Monthly Archives: August 2011
Check out this article which features the story of one professor from Washington & Jefferson University in Washington, Pennsylvania who has been supplying youth from The Gambia and Senegal with soccer jerseys from the university since 2002. See how powerful the beautiful game is in spreading goodwill anywhere in the world!
Check out this great article on Patrice Millet and his effort to bring soccer and education to the fields in Haiti. His agency, FONDAPS, is doing some impressive work in a place where it is extremely necessary. Congratulations Patrice!
There are plenty of other ways to get around Kumba, but easily the most interesting means of transportation is the infamous okata, or motorcycle. Hundreds of these brightly decorated machines crowd the streets, zipping in and out of traffic through spaces a car could never hope to navigate. Personally, I am not a motorcycle person, having only driven one once and crashing it into a tree within the first five minutes. Needless to say, I was rather apprehensive about trusting my safety to whoever happened to drive by with two wheels. I’m still not a big fan, but taking in the sights of Cameroon on the back of one of these things is extremely gratifying. Nonetheless, when I’m onboard an okata, I’m using both hands to hang on. Dan, on the other hand, is more adept at multitasking, which is how he manages to ride around with his camera in tow and capture videos like this on his way through Fiango.
The first formal training sessions was held from the 5th – 8th of July. We collaborated with FSS to combine classroom lessons and discussions with practical applications on the soccer field. The training was targeted at our local management team and our new recruits: sports teachers from local partner schools. Coach Isabel pulled from her many years of experience coaching and working with teenagers to conduct lessons on the following topics:
-Being a good coach
-Effective communication strategies
-Leading small group discussions
-Understanding different personalities of youth
We spent much of the classroom time in small groups learning how to lead productive discussions – avoiding lectures – and conducting role plays and other activities to further support the topics we discuss with the youth. Players from FSS acted as youth and challenged our leaders to master the different leadership techniques we discussed during our training. This is where it got interesting!
Members from the local management team explained the CFDP organization structure and our working relationship with the schools to the new leaders in attendance. We carefully outlined the expectations of new leaders and those of the youth as well. We all agreed that documenting the challenges, progress, and achievements of the next year is one of the most important steps we can take towards sustainability.
After four days in the classroom and on the field, we were ready to apply our new skills in the youth camps the following week. With all of the experience we gained this summer, we are ready to begin our after-school sessions in September!
Some love ‘em, some hate ‘em, but ice-breaker activities are here to stay! From timid introductions during our first picnic together to the exaggerated “POWs” of our favorite “cowboy” activitiy, FSS Montreal and CFDP Kumba built a strong relationship upon this formal-yet-informal method of getting to know each other, or in our case, breaking down great cultural barriers. It all started with Epulle Ernest (alias “Biggie”) bringing “BIG BIG Things” to the picnic while Amelie, Anik, Amanda, Alexandrine, and Ann-Sophie brought apples, apple pie, apple juice, and..pretty much everything else they could think of with an “A” in it. With all the laughs that first evening in Douala, we grew a bit closer together.
Each and every training session the next week, Coach Isabel began with an ice-breaker. The “interview and introduction”, the “human knot”, the “scavenger hunt”… the list goes on and on. The CFDP management team and new leaders (sports teachers from our partner schools) found brothers and sisters among themselves they never knew before. We grew stronger as a family that week, especially with the company of our distant cousins and Aunty Isabel from Montreal!
The following week, we shared the activities with our children: the Kumba youth. At first, they hesitated. Soon, though, they jumped right in, making friends among their peers and with us leaders, too. These ice-breakers make the youth feel comfortable and allow us to ease into some of the delicate topics we discussed each day. Without these versatile tools, we would not have been able to get the youth as involved in each discussion. When the cowboy says, “POW! You’re dead!” the ice starts to break!
On Saturday, the CFDP team came together to learn more about taking care of the youth we serve. Ms. Fopa Melvis joined us for a day-long training session. She comes from the EJED Clinic in Kumba, a private hospital and nursing school. EJED means “welcome” in the dialect of the founder and director, Dr. Nzume. We purchased the necessary bandages, antiseptics, etc. to handle the typical injuries sustained by youth on the soccer field, and, between our new training and our new supplies, we are now more prepared should anything happen in the future!
Here is a run down of the day’s activities and a few pictures.
TIME / EVENT
8:00 am Arrival and Registration
8:30 am Ice Breaker
9:00-10:00 am Discussion # 1: Sprains
10:00-11:00 am Discussion # 2: Fractures
11:05-11:50 am Discussion # 3: Bruise; Swells
12:20-1:10 p.m Discussion # 4: Shocks
1:10-2:00 p.m Discussion # 5: Bites and Stings
2:00-2:05 p.m Ice Breaker
2:00-2:55 p.m Discussion # 6: Nose Bleeding (Epistaxis)
3:00 p.m Closing.
The Kumba market is the heart of the city. On Wednesdays and Saturdays it literally overflows with people arriving from the surrounding suburbs with goods to sell and new purchases to make. In this video update, Auntie Julie (sister of CFDP Co-founder Peter) helps Nick and Dan navigate the maze that is Kumba’s Main Market.
On July 1st, CFDP hosted our first Conference on Youth Empowerment and Community Development through Sport. The objective was to sensitize key stakeholders in the community on the power of sports – specifically football (soccer) – to reach out and empower a ‘disadvantaged population’. Several members of the local government, social ministries (Youth Affairs, Sports and Physical Education), medical doctors, and representatives of local youth associations all participated to make this event a very successful one. We introduced the approach of CFDP and welcomed them to join us in the fight against HIV and combating the idleness which plagues the youth population.
Many attendees were surprised with the content and substance of the presentations at the conference and the discussions which followed. The Kumba Community whole-heartily welcomed the initiatives of CFDP and were excited to soon welcome our friends from Montreal who would help us build the foundation for a successful first year of operations!
Check out these pictures of contributors who made this first event something we can strive to build upon in July 2012!
Rain held off last Saturday to allow CFDP to host our first monthly youth soccer camps in Kumba! We had 35 youth attend – both boys and girls – and everyone had a great time! Learning a lot and expending some energy on the pitch before heading back into the classroom with the start of school in September!