Empowering Child Rights in Nairobi
July 17, 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.
Fun fact #1: Beyond Hoops are a Sport for Development organisation based in Nairobi, Kenya, however they started out in Vancouver, Canada!
This was a great first year programme with there being many highlights – from the crazy dances we learned together to the thought-provoking conversations. We emphasised a focus on Child’s Rights and building self-esteem and confidence in children, particularly young women and girls. The group learned how to use Purposeful Play to discuss these topics and were very appreciative even after the first day. A real highlight for us was just how engaged and involved the participants wanted to be – they were open and honest that they were sceptical at first about how we could use play and physical activities, to address such important issues – but they kept an open mind and left upskilled and with a new sense of enthusiasm, proclaiming that they couldn’t wait to play the games in their own communities.
We also delivered a very worthwhile session using the Coaches Across Continents ‘Child Protection Guidelines’. Half of the room were split on should corporal punishment be illegal or not in schools? We therefore facilitated a 50/50 debate on the matter. The coaches mentioned four types of Child abuse – physical, emotional, sexual, and verbal abuse. After a lengthy discussion, some of the coaches who thought corporal punishment was the right way to discipline a child agreed that there are other ways to communicate to children without using force or methods that may harm them physically and mentally.
Fun Fact #2: CAC is a global leader in Child Protection working with UNICEF as a pioneering member of the International Safeguards for Children in Sport, and publishing last month the Community Empowerment to Ensure Human Rights Guiding Principles.
34 participants joined us throughout the week and will be using our curriculum to impact 1.3K children and young people in Nairobi. #WhatsYourLegacy?
Bus-Bound for Busia
July 15, 2019. Long-time Community Impact Coach Salim Blanden from Mbrara leads a CAC training for the first time.
I jump on a Kenya bound bus, but my final destination is Busia near the Uganda-Kenya borders. On the bus with me is Jamie Craig Tomkinson who I have ran a program with in Jinja with X-SUBA. Very tired from the last program we both slept off immediately once we entered the bus and within just two hours we had reached our destination (Busia).
On the first day in Busia, we thought it was a local market day as we experienced a big crowd but we were told it’s a normal day because Busia is a very over populated area being a business area because of nearing the Uganda-Kenya border.
Jamie and I are both ready to run our programs with YES Busia, one of the organizations that is partnering with CAC to implement Purposeful Play. We are supposed to run separate programs on two fields in Busia; one of the programs on the nearby local field at a primary school to be run by me and another in Masafu village to be run by Jamie. YES Busia is the only organization in Busia that is using sports to reach out to the local community to teach about the most pressing social issues which include on HIV (UNSDG3: Health & Wellness), education (UNSDG4: Quality Education), poverty (UNSDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth), and the environment (UNSDG13: Climate Action). Ongatai Amosias, the leader of YES Busia, is working with young leaders in his office to bring about the positive social change. On the program with me is Mary, Moureen, Flavia and Dorcas who are acting as co-facilitators and also helping on other logistics. Mary and Moureen are helping out in running some games because they have been teaching CAC games in primary schools that work with YES Busia.
First day for me to run such a program on my own is an interesting day for me. There are so many women on the program compared to men, something that is not so common in most communities I have worked with. Most of these are teachers from nearby primary schools and others are locals from the nearby villages.
Being the second year CAC is running programs in Busia, there are some returnees from the last program and they can quickly understand the games, and some teachers have knowledge about the games because Mary and Moureen, the YES facilitators, have been running these games in different primary schools. Dorcas is also one of the facilitators of YES Busia and works with Mary and Moureen to run games in schools. Dorcas is helping out with making sure we have balls, bibs and cones for use at the pitch and takes care of everything but also joins in to play with other participants after to participate. She asks questions and is very confident and in our afternoon meeting, Jamie thinks she can be a potential CIC from YES Busia.
The participants loved the games and wants CAC to come back next year. My highlight was when we played a game about HIV Myths (Ballack Clears HIV Myths). We had a lengthy discussion about HIV after the game to learn about the myths and also teach about HIV and people requested we talk a lot about HIV. My wish to the organization to help mobilise and educate more people about HIV in the villages of Busia.
Coaches Across Continents worked with 156 participants over 5 days, impacting 18,000 children in the Busia district of Uganda.
All-Star team impacts Bangladeshi and Rohingya
This past month CAC headlined phase two of our Bangladesh initiative as the Official Social Responsibility Partner of the Asian Football Confederation. Along with professional coaches from the English FA, Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz delivered coaching education and Football Fun Festivals in three locations in Bangladesh, including the Kutapalong Rohingya Refugee camp, home to nearly 1,000,000 individuals including 500,000 children.
“We are using football to ensure and protect the rights of some of the most vulnerable individuals, children in refugee camps and underserved Bangladeshi children throughout the country.” – Brian Suskiewicz, CAC CEO
This initiative provides grassroots coaching expertise to both Bangladeshi and Rohingya coaches, aligning with CAC’s new Community Empowerment to Ensure Human Rights Guiding Principles, which were released on World Refugee Day. In addition to the aforementioned refugee camp, training sites included the town of Cox’s Bazar and the Bangladesh Football Federation House in the capital, Dhaka.
Along with Alena Moulton, Kevin Coleman, Taff Rahman, and Anwar Uddin, the CAC/English FA team educated 174 coaches who will impact 21,390 children, while also hosting three Football Fun Festivals around the country. This is the second phase, concluding the first year of the initiative. Further plans will continue the partnership well into 2020. Other partners include the Jaago Foundation and the UNHCR in Bangladesh. Of special note, the Jaago Foundation had 50+% female participation during this initiative, which was the first time over 90% of them had played football!
For further information, please read the project overview from December, 2018 or contact CAC at .
CAC Publishes “Community Empowerment to Ensure Human Rights Guiding Principles”
June 20, 2019. On World Refugee Day, Coaches Across Continents is releasing our Community Empowerment to Ensure Human Rights Guiding Principles. CAC’s decade of experience in using Purposeful Play to empower communities to recognize, protect, and ensure all human rights is now bolstered by these guiding principles which will help our partnerships in more than 60 countries.
“Community Empowerment is the idea that a community best understands the individuals within that community, and that the best people to take care of one another are each other.” – Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz
CAC uses Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom in 60+ countries to Empower Communities to Recognize and Ensure Human Rights.
Developed from our decade of experience in communities around the world, as well as strategic partnerships with the UNHCR and UNICEF, these Guiding Principles for Community Empowerment to Ensure Human Rights provide the opportunity for all organizations to learn best practices in both emergency and non-emergency situations.
To help explain the importance of these guidelines, Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz presented on our Virtual Learning podcast this month. Click here to listen.
World Refugee Day is June 20th. A special thanks to these CAC partners who work with refugees and internally displaced persons every day:
- Asian Football Confederation / BFF / UNHCR benefitting Rohingya Refugees, Bangladesh
- ANERA, Lebanon
- Fútbol Más, France
- Fútbol Más, México
- Girl Determined, Myanmar
- Kabubu, France
- Kicken Ohne Grenzen, Austria
- Palestine Sports for Life, Palestine
- Reclaim Childhood, Jordan
- Soccer Without Borders, Uganda and United States
Empowering Leaders Globally
March 22, 2019. CAC has helped to develop and empower 22,000+ community leaders over the past decade. Our investment in creating leaders goes far beyond our On-Field Purposeful Play: Creating Education Outside the Classroom trainings. Professional Development is a key component of our strategy, which is best highlighted through three of our year-round strategic resources: Global Networking, Community Impact Coach Initiative, and Global Leadership Courses. Engaging in our year-round strategic resources is necessary for to be accredited by CAC in Purposeful Play.
Global Networking: Recently we invited five local leaders from CAC’s network from Jordan, Lebanon, and India to join Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz at the EMPOWER Conference in Doha, Qatar. They assisted in delivering two workshops and one On-Field coaching education in Purposeful Play to some of the 650 participants attending the conference from 50 countries. The focus of the conference was the role of youth as agents and catalysts for peace and dialogue for sustainable development. The full CAC team was Chief Exec Brian and SDL Educator Jamie Tomkinson, along with Benny Marcus (Parikrma Foundation, India), Tejas Ramakrishna (Sparky Football, India), Jaspreet Kaur (YFC Rurka Kalan, India), Rose Abou Elias (Arcenciel, Lebanon), and Wala’a Abu Shihab (Reclaim Childhood, Jordan). The team was recognized for their efforts on stage by the EMPOWER Conference at the conclusion of the event. CAC continues to look for professional development opportunities, like this conference, to benefit the most promising leaders in our network.
Global Leadership Courses: CAC currently is an implementing partner with the MJYL Program that just accepted it’s fourth class of leaders. CAC is instrumental in assisting Michael Johnson in selecting promising young leaders from around the world and developing them over the course of the year both at Michael’s high performance training center in Dallas as well as throughout the year through CAC’s 28 year-round strategic resources as they implement their own legacy projects to impact their communities. In fact, one former MJYL, Jamie Tomkinson, recently joined the CAC senior staff full-time based on his growth and development over the past several years. CAC is exploring being able to provide other similar initiatives to give even more opportunities like this one to promising leaders on a continental and global scale.
Community Impact Coach Initiative: Our CIC Initiative is the most widely known strategic resource that CAC offers to promising leaders each year. We provide opportunities for coaches in 25+ countries to join and travel with the CAC staff each year as we deliver Purposeful Play On-Field Education in other communities. This provides for intense professional development and learning, cultural exchange between individuals and communities, and giving our host communities multiple voices and perspectives to implementing Purposeful Play. For many CICs, this is the first time they have flown on an airplane, traveled internationally, or even seen parts of their own countries.
Investment: CAC already invests a great deal in leaders to implement Purposeful Play and impact communities and countries around the world. With a strong corporate or foundation partner – our efforts could be magnified immensely. And for just a small individual donation, you can empower a young leader globally which will benefit the hundreds and thousands of children they work with directly and through their community organization. #WhatsYourLegacy?
#BeAChampionForChildren: Universal Children’s Day
We at Coaches Across Continents applaud all our partners who joined with us, and with UNICEF, to champion the rights of children on the recent Universal Children’s Day (November 20th).
Initially Coaches Across Continents invited partners to begin creating a Child Protection Policy unique to their community. Over 100 partner groups responded.
Together we raised global awareness of the need to safeguard children in 105+ countries on 6 continents.
Partners were asked to identify the form of child abuse they most wanted to change within their community. Physical, emotional, sexual and verbal abuse were identified and next steps considered.
Key issues emerged. These recognised that abuse is often a taken for granted cultural habit, as well as being an abuse of power. Respect for young people was thought to be crucial, while bullying should be avoided.
Partners who had created a Child Protection Policy asked CAC for curriculum games and online education. CAC distributed a curriculum packet of five games which addressed the four different forms of child abuse, as well as showing how to prevent child abuse in the future.
Stories flooded in showing the many CAC games that had been played around the world on Universal Children’s Day.
Additionally CAC invited partners to download and use UNICEF’s International Safeguards for Children in Sport, where CAC was a pioneering member.
Together we all lived up to the hashtag #BeAChampionForChildren, knowing that by protecting children we were advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.