“The first few weeks were a great cultural challenge. Only little can be planned, because many things can always change quickly.”

Laura is in Cape Town as a weltwärts volunteer for one year. She supports the organisation PLAY HANDBALL in organisational tasks and works at three different primary schools in the afternoon. In the following interview she talks about her experiences after the first two months:

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

Laura: Handball is important for me, because here in South Africa it is an unknown sport, with which you can inspire more children for sport.

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

Laura: I was looking for a weltwärts volunteer service and I found it over the organization Jugend im Ausland.

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

Laura: After finishing my teacher studies as a sports and physics teacher, I wanted to apply my collected knowledge in another context and expand it through new experiences in a south African country. Because I am very enthusiastic about sports, I have decided for PLAY HANDBALL.

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

Laura: Since the 2nd September.

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

Laura: In Germany I was already a teacher and I make the experience that the children here are not used to play simple sport games. So in the first time I need lots of time to explain basically rules for games.

PLAY HANDBALL: What was the most memorable experience?

Laura: My most memorable experience is not a nice experience and it doesn’t belong to PLAY HANDBALL. But it was the biggest experience that I ever had in my life. My host father died by a car accident and the way of dealing with it is completely different than in Germany. Between 15 and 50 friends stay a whole week day and night in the house and support the rest of the family. They sing songs, cooked together, cleaned the house and did a church service every evening. I was very impressed of the support.

PLAY HANDBALL: What was the greatest challenge until now?

Laura: Something more to relax and give some processes more time. Everyday school life consists of many short-term changes, so that not everything always goes according to plan.

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

Laura: I make the experience that the kids don’t know any rules about how to behave in PE. So in my first lesson I make clearly what I expect from the children. It works and they have fun.

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

Laura: Temporarily my work has an impact. The children enjoy getting to know a new sport and being active. Since the teachers in the schools are not necessarily interested in my work, I don’t know if there will be a long-term effect when I am away again.

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

Laura: My host family comes from Zimbabwe. I am interested in her culture and her different meals. I like her local food called Pap very much. It is very easy to stay with them, but sometimes I wish me a bit more privacy in the house.

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

Laura: I can only recommend a one-year voluntary Service.




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 » Hanna reports from her experiences in 2 different communities around Cape Town » Press Release – Play Handball SuperCup 2019 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 »
Previous Post The International Handball Federation (IHF) draws attention to PLAY HANDBALL
Next Post Press Release - Play Handball SuperCup 2019 in Cape Town