• Child Rights, Child Protection – #ItStartsWithYou.

    November 2nd, 2018. Coaches Across Continents ASK for Choice Advisory Team Member, Dr. Judith Gates writes on her work with CAC and UNICEF for Universal Children’s Day on November 20th, as well as our ongoing partnership for Child Rights and Child Protection around the world.

    Coaches Across Continents works around the globe. According to our latest count, we have worked in 55 countries on 6 continents. Our unique footprint of deep involvement in local communities gives us an unprecedented perception of the level and scope of the abuse of child rights around the world. This leads to our clear, unvarnished recognition of the urgent need internationally for child protection policies and actions.

    Within communities and within sporting environments we have heard and seen so many examples of child abuse. We have learned that wider traditional community norms invariably influence behaviour on the sports field.

    At national federation level a gymnastics doctor was convicted of sexual assault of more than 100 girls. English professional football has been inundated by a wave of allegations of sex abuse.

    However the victims are now beginning to speak out. A highly respected Coaches Across Continents team member was a victim of sexual abuse by her coach during her teens. And the abuse is not just happening at the international, national, professional or ‘elite athlete’ level in sport. It is happening in local communities around the world, large and small; local communities where sport is played for fun, local communities who use sport for social development.

    A girl child in rural Tanzania is sold for sex. The payment is a bag of rice. A coach touches a team member inappropriately. He relies on his power to buy silence. Boy children attend a madrassa and are coerced into taking part in oral sex. And, horrific though sexual abuse is, physical, verbal and emotional abuse also leave a lasting negative impression on the hearts and minds of young people globally. We at CAC see it all.

    That is why, several years ago, CAC responded promptly to an invitation from UNICEF to work with them to create a set of International Safeguards for Children in Sport. We ask you to download this for help in creating your own child protection policy. https://www.sportanddev.org/en/learn-more/child-protection-and-safeguarding-sport

    CAC continues to contribute in many ways to the development of child protection policies, locally as well as internationally, on the sports field and within the community. We support our partners to create community based as well as sports based policies to protect their children. We all share the collective responsibility to protect children from abuse. You as well as us.

    Therefore we ask all our partners to join with us to safeguard children. 

    Together we can make a difference.

    Remember #ItStartsWithYou.

     

  • 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?

  • Peace in the DRC

    August 4th 2014. CAC volunteer Jamie Wheaton blogs from Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.

    My team was welcomed with open arms as we crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The administrators of the Georges Malaika Foundation smoothed our transition across the border, which would have been difficult considering none of our team spoke any French, the official language of Congo. Over the next few weeks I would pick up some key phrases, most of which won’t help me if I have to speak French anywhere other than a soccer field. As we walked into our hotel, Sarah, the manager at the Kalebuka Football for Hope Center, gave us details for the week ahead of us. She, and the rest of the GMF team, were some of the most organized people I’ve worked with. They had every minute of our stay planned, even adjusting to unexpected surprises, like a trip to a neighboring farm or a detour so my peer could braid her hair (a decision we all regret). I was truly impressed by the coordination of the foundation all week.

    This week had a different tone for me than any of the previous ones. For a start, there were over 65 people there, more than twice the amount I had worked with previously. While it was encouraging that Coaches Across Continents was reaching this many people, it made it harder to connect to the coaches on a personal level (the language barrier didn’t help either). While some characters stood out (a man who insisted on being called “Strong Man” is one) overall I didn’t feel as personally connected to some of the coaches who worked in the morning.

    The afternoons were a different story: working with a small group of around 15 people we worked with the GMF employees to address specific problems in the society. Even though everything took twice as a long with a translator, we were still able to help them come up with possible solutions for child abuse, and child rights. The passion displayed in that room for the children in their community was very moving.

    One thing that was unique about the program in Lubumbashi was that we tested out Peace Day games. International Peace day is scheduled for September 21st, and Coaches Across Continents will be supporting the cause by providing Peace Day games to communities in over 130 countries! Lubumbashi was our guinea pig for these games, and they were a big success. What to Do When Faced With a Problem and Understanding Violence were big crowd pleasers. Peace Day is  a UN sponsored international holiday, and will be celebrated all around the world. Whats more, this year DRC will be the main focus country for Peace Day with many events promoting non-violence.

    Overall, the GMF foundation impressed me with the care and commitment they’ve shown to promoting child’s rights. There dedication to the children in their area was incredible, and made my experience in Lubumbashi one of the most memorable of my whole trip.

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  • Suskiewicz Speaks in India

    IMG_9067February 11, 2014.  Chief Executive Strategist Brian Suskiewicz spoke yesterday at the Next Step 2014 Conference, hosted by Magic Bus in New Delhi, India.  The plenary was titled Sport for Development – Focusing on Youth Development.  Brian brought a practical aspect to the conference, focusing on developing self-directed learners through the implementation of CAC’s award-winning-Hat Trick Initiative.  Joining him on the plenary were Matthew Spacie (Founder and Executive Chairman, Magic Bus), Stephen Flemming (Chief Executive, Kick4Life), Avinash Vashistha (Chairman and Managing Director, Accenture), Ranjan Choudhary (Principle Program Development, NSDC), and Ravi Pratap Singh (Regional Director – South Asia, Aide et Action International).  The moderator for this esteemed panel was Dr. Deepa Narayan, who has been named one of the most 100 influential global thinkers by the US based Foreign Policy magazine as well as one of one hundred disruptive heroes by Hacking Work in 2013.

    The Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group (SDP IWG) Secretariat, hosted by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), nominated Magic Bus to host the Next Step 2014 Conference. Next Step Conference is an international event that brings together a range of stakeholders who can promote the global Sport for Development agenda. Previous Next Step Conferences have been held in Holland, Zambia, Namibia, and Trinidad & Tobago and have led to a growth of the sector in the region they have been held in. This one, the fifth in the series, will be situated strategically in India to promote this concept in the Asia region.

    CAC meeting up with our partner, One World Futbol

    CAC meeting up with our partner, One World Futbol

    The Next Step 2014 Conference is planned as a forum for exchanges of ideas and concrete ways in which to make effective Sport for Development programmes. It will provide a platform that can bring together the perspectives of sports for development that stretch beyond the sports field. The 5-day conference will further advance global partnerships for development.

    The emphasis will be on creating a web of linkages to foster the Sport for Development space and enable practitioners, academicians, donor agencies and Corporate Houses to learn about and implement effective Sport for Development programmes.

    You can follow the conference online through a live stream provided by www.sportanddev.org.

  • Sport is a powerful educational tool: Experts

    February 10th, 2011 from www.qatarqlick.com

    Apart from being a source of entertainment and physical fitness, sport is a powerful social and educational tool in achieving goals on development and peace, according to an expert panel yesterday. They were speaking during a forum on ‘Sport as an Incentive’ sponsored by Qatar Foundation at the Aspire4Sport conference and expo which concluded yesterday. “Through sport, we can educate children on leadership, foster role models, promote peace and give children hope for the future,” said Wilfried Lemke, United Nations Special Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace, whose job is find ways on how to use sport to help achieve Millennium Development Goals. Lemke also underscored the important role sport plays in promoting tolerance, understanding and gender parity among people. “When players are in the pitch, they forget their differences such as colour or religion; they just play and have fun. They learn values that make them better human beings.”

    However, Lemke said encouraging governments to launch projects on sport still remains a big challenge as governments say they have other priorities.

    “Majority of governments say sport is not their priority and that they have other major concerns such as health and education,” said Lemke, adding since science and education are being prioritised in all parts of the world today, integrating sport in education is vital.

    “In order to convince governments, we need to prove sport works,” said Tom Pitchon of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Pitchon manages 32 of the 78 projects of the foundation across five continents.

    He cited studies which say that sport can impact a country’s economy and tackle challenges on crime and health among others, adding these evidences can be used as a basis for policies vital in promoting sport.

    Nick Gates of Coaches Across Continents, a not-for-profit development programme that uses soccer as a vehicle for social change, said there was a considerable decline in teenage pregnancy and domestic violence in areas where they have conducted the programmes. Coaches Across Continents has been utilising unique and innovative approaches to teaching soccer to various communities in developing countries mostly in Africa.

    Gates said they make sure that they teach soccer in a fun way as it creates a long-term positive impact on children.

    The panellists which also included Sayyid Khalid bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Bousaidi, President of Oman Football Association and Nathan Tomassini, Executive Director of Center for Sport Leadership at the Virginia Commonwealth University also discussed translating policies into action and making sport initiatives sustainable through multi-partnerships.

    They also shared various sports projects that have proved successful around the world