Karibu Kenya! PLAY HANDBALL Supercup the first time in Kenya to educate trainers and hence children around environmental friendly behaviour and how to deal with the waste situation.

We use Handball as a tool to create learning experiences for the youth around important socio-political topics such as environmental awareness. With its flagship project the PLAY HANDBALL Supercup going in its third year in South Africa, the model was replicated in Kenya, making it the first country outside South Africa to organise and host such an event. Play Handball Kenyan office organised this first environmental handball programme in partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany Embassy in Nairobi and Konrad Adenauer Foundation Kenya in Kisumu, Western Kenya on the 13th October, 2018. The Play Handball Supercup was preceded by three day Train-the-Trainer workshop on Environmental Education that was held from the 10th to 12th October, 2018 at the YMCA Centre in Kisumu. The Supercup, unique and a first of its kind was hold at the Jomo Kenyatta Kisumu Sports Ground dubbed, “Waste is Wealth”.

The whole handball & environment programme emphasis was on educating the youth to live more sustainably and environmentally responsible within their communities. Participants comprising of teachers, social workers and coaches were first empowered with on handball coaching and how to address and deal environmental issues which they carried back to their respective organisations and communities to implement. 25 participants from grassroots organisations learnt valuable skills and gained knowledge and tools for integrating environmental education with sports, in which the focus was on recycling, waste management, soil, air and water pollution. On Friday 12th, all participants went out to disadvantage and underserved communities of Kisumu and conducted a clean-up activity. Once back at the workshop venue, the coaches, social workers and teachers exhibited what they had learnt in the workshop as they were involved in the process of separating waste and stuffed all non-recyclable plastic in eco-bricks. The final result of this clean-up was a stool made from eco-bricks that was showcased at the tournament the next day.

On the 13th October, 2018, over 100 children aged between 10 and 14 years old participated in the first-ever Handball and Environmental tournament in Kisumu. The aim of the tournament was to bring youth from different backgrounds and communities together, cross gender boundaries and to enhance environmentally friendly knowledge and behaviours to them while playing handball. The organisers were delighted to welcome the first Secretary to the Ambassador of the Republic of Germany in Kenya, Dr. Alexander Puk, to open the educational handball tournament.

Besides exciting handball games, participants were encouraged to keep the venue clean by picking-up waste and throwing it in the bins or stuffing them in eco-bricks. The whole tournament was organised and run by the participants of the workshops. While some took over roles as table officials and referees, others managed a team as a coach or created the awareness station around recycling. Between the handball games, the coaches took their teams to the stands and told them what they had learned during the workshop, how to separate waste, how to make compost or how long does different waste items take to decompose. One of the most attractive items that drew all attention of all participants was the eco-brick stool made the day before. “The kids loved the stool. First they saw me walking around with some kind of plastic waste. But once they realized that the waste is actually a nice stool, everyone wanted to sit on it, as well build their own. On the same day we made and finished a second small stool with the collected waste at the venue.” Nicola Scholl (Founder of PLAY HANDBALL). After a long and hot day full of handball games, fun, music and recycling, all kids went home as winners as they were all rewarded with different gifts including participation certificate. And the two most environmental active boy and girl got rewarded with an own eco-brick stool to take home.

Currently, PLAY HANDBALL has active projects in South Africa and Kenya and works in collaboration as a kick-starter for handball for development in those communities where it operates from. The organisation supports community-based organisations and schools with knowledge, equipment and volunteers. PLAY HANDBALL envisages the use of handball as a tool for personal development of the individuals as well as socio-economic and community development in the broader context, while also ensuring the sustainable development of the sport.

Text: PH.KE

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