (For the Field Launch – Part 1, click here).  Our award-winning partnership with Chevrolet FC continues in 2015 under the banner #PlayItForward.  After successful sport for social impact trainings last year in Indonesia, the United States, and South Africa, the first program of 2015 finds ourselves in Bangkok, Thailand, working with local community implementing partner World Vision.  One major element of our partnership with Chevrolet FC is to create sustainable impact which will allow local coaches, teachers, and leaders to use sport to educate about local issues.  This is key so that the beautiful facilities that Chevrolet FC are creating can be used as a venue for community development on a consistent basis in each community and country.

    Three CAC senior staff members (Nick, Sophie, and Brian) embraced the opportunity to work with coaches, teachers, and social workers invited by World Vision this past week.  For four long and extremely hot days we were able to work on many topics focused on Child Rights.  Trafficking is a serious problem in Thailand and Southeast Asia in many forms.  Children are trafficked for sex, slavery, to become beggars, organ trafficking, and manual labor.  Many of the games we taught this week came from our Child Rights module which we have developed over the past year based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  More importantly than our Child Rights training were the steps that the coaches took in being able to create their own games to address this issue.  By the end of the week, coaches were easily adapting games, with a few creating their own fun soccer-based games that can be used in their schools.

    The best thing about working with CAC is that the training showed us that you can solve all the problems in each country such as gender inequality, violations against child rights or alcohol and drug abuse. For example, teachers can use games to show children how alcohol abuse is not good, instead of only talking to them.

    – Prakit Lelaviwat, World Vision National Office and CAC course participant

    The work and progress made in Thailand, supported through the investment from Chevrolet FC, will have lasting and sustainable impact.  The new field built at the Bang Bua School can act as a hub for children to learn through play, from the coaches, teachers, and social workers who have learned from the CAC curriculum and methodology.

    DSC00092

    It was a great – but very hot – week in Thailand!

    DSC00112

    Great week with CAC and World Vision

    DSCN0633

    “Oooh! Butterflies!”