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Sunday
Jul202014

Making Breaking Ground Truly Sustainable

Over the next year, Breaking Ground is planning to transition the majority of our administrative and fundraising activities to our Cameroonian staff.  This is a financially motivated decision to minimize overhead and channel a larger percentage of donor dollars into Cameroon. It is also a strategic decision to align our internal structure with our mission. By investing further in our Cameroonian employees and by building direct relationships with funding organizations in Cameroon, we aim to bolster the sustainability of Breaking Ground’s programs.

 

The board is working with Paul Zangue, our Program Director, to develop a new strategic plan for the organization. We are initiating conversations with potential long-term partners, and beginning to adjust our internal infrastructure. In the meantime we need your support.

We need $15,000 to support Paul and our ongoing programs through August 2015. This is $1250 a month.

The most powerful donation to make today would be a recurring donation. By signing up to give a fixed amount of dollars every month for the next year, you would give us the freedom to plan ahead and focus our attention on the long term goals.

This is an important step for Breaking Ground. Over the last seven years we have had a measurable impact on the lives of tens of thousands of Cameroonians and have built a strong reputation among the development community in Cameroon. Please consider giving today to help us build upon these successes and evolve to an infrastructure that enables a truly grassroots approach.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jul092014

Coaches Across Continents

I recently wrote a piece discussing the challenges of adding critical pedagogy to Sport for Development programs due to the obstacles these programs face. Simply garnering community support for girl’s athletics, attaining and shipping equipment, and then developing program infrastructure are giant hurdles. When looking at the day-to-day issues, coach training and pedagogy too often become lower priorities on the list. However, it is the coaches with their incredible cultural insight and local knowledge who make the program possible. Inherent to their role is the task of supporting participants in challenging times.

 

The coaches are in the trenches improving their communities and as such, shouldn’t we be whole-heartedly investing in them? The first week of June, we did just this when we partnered with Coaches Across Continents, a non-profit organization that trains coaches in the SDP field. Forty-five coaches and potential coaches from BGF and other sporting programs within the region attended the workshop hosted by Breaking Ground. The curriculum covered various methods coaches can use to address topics such as health, conflict resolution, and social inclusion through football. CAC will continue to work with these dedicated coaches for three years.

 

The coaches responded positively to the program. BGF Coach Mamboula Nziengle Prisca stated, “Before I had the idea of associating social issues with sport, but I didn’t have strong arguments for approaching parents and other interested community members. Now I can explain that this is a life tool for our children. My role as the coach isn’t just about sport, but to raise social awareness.” Former professional footballer turned coach, Aoudo Serge Nico, agreed that the program was beneficial remarking, “This training helped bridge the gap between sport and social education. It’s a great tool for football programs in the region.”

 

Breaking Ground is based on community initiative. Thank you to CAC for giving BGF’s coaches new ideas and tools to apply to their community. This is an exciting time and we look forward to seeing the program develop! 

Tuesday
Jul082014

Thanks Chevrolet! 

Every few years Breaking Ground reaches out to donors, soccer clubs, and athletic companies for our girls’ soccer program—Breaking Ground Football. Writing letters and making calls on behalf of these brave girls is, however, just a small step in the process. Ngaoundere, where the program operates, is located in the Adamaoua region below northern Cameroon. It’s geographically and culturally the crossroads of this region in Africa. The main paved road from southern Cameroon to northern Cameroon passes by the city, and it’s only a few hundred miles south of Nigeria and west of Central African Republic.

 

With this location, one would think getting equipment here would be a breeze. But this isn’t so. Once equipment is donated, it must be shipped from North America across the Atlantic to arrive in Douala. Once in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital, it must be inspected and cleared by customs; a process that too often includes an argument over attempted bribery—this time it took six months! Then, it must travel three hours by bus to Yaoundé to be put on the only viable transport option through this region, the train.

 

Our players anxiously waited for One World Futbol’s indestructible balls. These balls will last a lifetime on Cameroon’s rough football fields. Breaking Ground is fortunate that Chevrolet— the automtive company— not only donated the balls, but assisted in getting them through customs and on the field. Breaking Ground thanks Chevrolet and their Corporate Social Responsibility team for supporting our girls on the field!

 

 


 

Thursday
Feb202014

Kickin' it in Cameroon

Kickin' It In Cameroon - BG Football, an indestructible soccer ball, and a call for digital cameras! Have one you'd like to donate? Get in touch. Want to sponsor a BG Football season? Get in touch! 2014 will be a great year for our soccer players....in fact, it has been already. Read all about it in our latest newsletter

Far Post Soccer Club, Eurosport, and the US Soccer Foundation have donated equipment and uniforms to outfit 6 teams!! 

Thursday
Dec122013

Far Post Soccer Youth Donate to BG Footballers!

This holiday season Breaking Ground Football and Far Post Soccer Club are hosting an equipment drive!!

In order to run a safe and effective soccer program, one of our main needs is equipment. As part of our efforts to secure enough materials for our coaches and teams, we have organized a month-long equipment drive for young players and their families in the Burlington, VT vicinity to donate gently-used soccer equipment. What a great way for American youth to support their Cameroonian soccer-playing peers!!

Just like Far Post players, Breaking Ground Football players learn to work as a team, develop respect for their peers, and strengthen their own sense of confidence and independence. The soccer teams create a second family for young women in Cameroon, where they can discuss life issues and build friendships in a safe and positive environment.  

We've asked the Far Post Soccer community to help support this project and outfit 60 players by donating gently-used cleats, and any other soccer shoes their children have outgrown, spare pairs of shin guards, or other soccer equipment that may be helpful. And, the best part - all equipment will be delivered to Cameroon in March!

Not near Far Post, but still want to help out? Donate directly to Breaking Ground Football or contact Micah Rose or Kierstyn Hunter for more information about getting involved!

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