“In general, sport is able to bring the community together and teach skills like respect and acceptance.”
Simon is in Juja as a weltwärts volunteer for one year and supports PlayHandball’s partner organization “PendoAmaniYouthOrganization” on site. In the following interview, our volunteer Simon talks about his experience so far:
PLAY HANDBALL: Why is handball important for you and what has it done for you?
Simon: It’s such important for me because I already play handball for over 14 years and it brings a lot of joy. The team spirit is what makes it so special for me. It brought me in this project which I really enjoy and I am convinced that it will help a lot of people in different terms.
PLAY HANDBALL: How did you heard about PLAY HANDBALL KE?
Simon: I heard about PlayHandball through weltwaerts when I searched for possible projects for my volunteer service. This project caught immediately my attention.
PLAY HANDBALL: Why did you decided to become a Handball Volunteer in Kenya?
Simon: When I decided to do the volunteer service with PlayHandball, it wasn’t important for me, where I go. The project was the main factor of my motivation to do this. When I heard that the project is also going on in Kenya, it was much more interesting for me than South Africa.
PLAY HANDBALL: How long have you been now a handball volunteer in Kenya?
Simon: Now, I am four months here in Kenya and cannot believe how fast the time flies…
PLAY HANDBALL: What was the most memorable experience?
Simon: In the beginning of 2022, we did with some other volunteers here in Kenya a bike trip which was the most exhausting but at the same time the most enjoyable bike trip I’ve ever made.
PLAY HANDBALL: What was the greatest challenge until now?
Simon: For now, the biggest challenge is still that the schools don’t understand how the kids will profit from the training and how much it helps them to develop social skills,… Another big problem is that we are very limited because of the available equipment like balls.
PLAY HANDBALL: How do you experience the handball coaching at school/ community?
Simon: The first time we had some organisation problems in the schools. Right now, it’s going really well and of course the best part are the students who have a lot of fun in the training with getting the opportunity to get trained in handball. Also, most of the teachers are really welcoming and sometimes even take part in the training.
PLAY HANDBALL: How has your work had an impact on you and in the community?
Simon: The training showed so far what is possible with training students and how much joy and fun is gained by the game. In general, sport is able to bring the community together and teach skills like respect and acceptance. Personally, I have gained more experience in coaching handball and skills which are related like team building.
PLAY HANDBALL: How is the life with a local Kenyan host family?
Simon: My host family is caring a lot and treating me like their own son. They always want me to be home on time. The fun and action parts are not too short in the daily life with my hosts when the whole family comes over.
PLAY HANDBALL: Any additional stories you’d like to share or note about your volunteer experience:
Simon: Soon, I will be playing in a handball team here in Nairobi to keep up with my own handball skills, so that I’m not too far behind when I will go back to Germany.
PLAY HANDBALL: Any other comments or sentiments you’d like to share:
Simon: Since now, I really enjoy my time here and the partner organization is just great. I already know that I will come back to Kenya again after that year.