After about one and a half years it is finally time again! Since the beginning of October, new volunteers with the weltwärts program are again on site at schools in Kenya and South Africa. “We are very happy that volunteers can support us again and that we are also allowed to resume work at the schools after the governments have relaxed the Corona restrictions,” says Nicola Scholl.
After a seminar of several days in the host country, everyone has also arrived at their assignment locations since a week ago. Whether in South Africa or Kenya, in the countryside or in the city, the enthusiastic helpers are on site for a year and support disadvantaged children and youth with and through handball. The Weltwärts program is an established federally funded program through which young adults help for a year abroad in a development context.
The Weltwärts volunteers help our Play-Handball partner organizations build youth programs with handball, both in school and after-school programs. Lisza and Lars support the “Darling Outreach Foundation” in Darling and Atlantis. And in just the second week, an evening training session for youth has already been organized. “Due to Covid-19, many children and youth are exclusively in school twice a week. Alternative online offerings and/or after-school care are not available for many children in public schools. As a result, young people are more targeted and recruited by gangs. There are hardly any recreational opportunities and also too few clubs that can pick up these young people. “Sport gives you a sense of belonging again and conveys positive values. In this way, we can get the youth and children off the streets with a positive recreational offer,” Francis (Darling Outreach Foundation) is pleased about the arrival of the volunteers.
Willi and Christian are helping on the West Coast in Graafwater and Lambert’s Bay at schools and the “Stop Crime against Children” program, and Philipp and Lara are on the ground in Cape Town at public schools helping to restart the school league in partnership with the Western Cape Handball Association.
“The first few weeks have been very exciting and eventful. Due to the fact that the children have had little to no physical education in the last few months, the first thing for us is to get the children playing small games again and improve their coordination, and then gradually introduce them to the game of handball,” says Philipp, who, like Lara, is looking forward to the further sports lessons in Cape Town’s schools.
In Kenya, Simon is a Weltwärts volunteer with the partner “Pendo Armani” in Juja. “I received a very warm welcome. I’ve been here for two weeks now and the people and children are very nice, it’s really incredible for me. After a week of soccer, we have now also started handball in the schools,” is Simon’s conclusion after his first two weeks. In addition to Pendo Amani, we are working with “Empowerment Plus” in Kenya in Kisumu and have also recently introduced handball at a Maasai school in Narok. “We very much hope to get more volunteers involved in our programs as they work closely with the local coaches of the partners, contributing to the transfer of knowledge about the sport of handball. At the same time, the volunteers experience and learn a lot about the Kenyan culture,” reports Carol Nange (Project Coordinator PlayHandball Kenya).
We at PlayHandball are happy to have volunteers on site in the schools again and to create learning experiences around valuable social skills and important socio-political topics such as environmental protection and social cohesion through handball.
All information about a short-term (from 2 months) up to a 12-month volunteer service as a handball coach in South Africa or Kenya, you can find at https://play-handball.org/en/volunteer/ or especially for the weltwärts programme apply via our partner Jugend-im-Ausland.
Your PlayHandball Team.