Cameroon Football Development Program

Cameroon Football Development Program (CFDP) provides critical health and social education programs to at-risk youth in underdeveloped areas of the Southwest Region, Cameroon. Our target youth population live in communities which face obstacles that compromise their economic, health, and personal security. Unemployment, pervasive teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and high crime rates resulting from poverty and corruption are some examples of these obstacles which are exacerbated by a lack of healthy recreational activities and effective health education programs. CFDP aims to fill this void in a sport-centric context, which has been proven to retain high youth participation and effect meaningful...
May 28, 2015

Kumba Boys' League Championships This Weekend

The last time we you received an update on our activities in Cameroon, we gave a preview of the season with a summary of the opening day ceremony which saw the first-ever full season of a youth soccer league in Kumba kick off. I'm excited to reconnect now and let you know that this season to date has been a great success and our local management team is busy planning for the final match coming up this weekend to see who will emerge victorious and go down in history as the first-ever Kumba Youth League winner. 

Brescia F.C. takes to the field against Arsenal F.C., a rivalry that will go down in the books for several reasons, one of which is too obvious: their most outstanding leadership. Both of the coaches, Modest (Brescia) and Besem (Arsenal) have grown so much over the last few years as coach- mentors in our programs. They are some of the most respectable and knowledgeable coaches in Kumba due to their open-mindedness and their interest in personal and professional development. This was not the case when we met them a few years ago: both were stubborn, lacked communication skills, and were sometimes outright hostile. They easily got frustrated when things did not go as planned and often shouted negative thing at their players - which is often the case in Cameroon. 

Now, Besem and Modest are mild-mannered, respectful, and view their coaching responsibilities in a different light. They see their players as more than just forwards or defenders, but as children, students, and young citizens. Their approach to coaching has changed. And because of this, the experience for all of their players has also changed. 

It should come as no surprise that these two teams have qualified for the final match. Quality performance and effective leadership off the field - in training and in every day life - can lead to quality performance on the field. And that is what CFDP is all about: using the game of soccer to improve the lives of hundreds of youth (and their coaches) in Cameroon. 

Thanks for supporting our project. We hope you will continue to be inspired by the work we do and continue to stay involved.  

Cheers!

-Justin

May 27, 2015

Planning Underway for Summer Girls Football Fest!

Girls love football, too!
Girls love football, too!

We have three amazing updates concerning our girls programs to share with you this time around!!

#1. Summer Holiday Football Festival for Girls

Following up to our successful first-ever boys' league in Kumba (championship is this weekend!), we are ready to take the next steps in laying groundwork for a girls league' to kick off in 2016. Before we get there, we're planning a summer holiday competition to bring together all stakeholders and continue to promote female atheltics in the country. The event is sponsored by the women's soccer team at College Andre-Grasset, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and will add water to the seedling we planted last December with our first-every girls' tourney you so graciously supported. 

#2. Partnership with Teresa Julian, Master's in Sport for Peace and Conflict Resolution

Teresa has been working on her Masters degree in Tereul, Spain over the last year. In the last month, her thesis proposal to work on sport for girls' empowerment programs in Spain and Cameroon was approved!! Teresa has been a long-time supporter of our work and stayed close to the organization after her sister led our first coaches clinic back in 2011. This collaboration will create an opportunity to apply intustry best practices and revitalize our girls programs in Cameroon. Not to mention, Teresa will be traveling to Cameroon in January to implement her peer-mediation and mentoring program with our girls! We can't wait to have her!

#3. Collaboration with Ministry of Sports and Physical Education on the Future of Girls' Football in Cameroon

We had a meeting earlier this month and graciously accepted an invitation to help develop a football club for young women in Kumba. Based on the mission, vision, and values of CFDP and our demonstrated work ethic, we were selected to help cultivate women's football in the community as part of a national movement driven by the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education and the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT). This brings in a new era for women's sports and we are excited to be on the frontlines. 

All of this started with your support of our initiatives to empower women in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. What started with some workshops with partners in the US Peace Corps, has grown into a local movement. In no time, it will become a regional and national movement. We look forward to shareing more updates with you! 

Many thanks for your support!

Nenne and Caroline - leading the charge for girls!
Nenne and Caroline - leading the charge for girls!
Love of the game.
Love of the game.
Mar 11, 2015

Building Solid Foundation in Expansion Sites

Kumba Arsenal F.C. from Fiango in Kumba
Kumba Arsenal F.C. from Fiango in Kumba

In February, we kicked off our youth league for 6 six clubs from across the town of Kumba. Some of the clubs have been long time partners, like Brescia F.C. who have taken the cup in a 2013 tournament, while some are newly formed, like St. Peter's F.C., which was started by a coach who completed CFDP's coaches training sessions earlier this year and was inspired to build something to invest in the youth in his neighborhood. The ages of the youth playing in this competition range from 11 to 14. We wanted to build the foundaiton of a comprehensive youth soccer league which promotes life skills, leadership, and health education to the community through organized competitions, radio programs, leadership workshops, and service-learning. What started as educational after school programs and U-16 tournaments during the summer holidays has transformed into an integrated learning experience for players, coaches, and members of the community. 

CFDP football (soccer) matches are different. We transform the playing grounds into a place of learning - for both players and spectators. Before kick off, players will run warm-up drills/games based on educational football drills they learned from Coaches Across Continents training last June. The referee will "quiz" players on each team about what they have learned from their coach in training sessions leading up to the match. Players will read motivational statements to the crowd, reinforcing their role as young athletes in the community to be role models, create awareness and promote social change  Finally, shaking hands between teams and promoting fair play throughout the game concretizes the values of CFDP: this game is about more than winning.


The theme for this first season is GENDER EQUITY. Every match will highlight a different component of this crucial social issue, and Sunday's opening game was no different. The league will run from February through May, thanks to a recent grant from FIFA Football for Hope and the generous support from people like you.

Last week we were in Mamfe to run a second clinic for coaches who continue to support our innovative model for youth development through sport. Our third site in Ndu will see an Easter tournament before summer holidays take place. Our Peace Corps Volunteer has worked in Ndom, another community in the Southwest Region, over the last several months to galvanize the interest of several chiefs of local villages in the region to mobilize their youth and help set up the infrastructure for a youth league to enhance the social infrastructure within the community. We will run some coaches clinics for new community partners later in March.

None of this is possible without your support. We want to first THANK YOU IMMENSELY for supporting our activities in Cameroon and second invite you to follow along on our blog, social media, and website. Stay connected and see what kind of IMPACT YOU CAN CREATE.

Kumba Legend FC- one of the newest teams to join
Kumba Legend FC- one of the newest teams to join
Kumba Lakers Coach, Mr. Basil
Kumba Lakers Coach, Mr. Basil

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