April 2, 2012: Working with our implementing partner, Youth Icons, Ghana, Coaches Across Continents added a new program before the national launch of Kicking4Change with Standard Chartered Bank. The new program is Dream Big Ghana, a group that works in Dzita (pronounced “Jeetah”) in the Volta Region. This is a collection of beach villages that rely on fishing and farming, and it appears that generations have done exactly as their parents have done. Dream Big Ghana is a locally-owned and run NGO already support other projects such as turtle conservation and building composting toilets. Now, they are starting a sport for social development program in the area.
Head coaches Tigo and Boutros have big hearts, grand ideas, and the personalities to pull off great things. Already entrenched in the local communities these two are greeted and respected by people of all ages. It feels like you are walking with the mayor of Dzita when you stroll through the alleyways with Tigo hearing his name shouted around every corner. The name of their soccer field is “the Sahara,” a wide, windy expanse of packed sand behind the village. It is here that the youth teams, senior team, and girls team play almost daily. We worked with the older players, treating them as coaches so that they can pass along the messages to the rest of the community. And in the mornings we would visit schools to work directly with the children.
The sport for social development program is in its infancy in Dzita. Future plans include creating a program between the local six villages, using practices to teach the younger players important life lessons. Plans also include working in the local schools, using the soccer teams for community service, and creating a sustainable league for the younger teams coached by the older players.
Plans are big here in Dzita, and in just two short weeks you can see the community embracing the lessons being taught including health & wellness (including HIV), financial literacy, and female empowerment.
Coaches Across Contintents looks forward to continuing our work with Dream Big Ghana throughout 2012. With Coach Emily living nearby in Accra, CAC is able to plan for future visits and to continue the progress made towards Tigo and Boutros’ grand vision.