Tackling streetism and teenage pregnancy with football coaching – The Incredible Story of Fafali Organization
Issues of teenage pregnancy and streetism have been the most prevalent in most of the Central region of Ghana. Many children leave home to fend for themselves in the harsh conditions offered by life.
In an attempt to provide for themselves, young females in the communities end up with unwanted pregnancies at such tender ages.
As a means of tackling these issues, Fafali Organization, through its flagship programme, “Coach the Coaches Course”, provided training to 27 participants after 40 pledged their commitment to partake in the course.
The course began on Monday August 8, 2022 at the Gomoa Information Center, under the tutelage of five (5) highly certified coaches and trainers of the Fafali Organization.
These tutors were Randy Edem Amezado (Head Coach, Ngorli FC, and Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA)), Satya den Boer (Senior Instructor from the Netherlands), Paul Dzaka (Assistant Coach, Ngorli FC, and GIMPA), and David Amezado (Physical Trainer, Ngorli FC, and GIMPA).
Purpose of course
The purpose of this course as an avenue to tackle issues of streetism and teenage pregnancy was highlighted by the CEO of the Fafali Organization, Mr. Senyo Sosu.
“From our experience, we realize that soccer clinics are one of the ways that we use as fun games to penetrate some of these communities. So I believe introducing these young girls and boys to the soccer clinics and the game of soccer takes their mind from some social vices they might engage in so they have extracurricular activities to attend” Mr. Sosu said.
As a means of not just introducing these young ones to a few days of fun and leaving them to their fate, Mr. Sosu said training these coaches is a way to keep these children’s interest in the game of football, even as a way to economic freedom.
The course took the same structure as the previous one in the Volta region of Ghana. It lasted for five (5) days; from August 8 to August 12. The course brought to bear a lot of dynamism as compared to what we witnessed in the everyday coaching courses our national team coaches attend.
The Central region recorded the highest number of female participation in the course. There were four (4) ladies in attendance. This we believe will serve as a catalyst aimed at empowering women against teenage pregnancy and streetism.
In championing the course against streetism and teenage pregnancy, the Assemblyman of Gomoa, Ernest Quarm, shared some insights on the issue at hand and how “Coach the Coaches Course” by the Fafali Organization is a step in the right direction to ending this social canker.
“I think this coaching course can help mitigate these issues because the coaches were imparted with knowledge and new skills about sports development. And I believe sports is one of the tools we can use in addressing social vices in our society,” Mr Quarm noted.
When asked about how the partnership with the Fafali Organization came about, Mr Quarm said: “This partnership came about as a result of my quest to cause a change in the lives of my people and after reading and seeing the programmes and projects being executed by the Fafali organization, I thought it wise to reach out to them for this partnership”.
We engaged the thoughts of some participants of the course who were experienced and learned coaches in the Central region sporting fraternity. They shared with us their excitement and their takeaways from the course.
“I have acquired a lot of coaching experience now and I can boldly say I am one of the best coaches in my region. And I pray I go farther. I really wish I can get more of these courses to attend so I know more about coaching because I really love coaching. Fafali Coach the Coaches has been one of the best coaching courses I have ever attended because I had no idea about how to prepare for a training session but now you can’t beat me, I am the best” said Barbara Panyin, coach of Ghana Women’s Premier League side, Sea lions FC.
Stephen Nyarko, a CAF license B Coach, who coaches in the Ghana juvenile and the Division 2 side, also shared how beneficial this course had been to him.
“The Coach the Coaches Course has helped me a lot since it has made me to learn about the various transitions on the field. Moreover, it has also alerted me to know the various phases of the field and also helped me to let the pupils solve and create problems on the field. The Coach the Coaches Course is different because it has helped me to know the task ahead and how to create and solve problems,” Mr. Nyarko said.
Soccer Clinic in Gomoa
As was done in the Volta region a week before, soccer clinics were organized in four (4) selected communities for impact as 200 children benefitted from their exposure to the game of football.
Much emphasis was given to the girl child in these communities as issues of teenage pregnancy are high among the natives. A staggering 120 of the participants in the soccer clinics were girls, accounting for 60% of the total number of participants.
Communities in which the soccer clinics took place include Gomoa Obuasi, Gomoa Akroful, Gomoa Bensu, and Gomoa Otabere Krom.
Soccer clinics began at 4:00pm and ended at 6:00pm each day. Each child was given a jersey and a soccer ball under the tutelage of a football coach for special and undivided attention.
Participants of the ‘Coach the Coaches Course’ were tasked to observe and sometimes help in plotting drills as well as managing these kids for them to get acclimatized to the method of combining playing football with fun games.