• Thank You CAC: Humbling Words From a Pemba Participant

    May 18th 2016. This blog comes to us from the words of a participant (Hassan) in his speech to CAC staff and guests during the certificate ceremony in Pemba, in partnership with the Zanzibar Football Association, the Ministry of Sports, and Save the Children.

    Honorable Minister of Sports, Assistant Minister of Sports, Our coaches Mr. Nick and Madam Nora:

    First of all we would like to thank all of you for conducting good, well and enjoyable training for one week. Apart from that we make a promise in front of you that we will protect children and we will stand in front of any who struggle for their rights.

    Our trainers:

    We have special thanks to you for your cooperation during training and general speaking we can’t deny that we enjoy your tactics, techniques, and your innovation. You have bring us in a safe space and now we will use your knowledge and experience we get from you and impart it to our children.

    Uncountable thanks should be received to the first coach in the world, Mr. Nicky, for organizing us and make us to feel free all over the time during the training. Throughout the training we learned that:

    • Women can do well in sports if they will be supported
    • We understand that children have knowledge
    • We learn that we should give our children choice
    • We learn that we ought to talk with children and not talk to children

    Frankly speaking we have learned a lot and we will use all them for social impacts.

    Special thanks I send it as my reward to Madam Nora – for teaching us Kuku dance, a lot we may forget… but never Kuku dance.

    We have nothing to give our coaches for excellent work they have done to us except to tell them: Thank you very much for what you have done and we will use knowledge for social impacts.

    Thanks; Goodbye; See you again; Relax and have a safe journey.

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  • The Future of Women’s Rights in Islam and Zanzibar

    May 12th 2016. MJPT young leader, Fatma Said Ahmed, answers CAC questions about our recent training in Unguja, Zanzibar in partnership with the Ministry of Sport, the Zanzibar Football Association, and Save the Children.

    • How did you get involved with CAC?

    I first heard about Coaches Across Continents from Zanzibar National Sports Council and I got involved with CAC as a volunteer helping translate English to Swahili during the one week training at Unguja, Zanzibar. I was lucky enough to meet the amazing Coaches and learn from them, thanks to Nick and Nora. I also learnt CAC activities through website.

    • Tell us about your work and activism in Zanzibar:

    I work at Stand For Humanity as the Founder and Managing Director. Stand For Humanity is a Non-Profit Organization. The mission is to serve and provide humanitarian actions to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures and to call the stakeholders and other people of good will to do the same. Vision: “Having a youth that is dynamic, active, responsible and committed in the development process”. I have done and organize different activities such as Online Campaigns on Child’s rights and development, joining the joint events (International Women’s Day, International Midwife Day, World Read Aloud Day, Earth Day etc.) and outreach programs.

    I work as a volunteer in youth development organizations. I once started to volunteer at Zanzibar Youth Forum around 2013 and got the chance to join the UNFPA Youth Advisory Panel on communications and host the Facebook closed group of YAP (Youth Advisory Panel). YAP was established to give young people the right to advise UNFPA on issues concerning adolescents and youth. I have take part on relevant issues such as capacity building, advocacy, policy dialogues and outreach.

    I also volunteer at AfriYAN (African Youth and Adolescents Network on Population and Development) as the Secretary General of AfriYAN Tanzania Chapter.

    • What did you learn from the week of training with CAC in Unguja?

    During the week of training with CAC I’ve learned so many things on how sports can bring positive social change such as:-

    Child rights (Freedom of expression, right to information and responsibility to the community)

    Gender equity + Female empowerment (ASK for choice)

    Skills for life – problem solving

    Conflict prevention

    Sports skills

    • What do you think needs to happen in order for women and men/girls and boys to be treated equally in Zanzibar?

    Awareness about gender equality must be raised at schools so that children and young people could be aware that girls and boys/men and women have equal rights that what men can do women can do. Breaking the social and cultural barriers that hinders girl’s empowerment. Also raise awareness to public; show and tell; engage with influential leaders and community members.

    • What are you most excited about for your upcoming week in Dallas?

    I’m so excited about my upcoming week in Dallas; I can’t wait to start my once-in-a-lifetime journey and get to learn from the Olympic Legend Michael Johnson at the performance center.  Learning and sharing ideas, experiences. I also expect to get mentored to become a future leader.

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    Zanzibari women and men design a local women’s rights policy.

  • Do You Know Your Rights?

    May 15, 2014. What an exciting and fun week it has been! Although it started raining heavily from the very moment the shores of Stone Town were in sight and it has not stopped since (I guess that is why they call it the rainy season), it did not discourage the 55 coaches and teachers to show up on Monday, ready to participate in their second annual training with Coaches Across Continents.

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    Local coaches invent a game to raise awareness about blind people’s challenges

    The program in Unguja and Pemba, Zanzibar’s two largest islands, stems from an interesting and dynamic partnership between the Zanzibar Football Association, the Zanzibar Coaches Association, the Zanzibar National Sports Council, the Ministry of Education, and Save The Children. All partners were represented at the opening ceremony where the importance of protecting children from abuses was emphasized (violence against children is still the norm). This was perfect since CAC has recently finalized a brand new child rights curriculum and has started to incorporate child protection training as a core part of every CAC program.

    We had the chance to run the training at Amaan stadium, playing games in the mornings on the beautiful turf field with some of Zanzibar’s 20,000 One World Futbols and reviewing games in the classroom in the afternoons. After a quick refresher course of Messi games and Mingle Mingle we gave participants the opportunity to decide what they would be learning during the training, selecting to focus on nutrition, drug abuse, including children with disabilities, and the importance of education and child rights which then became our focus for the week.

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    What a great stadium for Coaches Across Continents to work!

    Although all days were comparable to one another in terms of the liveliness, engaging discussions and participants’ good-natured spirit, Wednesday was my favorite day of the week: it was entirely dedicated to child rights and child protection. The morning session games teaching about different child rights preceded an engaging hour and a half long discussion in the afternoon about how we could work together to protect children from suffering abuses on the sports field. The games played in the morning certainly helped fuel the discussion and one teacher even remarked that playing those games with the children could be a solution to protecting their rights.

    The child rights game that is quickly becoming one of my personal favorites is ‘Know Your Rights’.  Players from opposing teams in the center circle have to run to cones representing different child rights. The coach yells out two rights and players from the first team run to the first cone, the others to the second one. The game requires speed but also quick thinking and reaction. For some reason, this game seems to trigger the competitive spirit of even the most reserved players. After a couple of rounds, there was shouting, yelling, encouraging and cheering from all sides. It is hard to describe the exuberance and feeling of pure joy that emanated from the game, but I can easily say that this was one of the most euphoric and energy-filled 30 minutes that I have experienced with Coaches Across Continents. I think that everyone would have been happy to continue on for three more hours. It was a close contest between Belgium and Germany but I have to admit that Germany might have come in victorious.

    Another one of my favorite aspects’ of the week was the presence of strong female leaders who also happened to be excellent football players. Many of them come from the ‘Women’s Fighters’ team and they have been working hard to make female football more popular in Zanzibar: it is now a usual occurrence to see boys and girls playing together around Stone Town. They explained that today, when a girl decides to play football, “it feels normal to her, she does not question it.

    The training came to an end on Friday afternoon, after participants coached games they had invented about nutrition, what makes a healthy life, making good choices, including blind people, and safe spaces in the community. TV, radio and newspaper journalists were present to show the Zanzibar community what wonderful work these local educators are aspiring to. We leave for Pemba, our heads filled with countless memories of laughter and joy, and energized by the motivation and passion of these inspiring coaches; but also convinced that this next week of the partnership will be just as rewarding!

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    Unguja (Zanzibar) coaches celebrating after a great week working with Coaches Across Continents!