Join Us as a Global Citizen in 2017!
Join us as a Global Citizen! 2017 has kicked off to a great start with Coaches Across Continents. We have already ran successful programs in Haiti and Mexico and are now heading south to Peru before spreading out into South America, Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
The work we do at CAC finds us partnered with local NGO’s and community organizations all over the world. Through our year-round support, we help these organizations use sport to create spaces where playing games and being on-field translates into learning about relevant issues in communities. Whether these issues are Gender Rights, Child Rights, Conflict Prevention, Problem Solving, Environmental protection or anything more locally specific, the CAC methodology is built around asking questions, not giving answers.
Aside from our multitude of online resources, CAC runs annual on-field programs with these partners, which is where you come in! We want people interested in the world we share. We want them to learn from and work with organizations on one of the 6 non-arctic continents. The sooner we receive your application the more flexibility we have in scheduling! Apply Now!
Since you’ve read this far, it is clear that you should apply. To do so, just click here and send your application to . We welcome any questions you have and are here to help anyway we can throughout the process. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Join Us As A Global Citizen
November 7th 2016. Being a Global Citizen with Coaches Across Continents is more than just volunteering your time and energy and then returning to the same part of the world you had known before.
To be a Global Citizen means giving your time while also being someone engaged in a broader vision of the world. These people are able to question their own perspectives and at the same time value the diversity and breadth of perspectives all across the world. To appreciate the work of CAC is to be passionate and curious about people and communities in all corners and communities around the globe.
Click the links. Do some research. Work as a citizen of the globe!
The Power of Futbol
September 15th 2016. CAC volunteer Alicia Calcagni writes about our work with Uni Papua in Tamika, Indonesia.
As we drive through a village half a mile long at 11:30 am with our windows rolled down, we watch soldiers of two tribes sharpen their arrows and knives, preparing for battle at noon. It is lightly raining and puddles have started to form on both sides of the bumpy dirt road. We are informed that it is their designated lunch break, we missed combat by a mere 30 minutes. Their battle is one of many in a continuous war — maybe over a killed pig, a woman, a dirty look… It doesn’t take much. When there is a conflict, death follows. Soldiers include men, women, and children. Entering the “red zone” we pass one woman who is walking with her two little ones while gripping two sharpened knives in one hand. We continue driving past groups of men casually hanging out on their porches, drinking some water simultaneously guarding their bows, which are as tall as their bodies. Our driver then tells us we must say “Amola! (Hello)!” to everyone we pass in the village to state our presence, or else we will be attacked. Quote, “If you do not say hi, they will attack.” Feeling their intense glare burn through my skin, I start shyly waving my right hand out of the window. Doing anything and everything to avoid eye contact. The battlefield is in the middle of the village, between the two tribes: Kwangju Lana and Kuala Kencan. It is a small open dirt patch with, I kid you not, a church in the middle. The daily battles must end in a draw. If three from one tribe are killed, three from the other must be killed as well. So while lives are lost, a conclusion does not grow any closer. In the middle of this madness there is a soccer pitch. It sits right on the dividing line of the villages. The two tribes have named it a “safe zone.” For however long, enemies come together to play a futbol match with no bows and no knives. How much strength does a soccer ball truly posses? Just enough to create peace. This is the true power of futbol.
I am proud to be a teacher of the game that brings various communities together. I am confident in coaching soccer for social change and making our world a better place.
What Is CAC?
May 11th 2016. CAC’s long serving volunteer CJ Fritz wrote about his full experience with the organization on 4 continents!
Full disclosure, what you are reading is my sixth draft of this blog. After seven incredible months of working with CAC, when our program in Diadema ended, so did my volunteer trip with this incredible organization.
I asked a few weeks ago to reserve the chance to write this blog because it would be my last. I thought it would be a breeze, a little heartfelt note to CAC that would take no less than an hour to write.
Now after trying 6 times and spending far too long staring at a blank document, I realize how difficult describing CAC is. CAC is ever shifting and adapting, so getting a line on it and pinning it down would be near impossible.
Seven months ago, I was nervous — terrified, really — about what I had gotten myself into. I arrived in Indonesia in late August for my first program not knowing what was coming and seriously doubting every decision I had made in choosing to take such a crazy journey.
Now, in early April, I’m nervous –terrified, really — that nothing can possibly live up to working with CAC.
So what is this organization that had such an enormous impact on me? What is CAC? There is no one answer:
CAC is sleeping on plastic mattresses on the floor of a building with no running water and more power outages than chickens in the yard.
CAC is having one of only two women in a program give you hope for change when she speaks up in front of 60 men about respecting women.
CAC is having to leave a country before you realized that you had really arrived, on to the next program. It is rickety buses, fantastic stories, questionable bedspreads, big breakthroughs, optimism and definitely some disagreements.
CAC is coming to a community and asking what problems the participants want to solve instead of telling them what to solve.
CAC is the process of giving useful tools and then getting out of the way: letting a community use all or none of what we present and trying not to impose.
It is confronting huge issues head-on, long travel days (understatement), celebrating the little wins and bonding with inspiring people around the world.
Without CAC, I never would have experienced the pure energy Haitian Initiative coaches could introduce to a training session, or the complexity into which the Inder coaches in Medellin would delve into the issue of child abuse, or the bright smiles and positivity we would see from coaches in Iringa, Tanzania.
Most importantly to me, CAC is a chance, an opportunity. It is an opportunity to work toward something great with like minded people. It is the chance to challenge your own beliefs and to question everything.
2016 Volunteer Application Released
September 7, 2015. Coaches Across Continents has just released our 2016 Volunteer Application. By applying you have a chance to volunteer using sport for social impact in developing communities, and to travel the world in a life-changing experience! It’s simple:
That’s it! Once received, we will set up a Skype interview with a CAC senior staff member, and you can begin planning your trip. Volunteer opportunities are limited and given on a first-come, first-serve basis. You are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as you know you are interested, in fact we already have some summer 2016 commitments!
Self-Directed Surfing and Learning in Lima
October 22, 2014. Volunteer coach, Billy Hawkey, writes about his first week on-field with CAC in Lima, Peru.
This past week I began my journey with CAC in Lima, Peru, eager to see how this world operates, and how futbol can be used for social impact. On the Sunday before the program began Nora, Tomas, Mauro, and myself met with the coordinator at UNICEF, Seppe Verbist, over a delicious lunch at a local Peruvian restaurant where I tried my first chicha morado, leche de tigre, and enjoyed multiple family style platters of fried fish, sweet potatoes, ceviche, and more. Business talk was limited during the meal, but with the nature of our work being such an integral part of our lives, and with a Serie A game playing in the background, it was only natural that some of the discussion surrounded futbol for social impact, sport for development, and the manner in which CAC aims to convey their social messages and develop leaders into self-directed learners so they can breed future generations of intuitive, progressive thinkers in their respective communities. Hearing all this was exciting, but as I have heard many times until that point, I needed to see it, and be a part of it to fully understand how CAC works. We met back at the UNICEF office following lunch to discuss the plan for the week, and what both sides of the partnership were hoping to achieve.
On Monday, Nora, Tomas, Mauro, Seppe and I were driven to San Juan de Lurigancho, a district of Lima located about 45 minutes north of our hostel where we would hold the trainings for the week. We were stationed in a massive park with tons of courts, fields, a boxing gym, swimming pool, and a BMX track. On the drive in I got my first glimpse of a more realisitc side of Lima. We are staying in Mira Flores, a fairly wealthy and touristy area of Lima, sheltered away from the disproportionate distribution of wealth that looms over this region making it one the most unequal cities in the world in terms of socioeconomic status. I observed mountainsides packed with small houses, stacked one on top of another, that looked as if they were constructed out of the earth. I learned that very few of these homes have running water or electricity, and those that did were not receiving those luxuries on a consistent basis.
When we arrived at the park we met the program participants for the first time. The group had representation from ten different groups, spanning from Lima to the Amazon. We were very grateful to have representation from implementing partner CARD-PSB, a USAID funded NGO located in the Amazon. There were futbol coaches, basketball coaches, volleyball, boxing, and a chess teacher. There were professors and representatives from the Olympic Committee. It was a diverse group, and overall fairly futbol oriented, but we enjoyed discussing and having volunteers demonstrate adaptions to the games we played to fit their respective sports. Throughout the course of the week the message was stressed that as a coach, you also can perform the role as an educator. What I am learning is that CAC uses the field as a place to learn not only about futbol, but about life, and the coaches have the power to educate their children about much more than the game . We covered a wide range of topics throughout the week inlcuding gender equity and female empowerment, violence, sexual health and good decision making, conflict resolution, communication, teamwork and child protection. After each game, and sometimes before and during, a discussion was held in which the participants had the liberty to say what messages they took away from the game. The messages derived from the games were unique for each person which made it extremely important to create a safe space for discussion where all voices could be heard. As the week progressed, everyone was seeing more and more the parallels between the actual games and the greater social impact that they have.
One game in particular that was very successful with this group was Child Rights: Right to Education a game focused around the power and importance of education. The format of the game was simple. Two teams played a regular game of futbol to goals. When a team scored a goal, they were granted the oppurtunity to construct a smaller goal anywhere along the outside of the field that they could score on. Each team could set up a total of four smaller goals around the field, resulting in a total of five goals to score on. Only after all four additional goals were set up could the teams begin to count their points. Before the game began we asked the participants what each goal would represent with regards to education. They said that each additional goal would represent a new level of schooling: initial, primary school, secondary school, and universities. The game was fun and dynamic, and lots of goals were scored. In our discussion following the game we asked the participants how this relates to life. They said that with greater levels of education, the more oppurtinuties you have in life. When each team was limited to only one goal, it was much harder to succeed on the field; similarly with only a very low level of education, or with no education at all, your oppurtunities are limitied. It was pointed out that for some children, school is not an option for a variety of reasons. However, what arose from the discussion was that as coaches, we can educate children on the field. We can motivate children to stay in school and help open their eyes to the value of an education.
By the end of the week myself and the participants grasped what it means to coach sport to have social impact. I believe also that they and I learned a great deal about what it means to be a self-directed learner. The participants heard many times throughout the course of the week “resolver sus problemas”, “solve your problems.” The participants did not need the CAC coaches to hold their hand and show them the answer. It was up to them to find the solution on their own or as a team. Children do not need coaches or teachers to spell out every little detail for them and simply asking for the answer is taking the easy way out. By providing individuals with the freedom to explore all options, and to come to the solution on a path that they devise themselves, they are learning so much more than being told a finite solution. This approach challenges people to solve their problems on their own, taking personal acountablilty and learning through their actions, experiences and listening to others. It was clear that many of the coaches embodied this style of leading by the end of the week when they coached games on their own as part of our Coach-Back process.
It was a fantastic week and the group was extremely appreciative of our work and similarly we were extremely thankful of their great energy, passion, and desire to learn. They will now take the lessons they learned and the games we played to their respective courts, fields, and communities to educate and lead Peru’s youth.
Side note: On our day off I went surfing for the first time. Lima, and Peru in general, is home to a rich tradition and culture of surfing so I figured it was about time I gave it a go! No lesson, just put on my wetsuit, grabbed the board and dove in. I guess you could say it was self-directed surfing.