Using volleyball training as a platform to empower young girls.
The main goal of Nevobo, the Dutch Volleyball Federation, is to develop volleyball in the Netherlands. At the same time, we also feel a sense of responsibility for the development of volleyball in other countries, and we work towards providing volleyball activities around the world, such as our Volleyball4Life (V4L) programme.
The Volleyball4Life programme focuses on the empowerment of girls, with the ultimate aim that 12 to 18 year-old girls that take part in the programme get tools and skills to assert themselves and make their own decisions in life.
How it started
In 2017 Nepali top volleyball player Kopila Upreti shared her dream: to inspire girls in rural areas of Nepal and support them to build an independent future using volleyball. Nevobo embraced her dream, produced a documentary about Kopila’s impressive life story and developed the Volleyball4Life programme.
The problem we tackle
Girls are often more vulnerable. For example, in Nepal, where we set up Volleyball4Life. Girls more often than boys – cannot finish primary school, are married off before the age of 18, and face domestic or sexual violence. These girls hardly ever have the chance to make decisions about their own lives and bodies, and are more often economically dependent.
Therefore, we offer a training course for coaches and a grassroots volleyball programme, especially for girls. We educate coaches in the V4L programme to provide girls with volleyball drills and games, coaching and community support to build new skills, self-insight and the opportunity to share their stories and problems. All of this results in personal development and increased decision-making power for the girls. These V4L manuals gives insight in the programme taught:
““It is also about creating awareness. That they can participate equally. That’s an aspect we really want to focus on. But also: what is coaching of girls really about and how can you do this in a way that they also benefit from it in their daily life? This programme is much more than sport only, which makes it so interesting.””- Joan Wiegman, Dutch Ambassador to Senegal
Where we work
In 2019 Volleyball4Life started in Nepal, where it’s now implemented in 13 communities. In 2020 the programme has also started in Senegal, as part of the World2Win project. Our aim is to create impact in areas where it is needed the most. We are open minded for cooperation in other countries, as long as there are opportunities for long-term and sustainable implementation and matches our approach.
To assure sustainability of the programme and local leadership, we work closely together with local partners and (inter)national organisations that support our goals and share their expertise:
- Child Watabaran Center, Nepal (CWCN) is a non-profit, non-government organization working to reintegrate and rehabilitate street children by providing formal and informal education, vocational trainings and life skills for their long term social security. Volleyball4Life is integrated in the community-based approach of CWCN and implemented in 13 communities.
- The Yearley Trust aims to improve standard of living, education, health and equality in Nalang, Nepal. Volleyball4Life is part of the community-based approach and implemented since 2020.
- Net4Kids offers concrete child aid in a business-responsible manner, which benefits the children in the long-term. Projects are carefully selected based on their Piramid of Care. Net4Kids and Volleyball4Life work closely together quality, results and financial resources in Nepal.
- International Sport Alliance: ISA taps into the potential of youth by connecting where it spars. On the playing field. In a safe, fun and enriching environment young people are encouraged to discover and master skills of their own.
Volleyball4Life Coaches Courses
Two Volleyball4Life Coaches Courses have taken place, one in Senegal and one in Nepal.
In January 2022 the course took place in Senegal were 12 coaches (11 coaches from Senegal and 1 from Rwanda) were educated in the Volleyball4Life programme. Read the full report of this course and the experiences of the coaches down below. In June 2022 the course take place in Nepal were 18 coaches were educated. This report will follow soon.
For more information we refer to our Facebook page Volleyball4Life. It is also possible to contact the Volleyball4Life coordinators: Peter van Tarel (+31 6 239 091 37) and Dorien Tenhaeff (+31 6 51 994 728) or email us: email@example.com.