So many of our TackleAfrica team have been on a journey from participant to volunteer to sessional staff and then finally full-time paid staff. For some, they are now taking the next step in their organisations – working their way up to running their own TackleAfrica programmes and designing their own TackleAfrica curricula. That’s exactly what’s happening on our DREAMS-Innovation Challenge (DREAMS-IC) programme with our partner Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) in Nairobi. DREAMS-IC is a two-year programme funded by PEPFAR and managed by JSI, working to reduce HIV among young women and girls across sub-Saharan Africa.
During the last nine months, our two TackleAfrica DREAMS-IC Project Officers, Leon Sam and Veronica Achieng have been supporting forty coaches in their development through follow-up visits to the coaches sessions, assisting coaches with record keeping for monitoring and evaluation, and assisting with training courses by delivering high quality sessions, both on the field and in the classroom. Originally football coaches and players themselves, adapting to delivering classroom sessions can seem tricky, but in fact just like a football session, classroom time also needs to be fun and lots of the same principles apply.
In order to develop their classroom teaching methods, Leon and Vero attended their first facilitator training course, led by the Regional Programme Manager – East Africa, Laura Brooks. They learned how to deliver various sessions by changing classroom configurations, and how to adapt sessions to suit participants’ learning styles.
The facilitator training has not only had a very positive impact on facilitators’ development, but the effects were also felt on our last DREAMS IC training course. As Vero said:
‘’During this five days training, my experience has been totally different since I have been able to incorporate different learning styles throughout the course. Most of the coaches gave a positive feedback concerning our different approach to this training. During our previous courses there was no such combination, but things have changed in terms of learning.”
Coaches’ improvement on this programme is also the result of continuous and unconditional support from Leon and Vero throughout the first year of the DREAMS-IC programme. Coaches have not only improved their HIV knowledge but also their football coaching skills. As Leon mentioned:
‘’Over the course transition, there has been immense development of the DREAMS coaches. From the beginning when they were trained on the TA methodology and way of coaching, to now their level has really gone up, from confidence to good coaching manner. Their enthusiasm for being involved with TackleAfrica is evident in their commitment and personal drive. After the first block of sessions were completed, they were eager to go and begin the second phase. It’s my hope that the DREAMS-IC programme will continue to support the coaches to full TackleAfrica development.’’
With these two Project Officers on board, we have no doubt coaches will continue to develop their capacities to reach their full potential!
If you’re interested in getting involved with our work in Africa, visit www.tackleafrica.org/get-involved for details.