“Working here in Kenya is my biggest challenge so far with lots of ups and downs, but whenever things don’t go so well, I always keep the bigger goal in mind. Kenya is an incredible character building experience for me.”
Read the following interview to learn more about Léons experiences in Kenya.
PLAY HANDBALL: Why is handball important for you and what did/does it give you?
Léon: Being fit and active used to be past ever since. Handball as a team-sport in particular did teach me teamwork and relying on one another. I also love the rush of adrenaline during a match.
PLAY HANDBALL: How did you heard about PLAY HANDBALL?
Léon: I discovered PHKE on the German website “weltwärts”, that’s offering many volunteering services around the world.
PLAY HANDBALL: Why did you decide to become a Handball Volunteer in Kenya?
Léon: I was looking for a new personal challenge. After travelling in Australia and Asia for fun, now, I wanted to make new experiences in new countries, but this time with a more meaningful background.
PLAY HANDBALL: How long have you been a handball volunteer in Kenya now?
Léon: I’m a volunteer here in Kisumu for just about 6 months now.
PLAY HANDBALL: Tell us something about your volunteer experience so far?
Léon: There are unexpected challenges to handle now then, and time hasn’t always been easy, but besides that I also had a lot of fun and met many interesting and inspiring people.
PLAY HANDBALL: What was the most memorable experience?
Léon: Out of many new experiences that I’ve made here the most memorable was our visit in a slum in Nairobi. What we’ve seen deeply saddened me and at the same time we’ve encountered so many friendly, welcoming people.
PLAY HANDBALL: What was the greatest challenge until now?
Léon: The lack of support. I’ve had boys supporting me with my trainings, but unfortunately, they’re not reliable or consistent. Give training to large groups by myself is quite challenging..
PLAY HANDBALL: How do you experience the handball coaching at the school/ community?
Léon: It’s very challenging on both sides but can also be a lot of fun. Limited time and access to equipment require structuring my sessions well. On the kids side I need them to be on time and cooperative in order to manage a successful session.
PLAY HANDBALL: Do you think your work has an impact?
Léon: Definitely. I’m not only transporting life skills such as fairness, teamwork or respect through Handball but also having a direct impact on peoples life in my community through environment actions like fighting for a waste management system or introducing Eco bricks.
PLAY HANDBALL: How is the life with a local host family?
Léon: It’s great! For once it’s easier to get to know the culture and it’s also quite helpful to know people right from the start to give you advice of any kind or know how to help when a local connection is required. We understand each other well and laugh a lot. I’m feeling good at home
PLAY HANDBALL: Any other comments or sentiments you’d like to share
Léon: I’ve I came with a few wrong expectations that lead to a small cultural shock, but by now I feel completely fine in my new home. All my stories can be read on my blog
Moreover you can find a video about Léons experiences here.