South Africa, for the first time in its history, had to lockdown the country in March 2020 due to the outbreak of the CoronaVirus, which was first identified in December 2019, in the city of Wuhan, in China. This affected all industries in many countries and many organisations had to pause their activities for the duration of the different levels of lockdown. As humanitarian work had to continue, many NGOs / NPOs were encouraged to continue operating using different strategies, which adhered to lockdown regulations. PlayHandball was no different. All sport activities came to a halt. As from the beginning of April (and for 26 weeks therefrom) PlayHandball supported families (in-need) with Corona-Aid-Packages, which included food parcels for both South Africa and Kenya where the core beneficiaries are.

PlayHandball fundraised money through various platforms in order to be able to buy food parcels, which included also hygienic products such as soap or a mask, and a fitness flyer to do exercises at home while in lockdown. In total, we handed out 168 Corona-Aid-packages in South Africa (64) and Kenya (104). 20 of these packages were received from Community Chest in Western Cape, South Africa. PlayHandball’s fundraising organisation in Germany was able to raise 3791.61 EUR. Besides private donations via Betterplace.org, One.Team in Berlin (Germany), TVB Stuttgart, Handball.Inspires, and  “Share & Play”, an organisation from the former Spanish national player Carlos Prieto, supported the aid project. 

Apart from the Corona-Aid-Packages, PlayHandball also supported a Porridge Kitchen in Seawinds / Lavender Hill, Cape Town, South Africa. In this community, ahead of lockdown, handball was played at four schools. Historically, Lavender Hill is a disadvantaged community situated in the Cape Flats of Cape Town. It is popularly known for having structural challenges. The youth most likely get involved in gangs and other anti-social behaviours, as there is a lack of role-modeling in the community. The porridge kitchen became a safe haven for the youth and their families, as it made them feel included and ‘seen’.

Lavender Hill Coach La-Toyah Dreyer sometimes took the youth on a run on certain mornings and afternoons. Between her and Coach Lino´, they  made queuing for the porridge quite exciting by introducing – with our help and guidance – small physical coordination exercises. “It was great to see how everyone enjoyed the exercises.” explains Chery Abrahams. “Even the old ones had fun trying out to stay for one minute on one leg. That is not as easy as it sounds.” Chery, before the lockdown, co-ordinated the after school programme in the four schools. She also  initiated (with the outbreak of the pandemic) the porridge (food) kitchen. Through this initiative, porridge was served on weekday mornings 5 times a week to between 150 and 250 people. Lots of children received a warm porridge meal in the morning. And whenever there were extra available funds, there would also be lunch served approximately 2 to 3 times a week.

“When schools were closed and all sporting activities were stopped, we at PlayHandball did not want to stand idly by.” explains Nicola Scholl (founder of PlayHandbal) the motivation behind the initiative. “We wanted to continue to support the children and young people in our partner programs.Instead of handball and education, we decided to support them for a while with Corona aid packages. Because  this exact basic care was the greatest need in the communities at that time.” says Nicola. 

To this day, the situation has not normalized in most of the communities we work in. However schools have reopened. So at least basic care for the children is guaranteed. PlayHandball now focuses more on  it’s core topics such as handball and social competence programs and the training of coaches in the partner communities.

In this regard, PlayHandball also hosted online courses in September and October and reached participants from Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. Again, the aim was to continue keeping handball alive, even during this deadly pandemic. Participants found these online courses really useful and education, as some people felt restless not being able to do physical exercises with their youth.

Text: Sim Mahlanyana (PHZA)

More in this category: Update PHKE: In every challenge there is always something we can do as a sport for development organisation » “Wild Boys” goes “Play Handball” » 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 » German Handball Stars are so polite – Kenian Play Handball Coordinator travels to Germany » Hanna reports from her experiences in 2 different communities around Cape Town » 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 » Karibu Kenya! Play Handball Supercup in Kisumu » Handball for UNSDG13 Climate Action – Workshop & Clean-Up » 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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