It takes a little time to get used to the culture. But if you get involved, it’s a wonderful experience.”

Hanna is volunteering for PLAY HANDBALL and Africa Jam in Cape Town for 2 months. Besides her work in primary schools, she also runs a handball program in the afternoon.

PLAY HANDBALL: Why is handball important for you and what did it gave/ gives you?

Hanna: Handball is for me an important balance to my everyday life. I love to power out in training after a hard day. Since I have been playing for so many years, the club/my team has become my second Family.

PLAY HANDBALL: How did you heard about PLAY HANDBALL ZA?

Hanna: I heard about Play Handball from a fellow player of my club who was also a volunteer in South Africa.

PLAY HANDBALL: Why did you decided to become a Handball Volunteer in South Africa?

Hanna: Handball is of little importance in South Africa alongside rugby and soccer. Very few people know this sport or how to play it. It was important to me to change this a bit and to offer the children an alternative to the established sports here. I also work in areas where it is not possible for every child to do sports. It is therefore all the more important to offer them a sports alternative that is accessible and safe for everyone.

PLAY HANDBALL: How long have you been now a handball volunteer in South Africa?

Hanna: I’m in programme since 6 weeks now.

PLAY HANDBALL: Tell us something about your volunteer experience so far?

Hanna: So far I have had positive experiences throughout. People make you feel welcome at any time. Within a very short time everyone in my community knows your name and greets you on the streets, that’s great.

PLAY HANDBALL: What was the most memorable experience?

Hanna: The most impressive thing for me was to see how happy the kids are about the training and how much they already know about the sport, thanks to the previous Play Handball volunteers in the community.

PLAY HANDBALL: What was the greatest challenge until now?

Hanna: The greatest difficulty for me was to understand and accept the South African way of life. Here everything runs very spontaneously and at short notice, long planning is not possible. For us structured Germans this is initially difficult, but you get used to it and learn how to deal with it. It is also not always possible to do the training the way you prepared it, because you never know how many children are there. In schools it can happen that you have to train up to 40 children at once. Moreover, the topic of safety was also unusual in the beginning. You first have to get used to the fact that you can’t move freely everywhere like you are used to in Germany. But the best thing is to follow the advice of the locals, then you also feel very safe.

PLAY HANDBALL: How do you experience the handball coaching at school/ community?

Hanna: I really enjoy training with the kids in the community. Especially when you see how fast the kids make progress and how much they like to play handball. The kids are really motivated and like to play all the time. It is sometimes difficult to explain to them that there is more to normal handball training than just the actual game. However, you cannot imagine the training like a normal training in Germany. Most of the time we play outside, but often there are no playing fields or goals, so you have to improvise a bit.

PLAY HANDBALL: Do you think your work has an Impact?

Hanna: I believe that in the long run, training only has a lasting impact in the afternoon programme. In the schools it is fun for the children, but the groups are too big to deal with each individual. Here I can only teach the basics. In addition, I usually only see the classes once a week or even every two weeks. In the afternoon we have a smaller group and we see each other daily, so that there is a completely different training possible.

PLAY HANDBALL: How is the life with a local South African host Family?

Hanna: Life in a host family is great. So you really get everything from the culture and that’s a good thing. You get a deep insight into the everyday life of the South Africans and you really learn a lot about life here. I have the privilege to meet two host families because I work in two different communities. It’s really great to see the differences within the population. I can learn a lot about South African cuisine from my host mothers and I show them our German cuisine, so not only I benefit from the exchange.

PLAY HANDBALL: Any other comments or sentiments you’d like to share

Hanna: I can really recommend every handball enthusiast to come to South Africa with Play Handball and have this unique experience, it’s worth it!


More in this category: Supercup inspires more than 300 youth for sustainable behaviours and handball » Adopt-A-Club launches fundraising campaign for the Bo-Kaap Handball Club » Start of Handball and Volunteer Season » Play Handball Supercup in Kenya » Our volunteers Paul, Konrad and Henning in Tansania » Midterm Seminars in Botswana and Kenya » Interview with our team in Botswana » Friendly Tournament at the Observatory Junior School » Sport Day in Utawala, Kenya » Volunteer Arrival and PlayHandball in Botswana » PlayHandball as part of the GloKnoCo Project in Brighton » Sophia tells about her first weeks in Kenya » Martin Bergers handball experience in Africa » Linah tells about her experiences as a participant of the Trilateral Youth Coaches Encounter » Christian tells of his experiences as a volunteer in Lamberts Bay » PlayHandball part of the GloKnoCo School in Brussels » Lisza reports from her experiences as a volunteer in Cape Town » Mid-term seminar with our weltwaerts-volunteers » Simon tells of his experiences as a volunteer in Juja » Lars tells of his experiences as a volunteer in Darling » Kick-off-Weekend of the Trilateral Youth Coaches Exchange » Re-launch of the Weltwärts Volunteer Program in Kenya and South Africa. » Community Talk with Louise Barends from Darling Outreach Foundation in South Africa » A year full of uncertainty, waiting and flexibility instead of experiencing South Africa as a handball volunteer. » Play Handball Corona Aid helps over 1000 people in South Africa and Kenya. » Midterm-Seminar and Partner Meeting » Léon reports from his experience as volunteer by our partner organisation Empower Gils Plus in Kisumu, Kenia » Jasper is one of the first volunteers in Kenya and reports from his experience » Take action for the future – the 4th SuperCup in Cape Town inspires 150 kids to take action for climate change » Press Release – Play Handball SuperCup 2019 in Cape Town » Laura tells of her experiences as a volunteer in Cape Town » PendoAmani in Kenya & PLAY HANDBALL initiate Handball After School Program » From Blomberg to the Cape – As volunteer coaches in South Africa » Meet The Volunteer: Sophia experiences township life in Jo’burg » “I am, You are, We are South Africa!” – Ubomi Children Camp July 2019 » Play Handball Volunteer Programme extends to Kenya » Interview with our Swiss volunteer Daniel Schettler » Handball is an universal language – Play Handball at Karookop Primary School » Interview with Thabang from Franschhoek Community Sport Centre » Supercup inspires over 450 children in Africa » With Handball active for a climate change – Play Handball Supercup 2018 in Delft, Cape Town » Play Handball Supercup 2018 in Benoni » Super handball action at the Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton » Donation Campaign of Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz brings about 30 000 Euro » Interview with the volunteer Matti Schubert » Learners embrace new sport » Handball is a new sport in the farming area of Piketberg » First ever PLAY HANDBALL Junior Cup in Stellenbosch » VOLUNTEER INTERVIEW with SIMON UTTKE » Get your own Calendar of “Memories of Joy and Unity with Handball” for your donation of 25€ and more » Conclusion ‘Play Handball’ 2017 » Using Sport to raise awareness for Climate Change! » Interview with Michael Haaß (HC Erlangen, World Champion 2007) – “Handball and Sport in general open doors for your life.” » PLAY HANDBALL starts in Kenya in 2017 » The 1st climate-neutral handball tournament series in South Africa » PLAY HANDBALL SuperCup on the 29th of October 2016, in Johannesburg and on the 19th of November in Cape Town, » PLAY HANDBALL SuperCup on the 24th of April 2016 at the German International School in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town. » STREET UP YOUR HANDBALL – Developing communities around South Africa with and through handball » SolarWorld powers Handball in South Africa » THE START OF A NEW HANDBALL VOLUNTEER PROGRAM » GIRLS HANDBALL DAY – TRAIN WITH THE PROS PROMOTING fun, health, passion and multi-cultural cohesion » Halftime for the handball development project of the German Olympic Sports Confederation in partnership with the South African Handball Federation in the Western Cape » Partnership for handball development between Germany and South Africa: Short-term handball development project financed by means of German Federal Foreign Office »
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