Partnership is at the core of CaC’s model. In each community CaC partners with locally based schools and NGOs that have requested and will ultimately run and sustain the program. All partnerships are tailored to build capacity and meet specifically articulated community needs. Partnerships are based on mutual respect as CaC recognizes the unique perspective local partners bring, and partners appreciate the educational skills and wider perspectives CaC contribute.
In addition to our community partners, CaC has partnerships with businesses (Varsity Spirit, Accenture), football clubs (Middlesbrough, Harvard Soccer), and NGOs (Beyond Sport, Kickabout).
Along with creating new and maintaining current partnerships, CaC is building organizational capacity to ensure success. We have recently created new systems, processes, and broadened our donor base and are expanding our Board of Directors and advisory boards.
This year Coaches across Continents will work with 90,000 children including former child soldiers, girl sex slaves, and orphans in Uganda. We also work with children who face similar challenges in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia. CaC ensures success by creating long-term sustainable partnerships that build communities’ capacity. These three-year partnerships, our ‘Hat-Trick Initiatives’ with local schools and NGOs help increase children’s knowledge of HIV/AIDS and its prevention, increase students’ school attendance and build self-esteem, hope, and confidence, especially for girls. Local teachers and coaches are also transformed through program participation. They gain skills, knowledge, new teaching pedagogy, and a support network. "We have attended other football training programs in Kenya but they do not address the real needs of our communities, they only teach professional football. Coaches across Continents is unique because it helps communities grow." Festus Juma, Oyugis, Kenya
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.
Coaches across Continents’ program is predicated on a three-year model. Understanding that change and self-sustainability take time, all of our partnerships, called ‘Hat-Trick Initiatives,’ last three years. Throughout the three years CaC’s international volunteer coaches travel to our partner communities and teach local teachers and other adults the CaC curriculum, build communities’ capacity, and work directly with children. When the three years are complete communities are running the program themselves and can use technology to keep in touch with CaC to receive support and technical assistance. They also become part of CaC’s worldwide network.
In 2008, CaC ran its first program in Kigoma, Tanzania. In 2009 we ran three Hat-Trick Initiatives in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia. In 2010 we expanded exponentially and are running 16 programs in 7 countries. Utilizing our train-the-trainer model we will reach thousands of teachers/coaches and 90,000+ children this year.
From an organizational perspective the next three years will be pivotal for CaC. From the outset CaC Founder’s strategy was to pilot and self-fund the organization in order to develop a successful model that uses football for social development. With that now accomplished and with requests for partnerships far exceeding CaC’s current capacity, over the next three years we must build our organizational infrastructure, grow our year-round staff, increase and diversify our donor base, and solidify our impact measurement and metrics. As a leader in the field of sport for social development we also have a commitment to continually develop and share best practices and continue to partner with other NGOs and educational institutions (Harvard, Northeastern University, Stanford) to further academic work in the field.
What would prevent your project from being a success?
CaC is proud of its recent successes, and we know we can do more. Currently the demand for the program far exceeds the supply; within two days of announcing our first project in Kenya we received five more partner requests.
As mentioned above, the first two+ years of CaC’s existence was primarily funded and conducted by the Founder along with the Board and some very committed expert volunteers. Based on requests for services and the seemingly endless need, CaC’s three-year strategic growth plan projects that CaC will be running 46 Hat-Trick Initiatives in 15 countries by 2012. As such, and while the program is widely acknowledged to be effective and impactful, especially in this economic environment, funding and organizational capacity are our main challenges.
While CaC’s unique use of volunteers - professional footballers and coaches, recent college graduates, doctors, graduate students, etc… - all of whom volunteer a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of approximately six months and pay their own way, are an incredible asset to the organization and help us run a very lean organization that optimizes all contributions, at this point in our development, we need a professional paid staff and more robust infrastructure. CaC’s long-term success will be contingent on our ability to raise funds, create corporate partnerships, recruit and support volunteers, manage, evaluate and continually improve the program, engage and grow the Board, and continue to be a leader in the Sport for Social Development field.